Congestion at UK’s Port of Felixstowe results in operational issues, carrier-imposed surcharges

As weekly import volumes climb to 30% above normal at the UK’s busiest port, carrier CMA CGM levied a congestion fee for Asian imports and exports.

CMA CGM will charge an additional $150/TEU for containers imported from Asia and exported to Asia from the Port of Felixstowe. The surcharge will take effect on Oct.1, and will remain in place until “further notice” the carrier said in a notice to customers Sept. 22.
Platts Container Rate 11 – North Asia to UK – was last assessed at $1,650/FEU.

Alongside a surge in import volumes, port efficiency is being hampered by coronavirus pandemic-related work practices and labor shortages. But there has also been an uptick in late arrivals to the port, resulting in unpredictable unloading times and bottlenecks at the port’s container terminals.

“As a result, our service standards are not currently where we would like them to be and we apologize for any inconvenience caused” the port said Sept. 18.

The port said it was confident the operational issues will be resolved soon, and hopes to ensure this by opening for haulage on Sundays, increasing labor availability and reducing empty container returns to relieve congestion.
Source: Platts

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