- The record-breaking storm severely disrupted transatlantic shipping, adding to the problem of lack of capacity for shipping lines.
- Bad weather has obliged transatlantic carriers to omit port calls on some special import shipments to restore schedules.
- On December 20, Maersk trains will skip some ports, mainly on the east coast and the Gulf, as part of a “winter plan”.
Maersk builds ‘winter plan’ to counter storm
On December 20, Maersk advised customers about the change of three routes from Northern Europe to the east coast of the United States that the shipping line cooperates with MSC in the 2M alliance. Specifically, Maersk trains will skip some ports, mainly on the east coast and the Gulf, as part of a “winter plan”.
Maersk said it planned to operate its TA1 (MSC’s NEUATL1), TA2 (NEUATL2) and TA3 (NEUATL3) on a planned winter schedule, and “we have agreed on a second cycle for the winter plan covering the period from December to February”.
In addition, the shipping line will try to provide shippers affected by the route changes with other shipping options to the ports being ignored. “We expect this programme will vastly improve your experience with Maersk as sudden changes to your cargo plan will be reduced compared with previous years.”
Impact of the transatlantic storm
The record-breaking storm severely disrupted transatlantic shipping, adding to the problem of lack of capacity on shipping lines. Up to now, bad weather has forced transatlantic carriers to temporarily skip some special import shipments to restore schedules. However, under adverse conditions, it is difficult to abandon port and change route. Therefore, the shipping line needs to make temporary system adjustments for the winter period.
According to the latest data from consulting firm Blue Alpha Capital (New York), many shippers from Asia decide to divert containers from West Coast ports to the East to avoid cargo delays. Shipping to Los Angeles and Long Beach extends into the future.
Specifically, the East Coast region had a growth in container imports of up to 9.9% (reaching 1,053,533 teu) over the same period last year. On the west coast, import volume fell by 7.5% (to 964,704 teu). At the Port of New York and New Jersey (NYNJ), customs clearance increased 3.2% in November (to 395,336 teu), surpassing Long Beach to become the second-busiest US airport, behind only Los Angeles.
The impact of this storm has more or less affected the shipping of Maersk in particular and shipping lines. Therefore, in order to minimize potential risks, shipping lines need to promote the development of anti-storm plans this winter.