Port of Rotterdam Sees Global Ship Strains Lasting Through 2022
Port of Rotterdam officials said they expect the current difficulties snarling global shipping to extend through next year, barring any unexpected weakening in household demand for goods.
“We don’t have a crystal ball, of course, but we don’t see any major changes in the current situation until at least the end of 2022, as long as everybody keeps spending and ordering online,” said Emile Hoogsteden, vice president of commercial at Europe’s largest container port.
“Congestion and bottlenecks will last and we have to deal with and work our way through the challenges,” he said.
Cargo volumes through Rotterdam this year are higher than in 2019 and “we do expect actually the growth to continue into 2022,” Hoogsteden told a conference call with reporters Thursday. But that’s slowed the movement of containers through the port -- with the average dwell time rising to seven days from four.
Hans Nagtegaal, Rotterdam’s director of containers, attributed the challenges partly to an all-time low in vessels’ schedule reliability, as well as slower worldwide cargo movements as delays around ports keeps tying up capacity.
“The gears of the logistic chains are tightening,” Nagtegaal said on the call. “The oil, I would say, would be the schedule reliability -- that would be the first step where we see a global change.” But until then, “we do see that for 2022 the situation will continue.”
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