Freight News, Sea

Crisis grips shipping as lines slash UK slots

[ November 12, 2020   //   ]

Shipping lines are reluctant to take on UK-bound cargo because of the operational difficulties in UK ports, says freight forwarder Woodland Group. Disruption on the Asia – Europe trade is leading to significant rate increases and surcharges that have driven rates to new heights, it said.

The UK is particularly affected, mainly due to the serious port congestion at Felixstowe which has had a knock-on effect at all other UK ports.

A UK importer said that the Ocean Alliance had reduced all bookings and UK slot allocations by 60% and that other shipping lines were expected to quickly follow. Some carriers are also looking to impose a Southampton port congestion surcharge within the next few days, similarly to that already imposed for Felixstowe. It also said that other UK main and feeder ports were at or close to breaking point.

The importer also claimed that 15-20,000 containers full of PPE for the NHS were sat in Felixstowe awaiting warehouse delivery slots.

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