Ship backlogs from Suez Chaos can take months to clear, Containerline says

Copenhagen / London — The stranded container ship on the Suez Canal has caused turmoil in the global shipping industry and can take weeks or even months to clear, the line of top container ships said. I will.

Approximately 30% of the world’s shipping containers, including products such as sofas, appliances, apparel and shoes, travel 193 km (120 miles) daily on the Suez Canal. The empty containers needed by Asian factories to ship goods are also involved in the backlog.

“Even if the canal is reopened, the spillover effect on global capacity and equipment will be significant,” Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, said in a customer advisory on Monday.

Maersk said three vessels were moored in the canal and another 29 were waiting to enter the port, adding that so far 15 vessels had been rerouted to southern Africa.

“Evaluating the backlog of current vessels, it can take up to six days or more for a complete queue to pass,” he said.

The world’s second-largest Swiss MSC, individually on Saturday, said the situation “will bring the greatest turmoil in world trade in recent years.”

The cargo ship is clogged
Satellite imagery shows the cargo ship MV Ever Give stuck on the Suez Canal near Suez, Egypt on March 25, 2021. (Cnes2021, power distribution Airbus DS via AP)
Given so far
Tugboats and excavators are working to release the Panama-registered Japanese-owned Evergiven anchored on the Suez Canal in Egypt on March 28, 2021. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

“Unfortunately, even if the canal reopens due to the huge backlog of ships waiting at the berth, this could lead to a surge in arrivals at certain ports, creating new congestion problems. Yes, “said Caroline Becquart, Senior Vice President of MSC. statement.

“We expect the second quarter of 2021 to be more confusing than the first three months and probably even more difficult than the end of last year.”

Container shipping companies are suffering from the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic and the surge in demand for retail products, expanding logistics bottlenecks around the world.

Suez backlogs can make it even more difficult for Western companies to keep their products in stock.

Navy officials at the British Maritime Trade Agency said separately that ships bypassing Africa could mean more traffic through high-risk areas where pirates operate.

“Currently, the threat of Somali-based pirates is mitigated by a combination of military operations, the application of BMP 5 (ship protection measures), and the presence of armed guards, but the increase in maritime traffic through the area is It could bring opportunities to Somali pirate groups, to attack ships, “said the UKMTO.

By Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jonathan Saul