Maersk suspends spot bookings from several export markets

Maersk has suspended spot bookings and short-term contract shipments from a number of export markets, as the container sector continued to experience the impact of the six-day closure of the Suez Canal from March 23rd to March 29th.

Maersk said that it expected to see an impact across the global supply chain, with significantly reduced capacity and equipment shortages. These were pre-existing difficulties, caused by the pandemic-related disruptions of 2020.

Maersk said in a customer advisory note that “we have earlier communicated that even when reopened, the blockage of the Suez Canal would have ripple effects on global supply chains for weeks to come. However, expecting a significant loss in capacity over multiple weeks, depending on market dynamics, we have decided to temporarily cease short term bookings placed via Spot (Maersk’s online booking platform for spot container shipments), as well as short term contracts this week and in the immediate future, in (several) geographical services.”

The suspension of spot and short-term contracts will affect all exports out of Asia, which Maersk said was due to expected equipment shortages.

It will also cover exports out of West Central Asia to Europe and North Africa, North America East Coast, West Africa via Mediterranean, and Latin America via Mediterranean.

The suspension will impact exports out of Europe to Asia, Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent, and Oceania.

It covers North American exports to Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent, and East Africa, and exports from Latin America from East Coast South America to Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent and Asia via Mediterranean, and from Central America and West Coast South America to Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent.

The suspension also impacts exports from East Africa to Europe, and West Africa to Asia, Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent via Mediterranean.

Maersk said that “we want to assure you that this is only temporary so that we may quickly move existing laden cargo and empty containers to the areas they are most needed”.