Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, has had most vessel calls cancelled of any European port, as carriers seek to avoid those terminals affected by congestion.
Figures from Alphaliner comparing actual ship calls with pro forma schedules for the period from July to December 2021 show that almost a third of Felixstowe’s calls were omitted.
The 18 Asia–northern Europe loops operated by the three mega alliances skipped a total of 383 port calls in northern Europe over the past five months due to severe port congestion. The figure represents nearly a quarter of all scheduled calls in the period.
The addition of 77 ad hoc inducement calls only partly compensated for these port omissions.
The majority of inducement calls were made in the smaller ports of Wilhelmshaven (24), Bremerhaven (16), Le Havre (11) and Zeebrugge (8).
Felixstowe received only 104 of the 154 calls scheduled during the period. The number of calls from its key 2M alliance was reduced to just three in October, when UK import cargo on the AE7/Condor service was redirected to Wilhemshaven and Antwerp.
The drop in Asia calls in the third quarter of this year did not affect container throughput at the top-three European ports, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg, in the period from January to September.