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Service updates

Disruptions continue to stress global supply chains. Such as, stringent bio-security measures in Australia, the challenging security situation in the Red Sea and low water levels in the Panama Canal. We are committed to minimizing the effect of these disruptions, where possible, and engaging with our customers to find viable solutions. Stay updated with us!

Baltimore, Maryland - Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse

Operations are back to normal, and there are no longer any restrictions for booking cargo to Baltimore.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen reroutes all Red Sea transits until further notice

With the situation along the coast of Yemen escalating, there is now an increased threat to all vessels transiting the Red Sea.

Consequently, Wallenius Wilhelmsen is rerouting all vessels planned for Red Sea transit via the Cape of Good Hope, until further notice. Several vessels due to transit the Red Sea have been successfully diverted, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen now has no vessels in or on the way to the area. We anticipate that rerouting vessels around the Cape of Good Hope will typically add an estimated 10–14 days extra sailing time.

Details on the consequences of extended sailing routes and other operational implications are being mapped as we speak. Customers potentially affected will be contacted directly by our customer service teams.

General Challenges

One development that is having an impact is the shift in global sourcing of vehicles with China becoming a net exporter, and the largest exporter of cars. Supply chain optimization has also seen increased concentration on US West Coast ports as a gateway into the region, stretching inland capacities and ultimately leading to prolonged waiting times for vessels.

In addition, biosecurity remains on the agenda in Australia, as the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is constantly evaluating the potential risks and where to concentrate its resources. Several vessels have been found to have carrying contaminated cargo, which required full fumigation to take place before the vessel could be cleared to discharge. In addition, there's been a rise in quarantine-held cargo due to not meeting DAFF's clean cargo requirements. The on-port treatment capacity is not sufficient to allow for a smooth flow of volumes out of the port, in turn creating an unprecedented situation in Australia with significant operational inefficiencies and extremely long waiting times.

Finally, vessel traffic through the Panama Canal remains disrupted due to continued drought condition which has contributed to extended waiting times and a reduction of slots for vessels passing through the canal.

The global picture

The current global trade capacity constraints are caused by three main factors:

1. Demand for RoRo ocean transport outweighing supply - The demand for RoRo capacity continues to outweigh supply. This is particularly true for high and heavy where we are seeing strong demand from agricultural, mining and truck segments. As global LV/car production continues to get back to pre-pandemic levels, ocean capacity constraints are also prevalent in this segment due to the lost capacity that is driven by port congestion, and changes in global sourcing of finished vehicles, such as China recently becoming a net exporter of cars, and more, the world’s largest exporter of cars.

2. Port Congestion - Waiting times and delays in ports continue to have a materially negative impact on capacity. As waiting times in ports increase or remain consistently high, capacity shrinks. The underlying reasons for the congestion are changing, ranging from pent-up demand to labor shortages, the impact of geopolitical conflicts, stretched inland capabilities unable to absorb new/increased flows of inbound cargoes, and new biosecurity risks. The constant that remains is that port congestion and vessel delays are continuing to impact our industry and will keep doing so in the foreseeable future. Solving and/or reducing port congestion will help to better balance global supply and demand and currently remains one of the key challenges for the RoRo industry.

3. Environmental regulations and newbuilding programs - new carbon intensity measures introduced by the IMO will further challenge overall capacity, as existing RoRo vessels may be impacted. Action is needed to ensure that vessels that don’t meet the set standards are compliant, which will either be met by using biofuels (additional premium over HFO/VLSFO) and/or reduction in speed (impact on capacity). New vessels which are due for delivery in late 2024 and into 2025 will meet the new environmental regulation, but for the market to see their full impact, port congestion will need to return to sustainable levels.

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