Recent Congestion in Asian Ports Affecting Shipping


Port congestion due to bad weather, growing container volume, and inefficient operations has been causing major congestion, and a back log within the shipping industry.

Shippers have experienced schedule changes and delays in Bangkok, Chittagong, Kolkata, Shanghai, and Ningbo. Experts says a growing number of containers, inefficient operations, and recent bad weather during 2018 are the major causes of this recent congestion issue in Asia.

Cargo vessels waiting to discharge and depart in Shanghai Port area. The situation is quite severe and affecting all industry, and all shippers along with importers.

Latest Conditions in Shanghai and Ningbo Ports

Heavy fog is typical this time of year in Northern China. Recently, the Port of Shanghai became a problematic hub, as many vessels delayed berthing, discharge, and departure operations as a result of bad weather and severe fog. Heavy fog blanketed Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta area from March 27th until presently in May. These conditions have severely affected ocean freight carrier services and operations at both Waigaoqiao and Yangshan terminals in Shanghai. These delays also created chain issues in all major Chinese ports starting from Shanghai, Ningbo, and other base ports.

The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration implemented traffic control measures over the Yangtze River waterway and Shanghai port. They also advised that there are more than 1,550 barges and ships delayed along the Yangtze River channel. As a result of berth congestion and temporary port closures caused by the dense fog, ocean-going sailing schedules have been affected, with vessel arrivals and departures occurring off-schedule. It has been reported that the average delays for ships arriving at the Waigaoqiao terminal is 3 to 7 days, and 2 to 3 days at the Yangshan terminal.

Shippers have suffered from delayed and cancelled vessels. Containers were delayed by carriers to accommodate previously-rolled containers.

Our sources indicate that the current situation is slowly normalizing.

Yet, it will take a few weeks for port operations to recover. Therefore, it is expected that there will be some level of negative impact and some continued backlogs. We are working with all authorities in Shanghai to ensure delays are minimized and the impact to our customers’ supply chains is mitigated as much as possible. We will continue to keep all our clients apprised of updates as we receive them.

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Orkun Gonen
Orkun is originally from Turkey and raised in the southern coastal city of Mersin, well known for its warm weather, and commercial marine port and free zone. Orkun’s interest in the shipping industry can be traced back to his childhood and his proximity to Mersin Port and free zone operations. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Global and International Affairs from Binghamton University. Orkun also holds a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from Middle East Technical University Ankara. He previously worked for a global container shipping line and a New York City based freight forwarder holding various positions in operations, customer service, and sales. Orkun is currently our award-winning sales executive covering and developing several areas: Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and New York. He travels to each of these locations every month to meet his clients, prospective clients and vendors in-person to ensure harmonious supply chains. Due to his operational background in the shipping industry, his clients appreciate his knowledge as value in their supply chain and lean on his expertise. His customer service background ensures that his clients experience a very pleasant shipping experience based on open communication, proactivity, and the satisfaction of selecting the right service. Orkun is a firm believer in trust built from the promise and delivery. He tailor fits the service specifically for each of his clients, covering all their special expectations and requirements. Fun Facts: His parents tricked him to taking classical music education and piano lessons since the age of 6. In time, he turned his attention onto other musical instruments and genres, but this eventually turned him into a music nerd playing several instruments. In his spare time, he plays piano, guitar, and drums, and goes to concerts.