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Capacity issue takes surprising turn

Capacity issue takes surprising turn

Capaciteitsprobleem krijgt verrassende wending

Chinese New Year was a great celebration. In contrast, the problems in the Red Sea seem far from resolved at the moment. The Red Sea crisis has been ongoing for more than 75 days now. As a shipper, this has already resulted in you having to face several delays. But whereas longer lead times are still the order of the day for the foreseeable future, available tonnage now seems to be looking good. Why is that?



Are capacity shortages a thing of the past?

The Red Sea crisis has been causing a major disruption to the container market for months. Unfortunately, attacks on the Red Sea are not expected to end any time soon. Taking a detour around the Cape of Good Hope will continue to be the norm for now. Shipping companies wi;ll continue to embrace the Suez Canal route until the situation is 100% safe again.


Despite longer transit times, the overall impact on the container market seems manageable. With the large influx of new vessels, there is oversupply rather than shortages. Thanks to a huge overcapacity of containers and market demand at much lower levels than two years ago, the market is more or less in balance. This means there is plenty of room to cushion even major disruptions like this one in the Suez Canal.



Further pressure on transit times

It’s probably not surprising that we must once again ask you to allow for a longer lead time for your shipment. Please add at least 7 to 12 days to a one-way journey from Asia to Rotterdam. For the route from Asia to northern Europe and vice versa, this is equal to 32% extra time on average.


Source: RTL news

Source: RTL news


In addition, we increasingly see that shipping companies are choosing to make another Change of Rotation in Europe on top of the circumnavigation via the Cape of Good Hope. One recent example of this is Mv. Beijing, which sails to Hamburg first and only then calls at Rotterdam. This makes for an expected arrival in Rotterdam on 10/03/24 instead of the previously stated 02/03/24.



Why a Change of Rotation?

A Change of Rotation refers to ship rotation. Of course, each ship has a predetermined sailing route that specifies the arrivals at the various terminals. If it becomes clear along the ship’s route that the ship will not meet the previously agreed time slot at a particular terminal, a fairly resolute decision can be made to deviate from the original plan.


The decision will be to change the route and call at a different European port first. This rotation is intended to create some breathing room for the remaining journey. It also makes better use of the expensive time slots at the terminals, as congestion – long queues of ships waiting at the quayside until they are unloaded and loaded – obviously benefits no one.



Shipping information & contact

It goes without saying that Ritra’s Operations department keeps a very close eye on all these changes. You will be kept as informed as possible through your Customer Service contact person.

Nevertheless, if you still have questions about your specific shipment, please do not hesitate to contact your dedicated contact person. He or she will be happy to help you find the right information.



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