Longer transit times in container shipping

Congestion in container shipping is a still growing problem. Container vessel congestion, enormously long transit times and constant delays are the order of the day everywhere in the world. Consequently, an end to container shipping congestion is not yet in sight.

Although longer queues have been observed in the past off the coast of Shanghai, for example, we now see this happening more and more often in the larger Northern European ports. For example, about 2% of the entire container capacity is stalled in the North Sea and even 4% of the total container capacity is stalled for the ports of Shanghai & Ningbo.

A major additional problem is the strikes at the ports of Hamburg & Bremerhaven. These have more than doubled the waiting times off the coast of the German ports in the last few weeks. In addition, there are reports of strikes in other parts of Europe, including the UK.

The biggest consequence of the congestion is that it massively increases transit times. If every port a ship enters has to wait longer than estimated, this has a negative effect on the total transit time. The transit times in the current market are therefore on average between 15 and 20% longer than in the period before corona.