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Containers op terminal

Congestion and war Ukraine are seriously impacting

Datum July 14, 2022

In recent weeks we have informed you about the increasing congestion and terminal occupation in the seaports. We are now seeing that productivity at various terminals is increasingly under pressure and the available capacity at depots is also under considerable pressure.

Congestion seaports

Both the picking-up and handing in of full and empty containers in the seaports is becoming increasingly more difficult. For full containers applies that seagoing vessels cannot load if they cannot unload their cargo first. The high capacity occupancy causes that the enormous amount of containers that are delivered by the largest class of seagoing vessels are unloaded at a very low speed, depending on the available space. We have received information from various terminals that the dwell times of full containers have doubled to a minimum of 12 days.

The picking-up and handing in of full containers has increasing problems if there is nowhere to return empty containers, the depots are full and there is no transport to, for example Asia, to ship these empty containers to. We see a strong increase in the amount of empty containers for certain shipping companies which is why we advise talking with shipping companies about the empty return location for handing in of empty containers. Or for them to indemnify possible detention costs if no available location is offered.

For full containers that have to be stored for use, we offer the possibility to make use of our external storage area in Cuijk. For export we strongly recommend to consider booking “Inland CY”. Or the option to request the shipping company for a release of empty containers from a stack on one of our terminals. For information about these facilities, please contact our sales department: sales@vanberkellogistics.nl

Limited capacities intermodal product

Due to the extent of the congestion, the available shipping capacity is also under great pressure. A number of factors can be related to the war in Ukraine. Firstly, coal-fired power stations started up again in Germany because of scaling down to gas-fired power stations. This causes an enormous increase in the demand for inland vessels. In addition, there are low water levels. Under these influences, the rates for inland vessels have risen extremely in recent weeks. This development also impacts ships that are active in the transport of containers, since many of these ships are also suitable for carrying coal. In addition, due to the decreasing availability of east-European crews for inland shipping, there has been a decline in ships. Also, on the Danube, there is an enormous need for inland shipping to sail from Ukraine. The grain is delivered overland and is later transported in barges. Large quantities of inland vessels and barges are currently being sold to Romania.

In order to keep and expand our current fleet, we will have to pay higher costs from 1 August. This means that with effect from 1 August we will levy an emergency surcharge on every full container that still has to be transported from that date. The amount of this surcharge is € 30.00 per full container.

Our estimation is that this should be sufficient. We do reserve the right to change this surcharge at a later date if circumstances require. We consciously choose to charge these costs as an ‘emergency surcharge’ so that they can be reduced again when the market recovers.

Capacity terminals and trucking

At our own terminals we are still able to process the quantities of containers and handle ships sufficiently on a daily basis. Also here, the pressure on available space is increasing. Meaning that we have to take more and more measures for long-stay full containers and empty containers that cannot be returned to a shipping company’s depot in the seaport. In addition, the capacity of our truck fleet will come under further pressure. With our own regional fleet we are still able to load or unload all containers driven from and to our own inland terminals. However, if the amount of seaport trucking is too great, there will be less capacity for loading and unloading and that means that we are very reluctant to use our regional fleet for seaport trucking. The availability of trucks for seaport trucking cannot be estimated in advance and is determined per day on the basis of the regional demand.

In these difficult market conditions, we focus on the importance of loading and unloading. We are open to initiatives on your part to contribute to the seaport trucking, if this is urgent. For questions and consultation, please contact our sales department: sales@vanberkellogistics.nl

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