Maersk laments ‘worrying’ global port congestion despite Yantian easing


A.P Moller Maersk (Maersk) has highlighted crippling supply chain events including the Yantian Port crisis and Suez Canal incident as a ‘worrying’ global trend affecting global trade.

In a 17 June statement, the major carrier said that although Yantian Port Authorities have announced that productivity is gradually set to increase, the “damage has already been done” to supply chain flows.

The current estimated wait at the port is over a fortnight, Maersk said – causing carriers to divert vessels to other ports.

All in all, more than 300 sailings from all liners will omit Yantian, including 19 Maersk mainline services.

“Fighting to get reliability back into operations and services back on schedule after the Suez incident in March, the port congestion in Yantian, with neighbouring ports Shekou and Nansha also affected, is an added pain at a time where global supply chains are already stretched,” the company outlined.

“The trend is worrying, and unceasing congestion is becoming a global problem.

“Due to Covid-19 and a significant volume push since the end of last year, terminals are becoming global bottlenecks, be it at berths, yards or gating out cargo, and it’s continuing throughout the logistics chain – in the warehouses, the distribution centres – with numbers on the rise,” Maersk claimed.

In addition, a one-or-two-day wait is “becoming the norm” even if arriving on time.

Shipping expert Lars Jensen wrote in a LinkedIn post that Yantian is on a “slow path” towards beginning recovery – but it does not mean normal shipping levels will resume any time soon.

HMM mentions waiting times for Yantian gate-in in excess of 7 hours as well as vessel delays upwards of 10 days. Maersk states that vessel reliability will continue to suffer with an average waiting time of 16 days and counting,” Jensen wrote.

Maersk, as well as other maritime stakeholders, have emphasised the importance of end-to-end supply chain visibility, multiple flows to market and a controlled asset network to mitigate the impact of supply chain disruption.

The liner is continually updating customers in in its Advisories section, and said it was working “around the clock” to alleviate customer pain points.

“To infuse even more visibility into your supply chain, Maersk offerings such as Maersk Flow and TradeLens provides consistent and holistic views of current shipments and corresponding documents for improved task execution and planning,” Maersk wrote.

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