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Home Freight News UK port congestion leads to additional surcharges

UK port congestion leads to additional surcharges

The heavy congestion in London Gateway, and in most ports of the United Kingdom, has forced several shipping lines to implement congestion surcharges and cancel some sailings.

Shipping lines have noted that the congestion has been ongoing for some months now, particularly at the Port of Felixstowe, but bottlenecks at London Gateway have also caused concerns for the carriers, including the German carrier Hapag-Lloyd.

"Due to the recent factors, such as bad weather, abnormal increases in volume throughput, terminal productivity with additional measures taken to be Covid-19 secure and transport shortages, we are currently experiencing congestion in the berthing plan and container yard for all Marine Terminals at London Gateway Port," said Hapag-Lloyd in its announcement in late October and added, "In recent weeks this has resulted in several port omissions, cut and runs and move count restrictions."

The German carrier noted on 19 November that it has not seen and does not expect improvement at London Gateway until the end of the year and will consider the possible actions to manage the ongoing situation.

MSC agrees, "the ongoing and unprecedented congestion affecting the UK port network is expected to continue into early 2021," said the company.

Similarly, CMA CGM has already introduced a port congestion surcharge (PCS) in London Gateway along with all the UK ports, as follows:

  • From/To London Gateway Port, Southampton & Felixstowe
  • To/From Australia & New Zealand
  • Amount: US$100 per TEU
  • Cargo: all
  • Application date: 30 November

  • From North East Asia, South East Asia, China, Hong Kong & Macau SAR
  • To Southampton
  • Amount: US$150 per TEU
  • Cargo: all
  • Application date: 15 November

  • From all UK ports
  • To North East Asia, South East Asia, China, Hong Kong & Macau SAR
  • Amount: US$100 per TEU
  • Cargo: all
  • Application date: 5 December

  • From/To London Gateway Port & Southampton
  • To/From India Subcontinent, Middle East Gulf & Red Sea
  • Amount: US$100 per TEU
  • Cargo: all
  • Application date: 15 November

  • From/To London Gateway Port, Southampton & Felixstowe
  • To/From Central America East Coast & the Caribbean, South America East & West Coasts, Central America West Coast & Mexico West Coast
  • Amount: US$150 per TEU
  • Cargo: all
  • Application date (UK to Latin America): 1 December
  • Application date (Latin America to UK): 15 November

MSC has also applied the following import congestion surcharges at the UK ports due to "challenges through berthing delays and increased dwell times."

Table-1-2.PNGMSC has noted that for reefer shipments from South Africa / SAWC / SAEC / CAM and from the Mediterranean the amounts charged will be at the levels detailed below:

Table-2-3.PNG

Furthermore, the Swiss-based carrier has been forced to terminate the voyage of its container ship, MSC Michaela, due to the significant, ongoing congestion in the UK. The 6,700TEU vessel, which has been deployed on the Levante Express Service was en route from La Spezia to London Gateway, but instead made a call at Liverpool to terminate the voyage.

"This decision was taken as a solution to ensure we could discharge our customers’ cargo in the UK rather than NWC," stated MSC.

Antonis Karamalegkos
Editor

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