Delays in Container Shipping From China

Shipping From China

It’s a long way from China to the UK, 7775 km if you were able to go direct. However, most freight making the journey ends up in a container making the 30 / 40 day transit on the back of a container ship.

The routing the vessel takes has massive implications on the time taken to arrive to the UK along with the emissions produced.

The usual route heading through the Gulf of Aden and then using the Suez Canal as a way into the Med cuts out ten days sailing and around 9000 km, a reduction of around 40%. However, by traveling through the Suez Canal a fully laden container ship must pay toll fees up to $700,000.

Crude Oil Prices

As the Brent crude prices have regularly fallen below $35 dollars a barrel it has tempted a few carriers into choosing the longer less environmentally friendly approach into Europe. Its predicted that the longer route would cause the vessel to burn around $200,000 in extra fuel.

The number of vessels making the longer journey on the Cape route around the bottom of Africa has been 32 since the beginning of March, with each of the three major shipping alliances with some vessels using this route.

Reduced Shipping Demand

Most of the sailings have been on the East bound (return leg) of the journey, however a falling demand in European container demand caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns combined with a record low price of fuel has made this route much more viable.

The reduction in fuel along with a falling demand could bring around a reduction in the overall freight rates and costs incurred in container shipping, however, these are likely to be offset by the uncertainty as the world recovers from Lockdown and normal services are resumed.

The Suez Canal are now offering heavy discounts to shipping companies in the hope to win back support of the carriers and as the world economy picks back up its likely that the savings will fall away.

Not all services use this money saving, time consuming route. We have options to fit a variety of budgets and can advise you along the way to ensure lead times are maintained during this period of uncertainty.

Contact K&L For Shipping Advice

If you need to be sure you are on a fast sailing rather than a slow boat from China please contact the freight professionals at K&L Freight and we will make sure you get the optimal solution for your freight.