The growing congestion in Europe is a leading indicator of empty-container constriction. Logistics officials tell American Shipper there are two-thirds more containers waiting in Europe than on the East Coast.
The strikes in Germany have slowed the processing of containers at the port, which has led to a pileup on the rails. The strike on the rails did not help the situation either. As a result, a snarled hairball of congestion slowed access to empty containers in the hinterland.
The CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map shows the sea of red. The congestion has created a two-and-a-half-month backup to the U.S. It has also hit the Europe-Asia trade route.
“The stressed situation for vessels waiting for berth and discharge is resulting in the lack of empty equipment availability in the hinterland, which will put further pressure on the equipment situation in Asia due to low backhaul activities,” said Andreas Braun, EMEA ocean product director for Crane Worldwide Logistics.
Alex Charvalias, supply chain in-transit visibility lead at MarineTraffic, said conditions in Hamburg, Germany, need to be monitored closely.
“A worsening situation in Hamburg with close to 200K TEU [twenty-foot equivalent units] waiting for a berth indicates that waiting times will get higher in the coming weeks,” he said.