‘No end in sight’: Congestion levels continue to climb as boxships queue outside German ports

Bremerhaven, Geramny - September 15, 2020: Maersk container ships at the EUROGATE Container Terminal

Congestion in container shipping is continuing to rise with more than 12 per cent of all shipped goods currently stuck.

Latest data from the Kiel Institute found that bottlenecks inland are a result of factors such as Northern European strikes are clogging major port networks.

According to the latest Kiel Trade Indicator data update, more than 2 per cent of global cargo capacity is now stuck in the North Sea and cannot be loaded or unloaded.

In the German Bight alone, 15 large container ships are currently waiting for clearance in Hamburg or Bremerhaven.

“There is currently no end in sight to the congestion in container shipping. This is very unusual for the North Sea, while long queues off Shanghai have also been observed in the past, for example. The Kiel Trade Indicator figures indicate that the delays in Germany and the EU are currently disrupting exports more than imports,” said Vincent Stamer, Head of Kiel Trade Indicator.

“The situation in the North Sea is not yet leading to dramatic collapses in Germany’s maritime trade, but it is certainly a burden especially for shipping with Asia. Also because freight rates are likely to remain high as a result.”

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