Container misplacements bring problems to UK imports

UK container imports that were offloaded at Antwerp, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge because of delays at Felixstowe could remain therefore many weeks , which could cause problems for the UK Christmas market.

Ships had originally been diverted from the heavily congested Felixstowe to Southampton and London Gateway, but this caused these two ports to become congested as well, leading to the diversion of ships to Antwerp, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge .

Antwerp and Rotterdam were now reported to be very full across all of their box terminals, reported The Loadstar that carriers were now considering dropping off containers at Le Havre and Bremerhaven.

Not only are ports becoming overloaded with containers, there was also a shortage of feeder tonnage to carry the containers between ports.

A forwarder told The Loadstar that MSC had issued a notice of arrival that containers he was expecting to be discharged at London Gateway from La Spezia on the MSC Michaela were being discharged at Liverpool. “Firstly, we only got the notice on Monday after the boxes came off at Liverpool over the weekend; secondly MSC said that it could no longer cover the haulage; and thirdly, just to rub salt in the wound, it quoted its B/L clause 19 ‘respectfully reminding’ us that we must collect the containers and return the empties to the designated depot, all within the free time allowed. It’s almost impossible for us to get haulage at this late stage from the north-west, and we have one of our biggest customers demanding the products”.

Containers on the 14,036 teu MSC Rosa M (in Antwerp) arrived from Asia on November 7th but discharged at Portbury (Bristol) from the 3,424 teu feeder MSC Monica. That will require remote customs clearance and haulage procurement on the part of the importers in the UK.