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Maersk Faces Significant Port Congestion in Asia, Mediterranean

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 3, 2024

© tonyv3112 / Adobe Stock

© tonyv3112 / Adobe Stock

Maersk faces significant terminal congestion in Mediterranean and Asian ports, causing substantial delays in its vessel schedule, the Danish shipping group said in a statement on Monday.

As a result of that congestion, the world's second-largest container shipping company, will skip two westbound sailings from China and South Korea that had been planned to depart in early July, it added.

The notice from Maersk comes as global supply chains are suffering cascading delays and higher costs due to the Yemen's Houthi militant attacks on commercial vessels near the Suez Canal. Major ocean container carriers like Maersk, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd for safety have rerouted ships to the longer route around Africa.

Singapore, home to the world's second-largest container seaport, is the latest to be hit by congestion, according to Linerlytica. Data from that firm also showed congestion at ports in China, Dubai, Spain and the United States.

Ports in China have been hit by high winds and other weather that has affected cargo flows, shipping experts told Reuters.

The worsening congestion in Singapore and Dubai's Jebel Ali ports are driven by the sudden surge in cargo demand as well as continued disruptions caused by the diversion of ships from the Red Sea, Lynerlytica said.

Ultra-large ships from the Far East are offloading containers at western Mediterranean ports such as Barcelona and then reloading on smaller ships headed for final destinations at central and eastern Mediterranean ports, straining operations at affected ports, according to pricing platform Xeneta.

Backups also are growing at two U.S. East Coast ports, according to the Journal of Commerce. Charleston, South Carolina, congestion is due to an ongoing infrastructure project, while backups at Savannah, Georgia, are tied to a recent software malfunction, the trade publication reported.


(Reuters - Reporting by Terje Solsvik in Oslo and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Stine Jacobsen and Lisa Shumaker)