More than one in three containers worldwide are being rolled over, amid an unprecedented supply chain challenge hitting the liner community.Ocean Insights’ latest cargo delay statistics published today show how the container bull run is wreaking havoc on the market, with surging rollover rates across major ports during December and most major carriers seeing increases in delays.
The latest figures from Ocean Insights show that most major ports are seeing elevated levels of rollover cargo from November to December. Rather than cargo flows diminishing in line with historical seasonal precedent, there are growing levels of demand during a period that usually sees a decrease in volumes. Sourcing available containers has become extremely difficult in recent months.Ocean Insights calculates the rollover ratio for carriers as the percentage of cargo carried by each line globally that left a port on a different vessel than originally scheduled.
“Of the 20 global ports for which Ocean Insights collates data, 75% saw an increase in the levels of rollover cargo in December compared to the previous month. Major transhipment facilities such as Port Klang in Malaysia and Colombo in Sri Lanka recorded 50% or more of cargo delayed, with the world’s largest transhipment hub in Singapore and leading primary ports such as Shanghai and Busan rolling over more than a third of their containers, last month,” said Ocean Insights chief operations officer Josh Brazil.Industry experts are now warning that the cargo surge could last well into 2021, with a strong likelihood that the prevailing conditions will continue throughout the first half of the year.
Much of the recent concern for rollover cargo has focused on reefer containers. Some ports in China are reported to have run out of power points that are used to supply electricity to reefer containers, jeopardising perishable cargo.
Overall rollover levels increased to 37% month on month in December, averaged across the ports surveyed, which includes facilities in all the major cargo regions of Europe, the US, and Asia as well as less cargo intensive regions such as Latin America. However, Latin America accounts for a significant proportion of the reefer trade with the US, Asia, and Europe.“The levels of cargo are still rising while the extra loader capacity which has been deployed to meet the raised levels of demand appears to be having little effect,” commented Brazil.
Major ocean shipping companies have also seen an overall increase in rollover values from 35% in November to 37% in December. Three of these lines saw more than 50% of cargo left at the departure port.2M alliance partners MSC and Maersk managed to stem the rise of rollover cargo month on month, both recording the same level of rollovers in December as in the previous month.