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German Port Congestion, Supply Bottlenecks Weigh on Global Trade

Cargo ship on his way to a container terminal at the harbour in Hamburg, Germany, July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Cathrin Mueller

German Port Congestion, Supply Bottlenecks Weigh on Global Trade

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September 6, 2022

By Bryce Baschuk (Bloomberg) —

Supply-chain snarls are persisting, with more than 2% of all global shipping capacity at a standstill outside Germany’s North Sea ports. 

Congestion continued to climb in September at Bremerhaven and Hamburg, where there are now 19 container vessels waiting to unload, up from 17 two weeks ago, according to the latest Kiel Trade Indicator. About 11% of all shipped goods are stuck, the report said. 

Germany’s outlook for trade deteriorated, with imports and exports slipping by 0.2% and 0.7% from the previous month, it said. 

“Congestion is preventing a return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Vincent Stamer, head of the Kiel Trade Indicator. “High transportation costs are hindering a further recovery in global trade.”

In China, meanwhile, holdups outside some ports are easing as President Xi Jinping’s “Covid Zero” approach to combating the pandemic continues to shut down some of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs

“In the Red Sea, the most important sea trade route between Europe and Asia, 16% fewer goods are currently being shipped than would be expected under normal circumstances,” according to the report.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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