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Mobility manufacturers in the UK are bracing themselves for more delays in stock being delivered from overseas suppliers with the global container shipping crisis set to continue until March 2022.

An outbreak of COVID-19 in Guangdong province in southern China has caused acute congestion at the region’s ports and caused shipments to be delayed, exacerbating tensions within global supply chains.

The knock-on effects could take many months to resolve, according to industry experts.

Scott McCallum, Import Manager for international supply chain specialist Ligentia told THIIS that the shipment problems are going to lead to increased costs for the end customer.

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“Shipping costs in the last 12 months have increased by 1,000 per cent,” Scott commented.

“This is clearly unsustainable, and a lot of importers are having to make a decision whether to ship the goods or not and if the goods are going to sell at the increased costs.

“This is a worldwide issue. There is a lack of available containers, space on vessels and port congestion which is increasing turnaround times on vessels all of which are having an impact on the freight prices.

“I have been in this industry for 29 years and have not experienced such widespread disruption of a sustained period of time and I am expecting this to continue until March 2022.”

Resultant queues in congested ports have led to a massive imbalance of containers across the globe and lack of availability.

The crisis has already caused huge increases in shipping costs, with rates for a typical 40 foot container from China to the UK jumping from £2,000 in early 2020 to £14,500 in June 2021.

The COVID-19 outbreak caused the port in Yantian in Guangdong to close and although it is now re-open it is only operating at 75 per cent capacity, according to industry experts, with average waiting times at the port for vessels to get berthed being 16 days.

This is resulting in carriers omitting Yantian as a port of call or cancelling sailings altogether. The other ports in the area, Nansha and Shekou, are also reported as being unable to cope with the additional volume and the congestion is spreading to these ports as well.

The problems in Guangdong are just the latest in a series of severe setbacks for the industry. Shipping firms have been struggling to cope with dramatic fluctuations in demand triggered by the pandemic, as well as the consequences from the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.

As well as serious implications for people’s health, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses and the economy. Mike West, Procurement Director for Medequip, recently told THIIS that the pandemic led to an increase in demand for its products and it had to call on its contacts overseas in order to meet these commitments.

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Export-container-ship.jpg?fit=900%2C539&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Export-container-ship.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade Newscontainers,COVD-19,Mobility,shipping,supplyMobility manufacturers in the UK are bracing themselves for more delays in stock being delivered from overseas suppliers with the global container shipping crisis set to continue until March 2022. An outbreak of COVID-19 in Guangdong province in southern China has caused acute congestion at the region's ports and caused...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals