The recent formation of new carrier alliances, coupled with bad weather, has made it increasingly difficult for ships calling at Shanghai to stick to their schedules. Average delays for container ships calling at Shanghai’s Yangshan terminal have increased by more than 40 percent to 53 hours since the beginning of April. Dense fog has exacerbated the delays. The Shanghai International Port Group has been trying to address the capacity issues and has been shifting some port calls from Yangshan to its other terminals in the city. Even though there are usually a large number of vessels waiting outside Shanghai Port, in the past few days the numbers have been rising sharply to the more than 100 recorded earlier this week.
Congestion at Yangshan appears to indicate that the port has been struggling with increased volumes and with bigger vessels that have been assigned to the terminal. The Ocean Alliance, THE Alliance, and the 2M plus HMM launched their new ocean freight services on April 1, completely redrawing their previously existing vessel sharing agreement structures. Compared against the peak season deployment of summer 2016, total vessel capacity planned for this summer will be 2 percent higher. At the same time, the number of deployed ships is set to fall as carriers continue upgrading services to larger vessel sizes.
Delmar will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates if warranted.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting your local Delmar representative.