Maersk Reroutes Ships To Other Ports

A combination of increased global demand for merchandise, particularly in the run-up to the Christmas season, and a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK has left the country’s largest port, Felixstowe, at capacity and backlogged.

The Independent reports that because of this, Danish shipping giant Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping operator, has announced it is to reroute one vessel with a capacity of 80,000 tonnes per week to other ports in Europe, mainly to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Felixstowe port authorities on Wednesday 13 October said that there are 50,000 containers pending collection from the port.

“It is not the port of Felixstowe that is holding up supply chains, it is the supply chain that is shutting down the port of Felixstowe,” the authorities said, adding that the situation was ‘similar in all major British ports’.

The average time between unloading a container from a ship and the container being picked up by a lorry at Felixstowe has increased to 10 days, whereas it was previously three to five days. Larger ships are having to wait up to seven days to be permitted to enter the port to be unloaded.

To avoid delays, Maersk will reroute the converted vessel to Rotterdam, where it will be unloaded, and UK goods traceried to smaller ships and then one to smaller UK ports.

However, Maersk has admitted that the shipping issues are not solely centred on the UK, but was one of three ports where the situation is considered to be critical.

An additional factor unique to the UK is that as an island, over 90 per cent of all imported goods are moved via sea freight.

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