- The loss in ocean capacity resulting from carrier schedule changes after the Suez Canal blockage is expected to stretch into June, according to an analysis of carrier schedules by Sea-Intelligence.
- Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said the impact will be felt in two waves — the first of which will be absorbed "quite quickly" and a second that will have a longer-term impact on the market.
- The Port of Antwerp said the blockage is expected to result in delayed ship calls and general operational challenges "throughout Q2," according to a notice released on Friday.
The effects on ocean freight capacity are beginning to increase a month after the Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal.
When the Suez — one of the busiest trade lanes in the world — became blocked, ships arrived late to ports of call. Carriers had to respond by blanking sailings that were scheduled on these late ships.
Jan van Casteren, VP of Europe for Flexport, said earlier this month that many of these sailings will likely just be shifted back a week.
The altered schedules and delays have even resulted in carriers unloading cargo at the incorrect port as they attempt to quickly turn ships around and get capacity back to Asia, according to The Loadstar.
"Port congestion and delays at both origins and destinations are expected to make the container shortage in Asia worse over the next few weeks, before easing in early June," Freightos said in an emailed market update.
The lane with the largest rate impact thus far has been China/East Asia to Northern Europe, Freightos said. The lane has seen rates rise nearly 6% over the last week as of Friday, according to figures from Freightos.
The Port of Antwerp said it is making a number of shifts to its operations to deal with the congestion. These changes include not allowing containers for export until "a few days before they can be loaded" and looking into greater use of inland storage.
The disruptions are occurring at a time when many ports — especially in the U.S. and Europe — are already congested.
Congestion issues at Savannah, Georgia, have led Maersk to make changes to its schedule. Maersk is planning to shift around its U.S. East Coast calls to visit "Charleston before Savannah until further notice," the carrier said Monday.
Meanwhile, the Ever Given remains stopped at Great Bitter Lake. Two weeks ago, an Egyptian court seized the vessel after the Suez Canal Authority filed an application to arrest the ship. The SCA sent shipowners a claim of $916 million on April 7 to cover losses during the canal logjam.
"For the cargo owners, their cargoes are still very much stuck on board," wrote Philip Teoh, partner heading the Shipping, International Trade, Insurance Practice in Azmi & Associates Malaysia.