Shippers’ Council fear continuing capacity crisis

Shippers council to set up observer group to monitor shipping line performance amid continuing export sea freight capacity crisis

Following an emergency meeting in London the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) is setting up an observer group of exporters to monitor capacity, delay times and fluctuations in rates due to the ongoing ocean capacity shortage on services from Europe to Asia.

The ESC will regularly inform press and competent authorities of intermediate and final results of this monitoring exercise.

The 2016 collapse of Hanjin Shipping, the merger of Japan’s three biggest container lines and global industry reorganisation ahead of the mew shipping line alliances have all contributed to the significant delays that exporters have been experiencing for several months.ESC-logo

The first signs of the forthcoming market disturbances were observed last November, with the lines announcing a series of blank sailings from Asia, which led to national shippers’ councils and exporting companies asking the ESC to organise an emergency meeting to address the problems as cargo was having to wait for up to eight weeks to be loaded onboard ships.

The capacity available today is insufficient to take all the shipments needing to be moved, ESC said, but shipping lines are providing no guarantee that all the goods making up a shipment will be loaded, with some cargo being left in port.

At the same time, spot market freight-tariffs are on the rise.

These developments are forcing many traders to cancel their existing sales contracts and limit further sales, an ESC statement added, with obvious negative consequences for the competitiveness of the economy.

These maritime capacity problems are having a their knock-on effect in the airfreight sector, with Air Cargo News reporting a surge in airfreight demand on the Europe-Asia trade over the first three months of 2017, but no shortage of air capacity is anticipated.