PORT CONGESTION, VESSEL DIVERSIONS AND BORDER CLOSURES CREATE COMPLEX SHIPPING ENVIRONMENT
Congestion and supply chain capacity issues in the United Kingdom have continued to deteriorate after a new strain of COVID was discovered over the weekend. Adding complexity to an already strained industry, the new COVID variant will exacerbate the situation at British ports already faced with record volumes, shortages of labor, trucks and equipment. For this same reason, many countries have begun suspending air service to/from the United Kingdom.
Prior to the latest COVID related disruption, many Asian maritime services to/from the UK in January were already scheduled for diversion to the Continent. In addition to these Asia related diversions, a number of Trans-Atlantic services have also been suspended over the Christmas/New Year period. Other services have been diverted from Felixstowe to Liverpool because of the congestion, leading to greater congestion in Liverpool. On the airfreight side, backups at Heathrow Airport due to labor shortages have led to waiting times of up to fifteen hours to collect inbound cargoes.
In the United Kingdom all aspects of the supply chain – domestic trucking, short-sea crossings, deep-sea LCL and FCL traffic and air cargo are under severe pressure. OTS urges shippers with cargo moving to/from the area to please contact us as early as possible so we may find workable solutions for your shipments.
If you have any questions about these updates, please do not hesitate to reach out to your OTS Sales representative.