There are no reported changes since the beginning of the crisis in the situation of the European ports, the only change is that the number of blank sailings is augmented, so the frequencies coming from Africa are reduced. All European ports remain operational; Antwerp port even reported an exceptional increase on reefer containers for the season, especially with cargo containing food and medicines. Rotterdam, Le Havre and Hamburg are also working regularly.
Logistics company Maersk provides a Market Operational Status tool that allows users to determine the countries experiencing significant disruption, and captures and updates daily the latest operational status for each country. The purpose of this section is only informative: we have received reports of certain difficulties in some countries that are not included in the Maersk review. An additional report from CMA CGM provides their local offices.
According with Maersk Country information, ports with significant disruption are:
We have been informed that the situation in the port of Conakry is critical, exporters are facing serious disruptions and delays.
Countries with some disruption:
- Dominican Republic
- Ivory Coast
- Republic of Congo
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
Maersk also publishes Ocean Service Adjustments which includes a list of cancelled sailings around the world, ordered by continent.
Port of Antwerp – Exceptional growth in reefer segment
The Port of Antwerp says it was 100% operational during coronavirus crisis. Despite the difficult conditions following COVID-19, the port achieved very strong growth in the volume of reefer containers for perishables during the first quarter. The exceptional volumes are the result of the port’s growing role in the reefer market, and increased demand for healthy food and pharmaceutical products during this period. The port saw a strong increase in perishables traffic during the first quarter. A total of 252,452 TEUs of reefer containers were processed, an increase of +23% compared to the first quarter of 2019 (205,157 TEUs). This is exceptional growth, compared to 3.8% and 7.2% in the first quarter of 2018 and 2019, respectively, given the difficult conditions resulting from the coronavirus crisis.
Covid-19 alters South African schedules
Sources in shipping circles have confirmed that the main European continental services on the normal Europe-South Africa service are now bypassing Cape Town because of the delays experienced at the port (Eurofruit, 30 June). Exports of apples and pears, as well as citrus, have been disrupted by delays at South African ports from the start of the peak export season. The article by Fred Meintjes of Eurofruit reports an overview by the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of how exports have been going during the past three months.
Dry port of Kagebelen in Guinea operational
The dry port of Kagebelen, in the commune of Dubréka in Guinea, has been put into service and will help reduce congestion at the port of Conakry, in particular for vehicles (Commodafrica, 10 June). Located 35 km from Conakry on an area of 30 hectares, the dry port was fitted out and equipped by Conakry Terminal, a subsidiary of Bolloré Ports and operator of the container terminal at the port of Conakry, at a cost of € 1.7 million.