Delays at Rotterdam and Antwerp ports

European barge operator Contargo is reported to have imposed a congestion surcharge on all operations at the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam. A charge of €19.50 per container came into effect on Friday and will be levied until August 31st.

“For weeks now the barges of Contargo’s fleet have had to wait increasingly long for unloading and loading. Throughput times of 50 hours, peaking at up to 120 hours, are no longer an exception and, unfortunately, we must now pass on a part of the costs to our customers. “It added that “if the situation has not substantially improved, we shall also have to extend the surcharge beyond 31 August 2017”.

Contargo said the surcharge applied irrespective of the navigational area of the Rhine for all loads and terminals.

Hapag-Lloyd has said that it would be applying a €25 charge per container, noting that feeder services to Rotterdam would also be affected. “Since the terminals are congested and only operating with slowed productivity, we have to implement the congestion surcharge with immediate effect”, Hapag-Lloyd said. Delays of up to a week were first reported at Rotterdam’s RWG Terminal during May.

Rather than there being a single cause, the congestion appears to be the result of a combination of factors, including the bedding in of the new shipping alliances, larger ships, and the recent cyber-attack hitting the APM Terminals at both ports.