Lengthy delays for mega-ships at ports in Americas

Lengthy delays for mega-ships at ports in Americas

Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Toniflap / Shutterstock.com

Port of Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Toniflap / Shutterstock.com.

Nearly half of all post-Panamax ships saw delays of 12 hours or more at North and South American ports in July, according to a new study released by CargoSmart.

The logistics software firm announced the findings in its monthly newsletter. The report, which showed mega-ships are experiencing longer wait times than smaller vessels at six major ports in the Americas, is a follow-up to a May study of European ports that found similar conditions.

47 percent of ships with a capacity of 10,000 20-foot containers or more were delayed for 12 hours or more47 percent of ships with a capacity of 10,000 20-foot containers or more were delayed for 12 hours or more.

CargoSmart analyzed the arrivals of 587 vessels by 25 different carriers at the U.S. ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, along with the South American ports of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Santos, Brazil. Of the vessels, 32.9 percent were delayed more than 12 hours, and 16 percent were delayed over 24 hours.

But mega-ships experienced even greater delays. CargoSmart said 47 percent of ships with a capacity of 10,000 20-foot containers or more were delayed for 12 hours or more. Delays topping 24 hours were experienced by 21.2 percent of mega-ships.

Read more about mega-ships

Mega-ships are becoming more commonplace on all shipping lanes. Ships are growing faster than terminals can update their handling capabilities, so ships of 10,000 TEUs or more are seeing delays all over the world.

Delays by portMega-ships experienced the greatest frequency of delays at the Brazilian port of Santos.

CargoSmart’s study of mega-ships’ calls at European ports showed24 percent of the larger vessels arrived at the ports of Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Rotterdam over a day late.

The current study found that the ports in the Americas had average delays of less than one day, but the ports in North America performed better than those in South America. Among these ports, Los Angeles was the best-performing port in terms of average delays.

Los Angeles, the largest cargo port in the U.S., ranked third on JOC.com’s list of the most productive ports in the Americas in 2013, reporting 87 berth moves per hour last year. Long Beach came in second place, reporting 88 moves per hour.

Post-Panamax vessels calling Oakland experienced average delays over 40 percent longer than the overall average. Large vessels had the most delays in Santos, where 45.5 percent were delayed more than one day.

The larger vessels that called in North America mainly served between Asia and the west coast of North America. The large vessels that visited South America served between North European and South American ports.

Contact Corianne Egan at cegan@joc.com and follow her on Twitter: @CEgan_JOC.