Blank sailings put pressure on ports
High volume vessel calls as a result of blank sailings is putting pressure on port operations.
The 10th WPSP-IAPH COVID-19 Port Economic Impact Barometer has found the container industry continues to suffer from blank sailings which means ports are facing the challenge of dealing with peaks of activity.
Ultra large container ships (ULCS) calls are less frequent in numbers but are filled up with more cargo. Major container ports in both Europe and North America report that the average moves per ULCS per call have significantly increased, with some hubs reaching up to 10.000 TEU moves. This is creating peaks in both ship-to-ship operations and yard activity at the terminals and is starting to impact land-side operations, especially on truck arrivals and departures.
Some ports report that it takes days to return back to a normal situation at the yard and gates and lost movements of cargo are on the rise. The workforce in some ports are under increasing pressure as these peaks impact resource on some days, followed by several days off duty with no activity at all.
Co-author of the report, Professor Theo Notteboom, commented: “As reported, during the last week container ports experienced another wave of cancellations from many carriers for the third quarter, although they appear to be lower in numbers than the second quarter.”
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