High peak-season volumes from Asia have resulted in ongoing delays and issues for container transport in the UK, with some collection and delivery slots currently being fully booked for up to two weeks in advance.

Many UK container transport operators and carriers are already booked until the end of the month, leading to UK importers experiencing further delays to orders that have already been impacted by the shortage of space throughout Asia.

In addition to the peak-season volumes, container haulage has been impacted recently by:

  • Lost working days in Weeks 35 and 36 due to the summer storms and bank holidays respectively
  • Delayed vessels from Asia not meeting their berthing slots (mostly caused by weather and typhoons)
  • Reduced productivity at ports and depots especially at shift changes due to necessary new hygiene regimes driven by Covid
  • Build up of empties congesting at ports reducing efficiencies further
  • Vessel diversions driven by all of the above
  • Driver shortages in the market driven by lost labour post Covid in the form of returning overseas nationals and furloughed staff

In addition to the lack of delivery slots, carriers have been imposing restrictions on where empty containers can be restituted or collected from. Ports have been struggling to cope with the current demand and with storage areas being full, they have also been impacted by too many ‘cut and runs’, where a container is dropped and no full or empty container is collected to help make space.

At this point, some lines are refusing to accept the return of empty containers to port, and in these cases importers are being expected to bear any additional costs for redirecting them to alternative inland locations.

Westbound are doing all that we can to manage customer requirements during these difficult times, but like the rest of the industry we are experiencing delays with container transport and issues with restitution.  For further information please contact one of the Westbound team.

At Westbound Logistics we pride ourselves in offering personalised and tailored logistics solutions. To find out more please call 01375 800800​ oemail info@westboundglobal.com.