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Navigating Port Congestion After the Suez Canal

Navigating the Impact of Port Congestion following the Suez Canal Blockage

By
Jesper Jepsen
April 5, 2021

Even before the Suez Canal blockage the shipping industry was facing extreme congestion levels in many ports across the globe, including those in the USA, Canada, South Korea, China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. With demand remaining high, port congestion challenges will continue for months to come with increased volumes, restrictions due to COVID-19 requirements, and missed berthing windows.

Even if the Suez Canal is now open, the operational impact of a week blockage will have a ripple effect lasting for weeks:

  • A further deterioration of schedule reliability and additional equipment unbalance is to be anticipated even on Trade-Lanes not directly related to the Suez Canal.
  • Some steamship lines have stopped accepting new bookings from Europe to USA until end of April.

Marine terminals at the U.S. ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are experiencing some of the worst congestion, with anchorage times often exceeding a week. In March, the United States passed another stimulus bill, while at the same time, COVID-19 infection rates are decreasing, multiple states are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, and the number of people vaccinated continues to grow. Consumer spending and retail imports are predicted to remain high, and even increase, throughout the spring and summer months, providing the ports with no relief when it comes to congestion.

While it can be challenging to avoid port congestion, there are some ways to minimize the impact of port congestion and plan for success.

  1. Explore alternative gateway ports that face less congestion. With the congestion on the U.S West Coast, many are exploring other port options such as the Port of Seattle. Alternatively, some are choosing to bypass the U.S. West Coast altogether in favor of going through the Panama Canal and up the East Coast.
  2. Plan ahead. At this time, planning ahead is key and booking shipments as soon as possible can help keep your supply chain moving. With the current equipment shortages and severe congestion at ports, some levels of delays are almost unavoidable. Therefore, it is important to build extra time into your schedule to account for the current conditions.
  3. Consider utilizing other shipping methods. As in non-pandemic times, ocean freight affords the opportunity for cost reductions when compared to airfreight. However, the lead time is much longer than airfreight. When facing time constraints, air freight may be a more viable option. Another option to consider is LCL Ocean freight, smaller but more frequent shipments can keep your supply chain moving. While LCL also faces congestion issues it is much easier to be flexible and by splitting product on more vessels, better chance that cargo gets moved using multiple vessel/ports to get product through. Talk to your JAS representative for options on alternative shipping methods that fits your needs.
  4. Stay in contact with your JAS representative. With the increased port congestion, it is more important than ever to stay in contact with your local representative so that you are aware of arrival times, equipment availability, and market conditions.

For more information on how to navigate the current port congestion, contact a JAS representative.

For more information about current ocean market conditions, read our most recent ocean market update: https://www.jas.com/market.

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Join us for LogiPharma 2024 in Lyon, France.

JAS Worldwide, a global leader in freight forwarding and logistics, is thrilled to announce its participation in LogiPharma 2024, the premier supply chain event for the life sciences industry, in Lyon, France, from April 16th to 18th, 2024.

As a key player in the logistics ecosystem, the JAS team is excited to engage with industry leaders, share insights, and explore collaborative opportunities to help drive the future of pharma & healthcare supply chain management. Attendees are invited to visit booth #53 to connect with JAS representatives and discover how its innovative solutions can optimize their supply chains and drive efficiency.

 JAS Worldwide is also delighted to host a special event that embodies its commitment to community and wellness. On April 17th, 2024, from 7:00 to 8:00, JAS will host a 5K run through the beautiful city of Lyon, JAS will host a 5K run through the beautiful city of Lyon– giving participants the opportunity to experience the city's charm while networking with industry professionals.

 In a second initiative to give back to the community, JAS Worldwide and the Bruni Foundation are partnering with Hoops Relief, a charitable organization “dedicated to improving the lives of young people in Haiti and Senegal” through the power of sports. JAS encourages attendees to bring basketball shoes to its collection box at the start and finish of the 5K run that will be donated to Hoops Relief. JAS will handle the collection, labeling, and shipping of the donated shoes, contributing to the mission of Hoops Relief and making a meaningful impact in communities in need.

"We are excited to be sponsoring and attending LogiPharma 2024 and the opportunity to share more about JAS SmartHub. For the first time this year, we are also doing virtual reality experiences of our Pharma & Healthcare warehouses around the world," said Laetitia Chery, Vice President of Pharma & Healthcare Sales EMEA . "We’re just as excited for our 5K and partnership with Hoops Relief. LogiPharma brings brilliant mind and ideas together, making it an ideal place to make a positive impact even beyond life sciences and logistics.”

Don't miss the opportunity to engage with JAS Worldwide at LogiPharma 2024 and join the 5K run for a memorable experience combining networking, wellness, and philanthropy.

JAS welcomes Christian Heinze as Global Head of the Technology Vertical.

JAS Worldwide is excited to welcome Christian Heinze as Global Head of the Technology Vertical, effective April 2, 2024. With this strategic addition to the leadership team, JAS reaffirms its push to expand its presence and expertise in the Technology and Semiconductor sector.  

Christian brings over two decades of success serving in senior operational and commercial roles within the global logistics industry. His deep knowledge of the semiconductor and solar industries has shaped critical supply chain transformations for clients across all modes of global transportation.  

Throughout his career, Christian has been instrumental in developing and implementing innovative commercial strategies that have contributed to significant business growth and fostered customer collaboration. His innate understanding of the industry landscape and proven track record of driving operational excellence make him a valuable asset to JAS’s growing technology vertical.

"Christian’s wealth of experience and passion for innovation aligns perfectly with our mission to deliver exceptional services to our Technology clients. His leadership will play a crucial role in expanding our service portfolio and solidifying JAS's position as a key player in the dynamic and fast-evolving semiconductor industry," Manuele Mazzacurati, EVP, Sales & Marketing, JAS Worldwide, expresses with enthusiasm.  

Christian Heinze's appointment comes at a key time as JAS continues its focus on operational excellence, offering innovative solutions, and adopting a sustainable approach to drive growth and create value for its customers globally.

Blue World Line

Dear Valued Customer, 

Due to the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, we are raising awareness that our services and contracts are affected by this situation.  

Therefore, in conjunction with similar actions taken by ocean carriers, Blue World Line hereby provides this notice, in accordance with the clauses 11 and 12 of its bill of lading, of the necessary re-routing of some vessels currently sailing to and from the Port of Baltimore. 

Cargo currently at the terminals in Baltimore will remain at the port until further notice and imports originally set to call the port of Baltimore have been rerouted to other US East Coast ports.  

JAS Worldwide, as agent for Blue World Line, is taking all necessary steps to preserve its transportation services for our customers and to mitigate the impact of this situation on your shipments. 

Lastly, this disruption will continue to impact our services along the east coast of the United States and drive booking and routing changes on both imports and exports calling the port of Baltimore.  We will continue our best efforts to keep you updated on the status of your shipments and any developments as they happen.  

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this difficult situation, and we will keep you updated on any additional developments. Please check back often at www.jas.com for the latest news. 

For any questions and concerns, please contact your local JAS office.  

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