Barge transport delays of up to 96 hours are occurring at the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp due to increasing cargo volumes, according to intermodal operator Contargo.
Continued congestion at the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have caused delays of up to 96 hours, according to intermodal operator Contargo.
The operator has maintained a congestion surcharge on barge services to and from Rotterdam and Antwerp since July, as delays have ranged between 12 hours and 96 hours, according to a Dec. 18 customer advisory on their website. Contargo has previously attributed the congestion to the management of container volumes at the port terminals and the ports have since undertaken various improvements to address the problem.
In September, the Rotterdam Port Authority made 3 million euros (U.S. $3.57 million) available to fund initiatives to ease the barge congestion and cargo wait times currently affecting inland shipping. The port partially contributed the delays to increased volume growth from the new alliances as well as the cyber attack on two terminals in June which caused delays for two weeks. Additionally, Antwerp announced a $1.64 million investment in mobility solutions earlier this month for barge and intermodal transport in and out of the port.
Contargo told customers in a letter obtained by Lloyd’s Loading List that, “Despite great efforts on all sides, processing conditions in the seaports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are still not acceptable. At some individual seaport terminals conditions have stabilized and they are regularly in a position to provide sufficient handling capacities for barges. However the majority of terminals are unfortunately very far from consistently delivering the capacities necessary for stability in handling, regardless of the volume fluctuations. Although this situation changes from day to day, the overall result is that substantial delays continue to occur.”