The impact of port congestion

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By Derek Langston, Head of SSY Consultancy and Research

With fleet inefficiencies central to freight market balances, port congestion at Brazil’s grain and sugar load terminals has already played a role in absorbing tonnage this year, particularly in the Panamax fleet.

The number of vessels in the 65,000-99,999 dwt Panamax fleet waiting to load cargo at five ports in South and South East Brazil, namely Itaguai, Paranagua, Sao Francisco do Sul, Santos and Tubarao reached 122 in mid-March, judging by data from Marine Benchmark and SSY. This combined total rose from fewer than 40 in January and by late March had retreated below 90 by the end of March.

Overall vessel numbers during the 1q have evidently been heavily influenced by congestion levels at Santos and - significantly - remain higher than at the same time last year.

With congestion at the Suez Canal resulting from the grounding of the Ever Given on 23 March proving relatively short-lived, Brazil provides the latest instance of congestion to affect market balances after chronic and severe port congestion in China which persisted into in the early stages of 2021.


SSY Consultancy & Research                                                                        

While every care has been taken to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate, Simpson Spence Young can accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions or any consequences arising therefrom. Figures are based on the latest available information, which is subject to subsequent revision and correction. The views expressed are those of SSY Consultancy and Research Ltd and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other associated company. Reproducing any material from this report without permission from SSY is strictly prohibited. Please click here to view our terms and conditions in section 6.2.

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