Suez Canal Blockage Causing Two Week Delays In Cargo Unloading For Impacted Ocean Vessels

The map above shows the number of vessels delayed by the Suez Canal blockage that will be arriving at each port around the world.

Even though the megafreighter Ever Given was dislodged from the Suez Canal a month ago, a project44 analysis finds that ocean shippers with freight on vessels impacted by the incident will face a two-week delay in cargo unloadings. As ships held up in passage through the Suez Canal reach already congested ports in Asia, Europe, and United States, the influx of mass vessel arrivals will further strain port capacity already limited by the Covid pandemic.

More than 1.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers on 78 vessels were delayed in passing through the Suez Canal when the Ever Given ran aground in that key artery for six days in March. Cumulative delays for those 78 cargo ships impacted by the Suez Canal are expected to total 1,107 days.

Cargo Delays at Key Global Harbors

Here’s a look at the expected delays that will occur at major ports.

Singapore: 26 vessels carrying an aggregate of 370,000 TEUs are expected to encounter delays in off-loading cargo as there are currently 83 vessels representing 299,310 TEUs already at port or anchored waiting to unload.

Rotterdam: 15 vessels carrying 196,600 TEUs will arrive at the Dutch port over the next week, lining up behind 85 ships already at port or waiting to enter the harbor.

New York: 7 ships carrying 76,500 TEUs are expected to arrive at this key U.S. East Coast gateway, which is already facing delays in cargo unloading.

Major Trade Routes Will Face Cargo Delays

Major trade routes are expected to witness increased port delays measured in days. Take the Shanghai-Rotterdam route. It’s already experiencing a one-week delay at the start of 2021 compared to 2.79 days last year.

Other trade routes that will see lengthened port delays include:

Shanghai-New York: the median delay on this route was 8.05 days this March compared to 1.09 days in March of 2020.

Shenzhen-Hamburg: the median delay on this route was 9.23 days this March compared to 3.52 days in March of 2020.

Shenzhen-Newark/Elisabeth: the median delay this past March was 12.92 days, an increase of 0.29 days from last year in March 2020.

project44 provides real-time in-transit visibility of ocean shipments and maritime intelligence so shippers can take corrective action to deal with supply chain disruptions.