Supply chain chaos set to spread further, says port operator ICTSI

LONDON, Oct. 20 (Reuters) – The world faces “very protracted” disruptions to sea freight flows, an executive at major port operator ICTSI said as logistical headaches such as truck shortages weigh in on secure supply chains and rebound in trade drives volume up.

Major bottlenecks have formed across the world in recent months due to increased demand for retail products from people trapped in their homes due to traffic jams and traffic jams. pandemic, affecting the supply of container ships and crates for the transport of goods.

The situation has been particularly dire in major retail markets such as the United States, where dozens of ships remain stranded off the west coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, unable to unload.

“I see this as a very protracted crisis, at least on the ports and land side, especially in places like the United States. It’s going to be difficult,” said Christian Gonzalez, managing director of International Container Terminal Services. (ICTSI) based in the Philippines (TIC.PS).

“From a trans-Pacific perspective, it’s going to be pretty complicated for a while, and it’s not something that can be solved by adding more ships to the system. It’s going to create a bigger backlog.”

Gonzalez said ports around the world are feeling the pressure of such a huge demand to handle cargo. He added that the traditional high season flows before Christmas had also been affected.

The dynamic freight activity has also impacted other regions, including Iraq, said Gonzales, where ICTSI operates the Basra Gateway terminal in the south of the country.

International shipping lines were deploying containers on higher volume routes which have seen record freight rates in recent months, he said.

“There is quite a bit of disruption in Iraq, mainly because of the container shortages and the fact that people just don’t want to ship containers on these routes,” he said.

Gonzalez said he was “optimistic” about the outlook for 2022 for the company’s portfolio, with freight volumes expected to remain firm.

ICTSI, which has container ports in several regions including Asia, the Middle East and South America and is one of the world’s top 10 container terminal operators, handled a consolidated volume of 5.45 million d ‘TEU (twenty foot equivalent) in the first half of 2021.

This was 14% more than the 4.79 million TEUs processed during the same period of 2020.

Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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