Port congestion hits Singapore

Following significant port delays in Los Angeles, major delays have now appeared in the port of Singapore. Turnaround times have more than doubled.

Platts, part of S&P Global, has reported that waiting times for ultra-large container vessels of 18,000 teu and above were currently running at between five and seven days, compared with a normal two-day turnaround. It said that the number of vessels at Singapore for longer than two days had increased to 46 a day in January, up from about 30 at the same time in 2020.

Peter Sundara, VP global ocean product at LF Logistics, told The Loadstar that there had been vessel bunching, which was causing delays. Some feeders arriving from elsewhere in south-east Asia had been missing their connections as a result. “In turn, the mainline vessels coming in are overbooked, therefore transhipment containers are missing their nominated vessels and getting rolled – for a week, in some cases”, he said.

Terminal operator PSA International said that the “exceptional situation” was due to several factors coinciding. These included what it described as “an unprecedented and volatile surge in cargo demand, congestion across all nodes in the global supply chain (including depots, warehouses and seaports) due to renewed lockdowns, a lack of usable empty containers while laden ones are held up longer at these nodes and shipping lines’ schedule reliability dropping to 10-year historical lows, causing further delays at almost every seaport worldwide.”