Shanghai update: Congestion continues to build

Congestion at the world’s busiest container port is worsening – at least in the short term – as the terminals struggle to deal with dense fog that started earlier this month, increasing volumes and the aftermath of the new shipping alliances launch.

Our colleagues in Shanghai advise us that there are over 100 container vessels anchored outside the port, where the average waiting time at berth increased last week to over 18 hours.

Reuters are reporting that average delays for ships arriving at Shanghai increased 42% to 53 hours since the start of April.

In a notice, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) said that in response to the delays it has rescheduled a number of port calls in April and May from its Guandong container terminal and Shengdong container terminal at Yangshan Port to its Hudong terminal, Pudong terminal and Waigaoqiao terminals.

The SIPG announcement comes at the same time as the local MIQ Logistics office has reported that container trucks are now limited to just 2 of the 4 lanes feeding into the container terminals at Yangshan port (the other 2 lanes are designated for cars only).shanghai congestion

This container delay into the terminals means that outgoing vessels are further delayed as they wait to complete loading, which is adding to incoming vessels berthing delays.

Every line has been affected by the situation but their updates provide little insight.

While many see the launch of the new shipping alliances, with the ensuing route adjustments and introduction of larger ships as the primary culprit for these delays, there are other contributory factors including the spike in demand for ocean freight after many years in the doldrums.

Shanghai has been the world’s busiest port by container volumes since 2010, processed 37.1 million TEUs last year.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate. Follow our Twitter feed for all the breaking news.

Shanghai congestion vessel tracker

Shanghai congestion vessel tracker