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The capacity crunch in the container shipping market has worsened, with one transpacific service operated by Maersk withdrawn barely 8 weeks into its launch, while almost half of the Asia-Europe westbound sailings missed their scheduled departure dates as port congestion at Southeast Asia hub ports remain elevated. The SCFI extended its rally for the 9th consecutive week, rising by 13% last week, while cumulative gains since the end of March has reached 76% with no signs of any imminent retreat. The containership charter market also continued to rally with rates rising by 5% last week with carriers’ appetites for additional tonnage still not fully covered even with over 280,000 teu of new capacity added in the last month.

China-Europe freight futures are trading at a 10% premium to current spot rates for end June and August contracts, but this could rise further if spot rates maintain their current upward momentum.

Global Port Congestion Monitor At a Glance
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Congestion at Asian ports remain at elevated levels
Container port congestion at key Asian ports continue to worsen, with berthing delays worsening at China and Southeast Asia hubs. Although the total capacity waiting at Singapore has eased slightly from 450,000 teu a week ago to 380,000 teu, the strain has shifted to Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas. Waiting times have also risen across all main Chinese port regions with Shanghai and Qingdao experiencing the longest delays.

Overall congestion globally has edged up further to 2.10m teu with further deterioration expected as disruptions to sailing schedules at various Asian ports are causing vessel bunching at ports downstream.

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