Container trans-shipment ports see heavy September cargo rollovers, finds Ocean Insights

Supply chain disruption due to container rollovers at leading transshipment ports eased marginally for shippers in September compared to August. However, the ratio of rollovers remained far higher compared to a year earlier at most hubs, according to Ocean Insights, a real-time and predictive ocean container tracking data provider to forwarders and shippers.

The latest global container port rollover findings were compiled by analysing Ocean Insights’ proprietary global container tracking data through to the end of September.

The results revealed that in most leading container shipping hubs between a fifth and a third of transshipment cargo was subject to rollovers, adding to the supply chain disruption experienced by shippers in many parts of the world due to capacity and equipment shortages.

“Container lines were taken by surprise by the surge in demand for shipments as coronavirus lockdowns were eased during the summer,” said Josh Brazil, chief operations officer at Ocean insights.

“Schedules are clearly still suffering significant disruption and, in many ports, this is being exacerbated by equipment shortages which are adding to rate inflation and logistics bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

“As a result, carriers are frequently rolling cargo, which can result in significant delays and knock-on costs for customers, especially if they are not notified by the line in advance, which customers tell us is quite common.

“Early indications in October suggest supply chain disruptions and significant rollovers will continue deep into the fourth quarter as peak season demand continues to surprise.”

Singapore, the world’s second largest container hub, saw rollovers, calculated by Ocean Insights as the percentage of cargo arriving at the port for transshipment that was shipped on a different vessel than originally scheduled, drop from 33.3 per cent in August to 30.2 per cent last month. This compared to just 21.5 per cent of cargo rolled over in September 2019.

24.6 per cent of cargo was rolled at the port of Hong Kong’s various terminals last month, down from 32.2 per cent in August but still significantly more disruptive when compared to September 2019 when just 15.3 per cent of cargo was affected.

Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas saw 22.7 per cent of box traffic received last month rolled over compared to 29.2 per cent in August and 13.8 per cent in September 2019, while Port Klang saw 28.9 per cent of cargo rolled last month compared to 42.3 per cent in August and 24.7 per cent in September 2019.

At Ningbo-Zhoushan, the world’s third largest container port in 2019 by throughput, 30.1 per cent of cargo was rolled last month, down from 43 per cent in August, while Dubai (Jebel Ali port) saw rollovers drop to 31.8 per cent in September from 34.9 per cent in August.

Shanghai, the world’s largest container port, saw rollovers decline to 25.5 per cent last month from 26.5 per cent in August. However, performance improved when compared to September 2019 when 28.9 per cent of cargo transshipped at the port’s multitude of terminals was rolled over.

Some of the world’s leading box hubs also reported a deterioration in carrier adherence to schedules last month.

Busan Port, the world’s sixth largest box hub in 2019, saw cargo rollovers increase to 30.4 per cent in September, up from 28 per cent in August and just 15.2 per cent in September 2019. At the port of Qingdao container rollovers spiked to 25.2 per cent in September compared to just 13 per cent the previous month, while Shenzhen, one of the best port performers in terms of rollover ratios, saw just 14.1 per cent of cargo rolled over last month, up from 9.4 per cent in August and 11.7 per cent in September 2019.

Rollover ratios

The large majority of the leading container lines improved their monthly rollover performance in September. Ocean Insights calculates the rollover ratio for carriers as the percentage of cargo carried by each line globally that left a transshipment port on a different vessel than originally scheduled. Last month, the leading lines collectively saw rollovers recede last to 26.9 per cent compared to 30.7 per cent in August.

MSC’s rollover ratio fell to 16.2 per cent in September from 18.2 per cent in August. Maersk’s rollover ratio was 32.9 per cent in September compared to 37.5 per cent in August. Hapag-Lloyd’s rollover ratio in September was 34.2 per cent (38.4 per cent in August); CMA CGM’s was 40.6 per cent (45.8 per cent); COSCO’s was 23.7 per cent (30.1 per cent); and Evergreen’s was 25.9 per cent (28.4 per cent).

ONE bucked the improving trend, however. Rollovers on its services increased from 35.8 per cent in August to 38.9 per cent last month.