Sea-Intelligence: Global Port Congestion Is Getting Worse In 2022

Maritime research and analytics provider Sea-Intelligence has calculated the amount of vessel capacity which has been effectively removed from the global shipping market owing to vessels being tied up in seemingly interminable queues around the world, by analyzing the data from its November 2021 issue of the Global Liner Performance.

Sea Intelligence: Global Port Congestion Is Getting Worse In 2022
Representational Image | Courtesy: iStock

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According to the Danish maritime data analysts, a total of 11.5% of the global capacity has been taken out of the market, all thanks to vessel delays in November 2021. This is a slight improvement from 12.3%, back in October 2021.

Sea-Intelligence noted “However, it seems that there is no sign of imminent improvement, while the normal state of affairs in the market is that 2% of global capacity is ‘trapped’ in delays somewhere in the world.”

A 7% year-on-year growth of demand was witnessed in 2021, this is partly due to the downfall in early 2020, which saw a decline of 11% in the same time period.

The bi-weekly customer advisories from South Korean shipping giant HMM was further used by Sea-Intelligence to calculate a container terminal index.

Sea-Intelligence’s terminal congestion index for Europe and North America is shown below:

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Sea Intelligence: Global Port Congestion Is Getting Worse In 2022
Data Courtesy: Sea-Intelligence

North America witnessed a slight improvement after Golden Week. This however, was fully reversed by the end of the year (2021), while a new record was set in 30th December. The improvements in the ports of Savannah and Charleston have thankfully driven slight improvement in the situation from 6th January, 2022.

In a slight contrast to this, congestion in Europe is growing worse in a steady rate since the start of October 2021. No signs of improvements or even levelling out can be seen till now.

Alan Murphy, the CEO of Sea-Intelligence, concluded that all the available data provides us with an insight that congestion and bottleneck problems are worsening getting into 2022, with no indications of improvements. “This also implies that we might well expect to see a continued upwards push on freight rates on this trade, as the congestion is likely to have a negative impact on reliability, and hence in turn on available capacity,” he commented.

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