Carriers find it easier to bypass Felixstowe port strike

OCEAN carriers have advanced ship calls and delayed others on the eve of the second eight-day strike at the UK's largest container Port of Felixstowe, while some imports found their way to other British ports, reports London's Loadstar.


In an increasingly bitter wage dispute, Felixstowe dockers will strike until the same time on Wednesday, October 5, and the strike will overlap a two-week walkout at the Port of Liverpool that began on Monday last week.


However, it appears shipping lines have been able to navigate around the action at Felixstowe with less supply chain disruption than occurred during the first strike in August, due to North European ports being less congested.


"Other ports are not as busy and could better accommodate the arrival changes," a carrier source told Loadstar. "It was also easier to bring the ships into Felixstowe early, and we have had good support from importers collecting boxes promptly," he said.


Moreover, carriers have pulled a significant amount of capacity from Asia loops over the past month to mitigate the impact of falling demand, which has taken the pressure off the congested terminals and eased landside delays.


Also German port strikes have been suspended after a wage deal was agreed, and weekly strikes at Le Havre have also ended.


Meanwhile, Maersk has issued an advisory covering amended ETAs for 12 Felixstowe calls, both before and after the strike, that also includes three omissions.


The only Maersk Asia loop to omit the call at Felixstowe will be the 17,816-TEU Emma Maersk, deployed on the 2M's AE7/Condor service, which will proceed straight to Hamburg, then Antwerp, before, discharging at London Gateway.


Maersk's 3,600-TEU feeder, Vilnia Maersk, will also skip Felixstowe, as will the 8,500-TEU Cosco Vietnam deployed on an intra-regional Mediterranean loop, on which Maersk has a co-loading agreement with partners, including Hapag-Lloyd, which dubs the service EMX East Mediterranean Express.


The German carrier said the vessel would discharge Hapag-Lloyd's Felixstowe imports at Antwerp, for relay on THE Alliance FE3 loop, which has an ETA at Southampton on October 5. Export cargo booked for the Cosco Vietnam "will be transferred to the next available sailing", it said.


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Carriers find it easier to bypass Felixstowe port strike
Carriers find it easier to bypass Felixstowe port strike