Freight News, Sea

We’re on top of things, say ports

[ November 25, 2020   //   ]

The UK Major Ports Group said that its members were currently coping with the surge in containers although they were very busy. Some ports were seeing 20% more activity than they did last November but were redeploying resources and utilising extra capacity.

Its comments come after reports of serious congestion at major gateways, including Felixstowe.

UKMPG added that the peak of containers was likely to have passed. Backlogs are reducing, including stocks of PPE which have halved in some locations and empty containers awaiting return.

Chief executive Tim Morris said: “There’s no doubt that the pandemic-driven events of 2020 have put huge strain on global supply chains. The situation we’re seeing at ports around the world has symptoms here in the UK too. However, the situation on the ground is improving with container terminals having increased resources, ports around the UK playing their part and through intensive work with supply chain partners. But just as container congestion didn’t occur overnight there are no instant, magic wand solutions. Ports and their supply chain partners will need to continue to work constructively together, demonstrating again the resilience of the logistics sector, to keep up improvement.”

Local factors in the UK brought additional complexity, with businesses bringing in more stock both to meet Christmas demand but also to beat the end of the UK’s transition period out of the EU. The requirements of large volumes of PPE have also played a role.