The UK container transport and port crisis continues to worsen, with importers experiencing major delays across the board, and the issue looks set to be compounded by carrier withdrawals.

UK ports have recently been impacted by an extended Asian peak season, unprecedented congestion, covid-19 regulations and a shortage of equipment.

Some vessels have been cutting and running before discharging containers, while others are waiting 5-10 days to berth at the Port of Felixstowe. The other two of the UK’s three major container ports – Southampton and London Gateway – are having similar issues.

Carriers are now reacting to these issues, which may lead to the situation getting worse for UK importers from Asia.

As mentioned in another recent Westbound article, some carriers are now refusing to accept bookings from Asia to the UK this month, potentially resulting in the UK being omitted from some voyages.

More recently, and perhaps more worryingly, we have witnessed some carriers effectively pull-out from providing container transport in the UK altogether.

Hindered by the constant delays, missed slots and subsequent demand from long suffering importers and forwarders that are desperate to get products moving, some appear to be withdrawing their own transport services.

This is likely to add further woe to an already unmanageable situation, especially for deliveries to the North, which are often subsidised by carriers needs to get empty equipment to the region for return export loads.

Westbound are monitoring this situation very closely, we are heavily invested into arranging our own ‘merchant haulage’ so are not as reliant on carrier transport as others.

However, we expect to see significant increases in container transport to Northern regions if this position holds or more carriers follow suit.

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