We wanted to keep you updated on the continuing issues surrounding FCL container delivery haulage from all UK ports. This update is to allow you to plan and build adequate lead times into your supply chain.
Due to a number of converging factors the demand for FCL haulage currently outstrips the supply. There are continued pressures on the haulage industry including a shortage of drivers, but this is being exacerbated by external factors including a failed IT system implementation at the port of Felixstowe. This has caused a backlog of containers at FXT and with vessels omitting FXT this puts further pressures on other ports such as Southampton, London Gateway & Liverpool. We are also seeing vessels ‘cut & run’ where they offload some of their containers but depart port with freight still onboard due to time-constraints. We are not notified as to which boxes have / have not landed so we need to then investigate every container on that vessel, notify customers where re-booking of deliveries is required, cancel deliveries with hauliers, the re-book the containers with customers & hauliers once we have a new ETA for the vessel returning to the UK port.
As a result of these issues, two major hauliers have ceased trading in recent months. One of the main reason for this is due to losing money on deliveries where delays at quay have meant customers are unable to take a delivery later in the day and therefore the delivery is cancelled. This has meant hauliers not being compensated for these failed deliveries and they still have fixed costs to pay such as fuel and driver’s wages.
As we approach peak season the forecast is that the situation will continue. As a result container bookings need to be made up to 10 days in advance, with vessel on-time performance less than satisfactory, this can mean that even pre-booked space becomes unavailable.
Expeditors are working hard with our carrier and pool of partner hauliers to secure space for deliveries for our customers. However, please bear in mind that lead times from arrival to delivery are likely to be extended for the near future. We ask for patience at this time as our customer service agents process any late vessel delays due to berthing congestion, investigate vessels which have cut & run, field delivery delays from hauliers and chase late-runners. All this means that they are having to process two or three times as many bookings due to the re-work / re-booking of many deliveries.
If you would like to read more industry updates please find below link to third party industry news:-
We appreciate your patience during this time.