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Container shipping return to normality not till end 2022

Photo: Rahita Elias cma-cgm-riv.jpg
A fully laden 23,000 teu CMA CGM containership at berth in Singapore
Some 12.5% of the global container shipping capacity caught up in delays analysts Sea-Intelligence it could take to end of 2022 to return to full normality.

Using data from its Global Liner Performance (GLP) and Trade Capacity Outlook (TCO) databases Sea-Intelligence said that in August this year 3.1m teu, or 12.5% of shipping capacity was out of service due to delays. This compares to a previous high of 11.3% in February, which dropped to 8.8% in April.

Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence noted this was equivalent of removing a fleet slightly larger than either CMA CGM or Cosco, the 3rd and 4th largest container lines.

Looking ahead the current surge in newbuilding orders will make little difference for two to three years until deliveries start to filter into the fleet on a large scale.

Delays off the US West Coast have attracted the most attention with 63 containerships waiting to enter the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as of Tuesday, roughly double the number the two ports can handle at any one time. Based on past congestion in Southern California Sea-Intelligence estimated it could take till April 2022 to resume normal operations.

But congestion and delays no longer confined to the US West Coast but becoming a global problem, the possibility of future disruptions, normalisation of the worldwide container shipping supply chain will like take much longer.

“Therefore, with the current operational challenges, it appears that a realistic timeframe for reversal to full normality stretches at least to the end of 2022,” Murphy said.

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