World’s largest ports are overloaded, ships are queuing up

As reported by Linerlytica, global port congestion has reached an 18-month high, with 60% of ships waiting at anchor located in Asia. Ships with a total capacity of over 2.4 million TEUs were waiting at anchorages as of mid-June.

Vessels take longer routes around Africa to avoid the Red Sea, where Houthi group has been attacking shipping. Ships are therefore offloading larger amounts at once at big transhipment hubs.

Average Singapore cargo offload volume jumped 22% between January and May, Drewry said. The average wait time to berth a container ship was two to three days, Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said in end-May, while container trackers Linerlytica and PortCast said delays could last up to a week (previously, berthing took less than a day).

The strain has shifted to Malaysia’s Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, said Linerlytica, while wait times have also climbed at Chinese ports, with Shanghai and Qingdao seeing the longest delays.

Singapore’s MPA has reopened older berths and yards to tackle extended waits.