Felixstowe Congestion and Cancelled Port Calls

Felixstowe sees the most call cancellations of European box ports

James Baker – Thursday 9th December 2021

Carriers are skipping port calls as they seek to avoid congestion and restore schedule reliability. Europe’s top ports all saw vessel calls decrease as schedules were revised

FELIXSTOWE, the UK’s largest container port, has had most vessel calls cancelled of any European port, as carriers seek to avoid those terminals affected by congestion.

Figures from Alphaliner comparing actual ship calls with pro forma schedules for the period from July to December show that almost one third of Felixstowe’s calls were omitted.

“Our survey clearly shows that Felixstowe was worst hit by the temporary schedule changes and ad hoc adjustments,” Alphaliner said. “The top-three ports, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg, also saw a reduction of between 20.2% to 30.3% of planned calls. Smaller ports have fared much better.”

The 18 Asia–northern Europe loops operated by the three mega alliances skipped a total of 383 port calls in northern Europe over the past five months due to severe port congestion, it added.

The figure represents nearly a quarter of all scheduled calls in the period.

The addition of 77 ad hoc inducement calls had only partly compensated for these port omissions, Alphaliner said.

“The majority of inducement calls were made in the smaller ports of Wilhelmshaven (24), Bremerhaven (16), Le Havre (11) and Zeebrugge (8), which unsurprisingly posted the biggest growth in third-quarter traffic.”

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