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2021 Port Congestion Report

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2021 Port Congestion Report

Vessel and port congestion levels in 2021 have been unprecedented, significantly impacting capacity in the Container and Bulker sectors and disrupting global supply chains.

Charlotte Cook, Head Trade Analyst, provides a full report on global port congestion seen throughout the year so far. From the Bulker congestion experienced in China at the end of 2020 into the beginning of the year, to the Suez Canal blockage back in March, and now the continued Container pile up at ports which is yet to subside as we edge ever closer to Christmas.

“With a total of 2,366,401 TEU (10% of the live Container fleet) and 181,635,500 DWT (20% of the live Bulker fleet) currently waiting globally, congestion is a major factor influencing vessel availability and rates, as global economies continue to recover this year in the wake of the pandemic.”

Bulker congestion in China
A Chinese ban on importing Australian coal was first rumoured around July 2020, causing hundreds of Bulkers from Australia to sit waiting off Chinese ports in a bid to unload their cargo. As a result, during the first six months of 2021, Capesize and Post Panamax vessels performed 17% less Australia to China journeys, carrying 14% less in cargo volume, compared to the same period in 2020… A year on, the number of Bulkers from Australia waiting off China has reduced by around 50% as China turned to accept some of the cargoes, due to their high demand for coal power generation.”

US congestion at Long Beach
“There are currently around 75 vessels still delayed, which is almost 20% more than were waiting one month ago, and over 100% more than were waiting two months ago. Congestion off the port is yet to show any signs of easing and is contributing to the lack of vessel capacity that we are currently seeing globally, putting pressure on ever tightening rates. In October, Post Panamax rates have reached a staggering $130,000 per day, over a 300% increase compared to this time last year…”

Read the full report here.

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