MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Co is telling customers that ship departures next month on a host of Asia services to the US and Western Canada will be a week or more behind schedule due to berth congestion and a backlog of ships at anchorage that still need to unload at key North American ports.
MSC on Monday adjusted September departure schedules for two East Coast services, two Gulf Coast services, and four West Coast services "due to the ongoing challenging market situation generating congestion and schedule delays across the supply chain".
The East Coast services include MSC's Elephant and America services, which 2M Alliance partner Maersk brands as TP17 and TP11, respectively. The Elephant/TP17 sailing for mid-September will slide one week, while the America/TP11 sailing at the end of September will leave two weeks later, according to IHS Media.
The Gulf Coast services affected include the Lone Star/TP18 and Pelican/TP88. An early September sailing for both services will fall behind one week due to the schedule change.
MSC's West Coast services will also see departure delays. Those include the Orient/TP8 and Sequoia/TP3 services to Southern California, which will fall behind a week. Also affected are MSC's Eagle/TP9 service into Seattle and Vancouver and the Maple/TP1 service to Canada's West Coast ports.
The schedule shifts come as "ocean container volumes continue to flow at substantial rates into the US West and East coasts", according to a July customer advisory from Maersk, which noted "congestion has continued to build" off ports on the East and Gulf coasts.
Port Newark Container Terminal, where MSC's Elephant service calls at the Port of New York and New Jersey, is seeing wait times for an open berth of one to three weeks due to congestion, Maersk said. The Port of Houston, where both of the Gulf Coast services call, is seeing berth delays of two to 18 days, the carrier said.
Carriers, too, are dealing with congested Vancouver berths, resulting in longer wait times for ships. Maersk said that ship schedules are being adjusted to accommodate the delays, and vessels are looking at other nearby ports as optional discharge points.
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