ContainersPorts and Logistics

Port Klang and Piraeus join Ningbo and LA at the top of the congestion charts

To familiar congestion names Shanghai, Ningbo, Los Angeles and Long Beach, other ports such as Piraeus and Port Klang can now be added.

The global container port congestion crisis that has racked supply chains all year is shifting to new hot spots while some older problem places get back on track.

Exclusive data from Danish liner consultancy eeSea today shows the worst areas where ships are backing up as well as showing improvements at previous sore points such as Savannah on the US east coast. Along with the familiar bubbles bulging out from east China and southern California, the congestion bubble map (see below) shows growing issues mounting in the Mediterranean and along the African coastline.

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Drilling into the figures, Malaysia’s Port Klang is suffering severely with 32 ships waiting for berth space, while in southern Europe the ports of Algericas and Piraeus stand out as growing congestion hotspots.

A report from shipper visibility platform project44 last month showed that the largest increase in blank sailings in 2021 has been experienced by Port Klang. The Malaysian port recorded a 980% increase in blanked sailings in the first 10 months of the year.

In Greece, meanwhile, a 48-hour strike at Piraeus this month has rattled already troubled schedules. Recent strike action at Algericas has also increased congestion outside the southern Spanish port.

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Splash reported yesterday on how there were 101 boxships anchored or loitering, waiting for space at America’s twin top gateways of Los Angeles and Long Beach, spread out across 1,000 miles of North American coastline, stretching deep into Mexico. The pan-American ship parking lot is neatly captured by the eeSea map below.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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