Global shipping chaos to last ‘for another 18 months,’ as UK port works ‘flat out’ to clear congestion, shipping firm warns

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Braemar Shipping Services chief executive James Gundy has warned that the ongoing container backlog caused by a “congestion situation” at ports around the world could continue “for another 18 months” amid supply-chain disruption.

Speaking to the UK’s Sky News, Gundy addressed the situation in the wake of concerns in Britain about a backlog that emerged at Felixstowe port, with shipping giant Maersk stating it was forced to reroute container vessels to other European cities.

“Other markets as well … are in a real congestion. What the average person is not hearing is the fact there are crew problems with ships, there are Covid cases, docks get quarantined,” Gundy explained.

It all just gets knocked on all the way through, so I can’t see a real let-up for another 18 months probably.

A Braemar Shipping Services subsidiary, freight agency Cory Brothers is working “flat out”, according to Gundy, to clear the backlog that’s emerged at Felixstowe in an attempt to address potential issues ahead of the busy Christmas period.

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Among the impact of the Covid pandemic on the shipping situation, an ongoing shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, in Europe and in other nations has contributed to containers remaining backed up, with some delays of up to 10 days for goods arriving at Felixstowe.

On Wednesday, the UK government sought to reassure citizens that the situation is “improving” but Gundy stated that there is a shortage of vessels to deliver containers to ports, hitting the supply chain and boosting costs.

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