Back-to-back typhoons and surging shipping demand have meant lengthy vessel delays for ocean freight out of Asia.

According to Resilience360, Typhoon Haishen made landfall south-east of Gangneung in South Korea on 7 September, following Typhoon Maysak, which struck near the port of Busan on 3 September with winds of 100 mph.

“Supply chains in east Asia are still facing impacts ranging from congested ports to closed production plants,” Resilience360 said.

“Due to the short interval between the typhoons, ports have been unable to reduce backlogs at container terminals and closures forced by Typhoon Haishen will further add to the congestion.”

The ports of Busan and Gwangyang have experienced five days of waiting times for incoming vessels, Resilience360 noted, while in China, Shanghai and Ningbo are also dealing with congestion issues.

“Shipping lines reported waiting times of 36-48 hours at terminals in Shanghai and 24-48 hours in Ningbo, ahead of Typhoon Haishen last weekend. Both ports were closed for at least 24 hours on September 6 and 7, likely worsening congestion levels as well,” it added.

Surging demand for ocean freight space out of China, ahead of October’s Golden Week holiday, is creating delays, too, both in China and South-east Asia.

“We’ve seen vessel delays in Shanghai, Qingdao, and also Cat Lai in Ho Chi Minh City,” explained Peter Sundara, head of ocean Asia Pacific regions at Scan Global Logistics. “There’s been a huge pick-up in volumes, especially for Asia-Europe and transpacific trades.”

He said the surge in cargo was driven by demand to replenish depleted inventory, Christmas orders and the cargo rush ahead of Golden Week.

Furthermore, Mr Sundara noted, intra-Asia volumes had also been strong, which was adding to “vessel bunching” in the major ports in China and Vietnam.

“There’s congestion in the Philippines too,” he added. “While it’s not uncommon to have port congestion in Manila, there are laden containers still lying in terminals there, which have not been collected by consignees.

“We are also facing an equipment shortage, especially for 40ft boxes in China and Vietnam.”

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