Feature, Freight News, Sea

Come to us first and beat Suez congestion, says Gothenburg

[ March 30, 2021   //   ]

Ship operators caught up in the Suez blockage should come directly to Gothenburg and unload containers bound for both Scandinavia and Europe there rather than get caught up in congestion in North-West Europe, suggest the port authority and terminal operator terminal operator APM.

Cargo can be transhipped to smaller feeder vessels for further transport to other European ports, allowing the larger vessels can also get back into their regular schedule more quickly.

Shipping operators are also being offered a discount on terminal charges.

“We want to contribute to a solution to this situation as quickly as possible in every way we can. Price is always a factor, and many have ended up with increased costs due to the Suez situation. The sooner we get back to a normal situation, the better it is for everyone in the logistics chain. If we can help speed that process up, I’d be very pleased,” said Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive, Elvir Dzanic.

He added that the situation could lead to a sudden surge in ships arriving all together in the major European ports.

Dzanic added: “Since before the Suez problem, many of the European ports and their yards are already filled to the brim with goods, the Covid-19-pandemic being a major contributing factor. Hence, the ports in question lack the yard capacity to handle the large amount of calling ships and goods that are on the way. Thus, further delays beyond the immediate Suez Canal situation are to be expected.”

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Stephen Cotton, has paid tribute to the efforts of seafarers, including tugboat operators, in helping to remove the stricken Ever Given from the Suez Canal.
He said: “We want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the workers aboard the tug boat and towage vessels, and those performing the critical groundworks essential to resolving this situation.
“This operation has shown us how important tugboats are. There will be dozens of ships across the world that are right now beached, stuck or floating without engine power that are being assisted by tugboat and towage workers working ‘round the clock. They should take pride in how their profession has helped resolve this situation in the world’s busiest waterway. I hope these workers get the recognition they deserve.”
“We express our solidarity with the seafarers, both on the Ever Given, and on the cargo ships who have been queued on either side of it. Seafarers have been expected to keep the world moving during this pandemic by getting all of us the supplies, food, and medicines we need, and then they have had this major blockage to add to their worries.”