FORWARDERS and shipping lines are warning their customers that severe congestion at the Port of Shanghai, the world’s busiest container port, could last for several weeks.
The congestion has been attributed to unusual weather in the Shanghai area that has caused dense fog, higher-than-usual container volumes, and confusion caused by the recent realignment of in shipping alliances.
A report by software provider CargoSmart said that the average waiting time at berth in mid-April went up 6.2 percent to 18.2 hours when compared with times recorded at the start of the month.
Average delays for ships arriving at the port increased even more, climbing 42 percent to 53 hours in the week between April 11 and April 18, the CargoSmart report added.
In an advisory to its customers, shipping line Hapag-Lloyd said, “The port of Shanghai is currently undergoing a period of high congestion due to increased throughput volume and Carriers’ Alliances’ product restructuring.
The Shanghai Port has announced that they are taking necessary actions to ensure port operations return to normal as soon as possible.”
The maritime trade publication Journal of Commerce said delays at Shanghai were expected to persist until at least mid-May.