Cargo accumulations are expected at ports and terminals, presenting security risks and straining yard capacities
Global supply chains already strained by the disruption caused by the pandemic have been further challenged recently by the blockage of the Suez Canal, an artery that carries 30% of the world’s container cargo each year. TT Club is warning of the consequences of these recent events.
The Canal is now functioning normally again, but a reported 300 ships have been delayed awaiting transit, many others were re-routed via the longer passage around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
Mike Yarwood, TT’s managing director, Loss Prevention commented: “Beyond the delay to cargo on board those ships affected, there will inevitably be a knock-on impact for those involved in discharging the containers at destination ports when they finally arrive, as well as the final mile delivery carriers.
”While the immediate impact may be a lack of cargo arriving when expected, presenting market supply challenges, it is when the cargo does start to turn-up that further potential risks emerge.”
The arrival of large volumes of laden containers, coupled with the requirements for hinterland distribution, will create disruption at ports and terminals, straining throughput and yard capacities, and creating accumulation of cargo. This is a complex risk and one that will not only affect destination hubs.
The situation will also aggravate an already widely-reported imbalance of container equipment especially on the East to West trade routes as laden containers are tied up.
Risk of theft
Yarwood added: “The risk of theft at ports and freight depots in this scenario is heightened and a greater focus on security is required. Whether it simply be at an overspill holding or storage area, or temporary warehousing, wherever and whenever cargo is not moving, it is more likely to be stolen.
”Those active in the supply chain should be mindful of these security risks. Due diligence, undertaken to ensure that any third party provider of storage is adequately resourced to meet these demands, is a prudent step to take in these circumstances.”