Drewry Shipping Consultants have reported that a continuous deterioration in the accuracy of transit and arrival times in global container shipping means the sector is in the worst state it has been in for 50 years. The situation is not expected to start improving until the first half of 2023 and that is having an impact on the automotive industry at a time of wider supply chain uncertainty.
However, speaking at this month’s Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Europe conference, Philip Damas, Drewry’s managing director, said there were contingency measures the automotive industry could take. Those include medium-term diversification of parts and material sourcing, using alternative ports and providers of maritime transport services, different delivery routes, as well as a closer attention to spot freight rates and weekly congestion indicators.
Port congestion is up across all regions of the world, with high volumes reported in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Focusing in on the current situation in container shipping between China and the US, Damas said the average transit times for loading and unloading between China and both coasts of the US was in a dismal and unpredictable state, with huge variability, something causing headaches for supply chain planners.