The Port of Felixstowe has suspended the restitution of Evergreen, Maersk and CMA CGM empty returns.
The UK’s HGV driver shortage has resulted in the significant extension of container dwell times, with some warning that main box hubs are in danger of grinding to a halt. Port congestion also remains an issue.
It is not yet clear whether there could be a blanket stop on receiving empty equipment, or that export deliveries could be halted.
With alternative restitution ports now being offered, there is now an additional leg of the journey for most container deliveries, which may result in added costs being incurred. Evergreen has said it will contribute to extra costs by waiving drop-off charges.
Some carriers are reportedly looking to skip UK port calls until the import backlog eases.
There are concerns that diversions and lengthy delays may threaten the UK’s Christmas market.
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