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Fog clears post-Brexit, UK cut off

Danish consultancy Sea-Intelligence has analysed the changes in deepsea container port calls and the number of deepsea services in the UK in the first quarter of this year, post-Brexit, comparing the numbers to Q1 2019, the last normal, non-pandemic first quarter.

On January 1 this year, the transition period for the UK’s exit from the EU formally ended, something that was widely tipped to have an impact on the deepsea liner connectivity to the UK, as potential congestion and a slowdown in the supply chain came to bear with new customs and document requirements impacting overall efficiency and the viability for carriers to provide direct versus transhipment services.

The number of port calls have decreased substantially post-Brexit in the major ports in the UK, the new Sea-Intelligence analysis clearly shows.

London Gateway and Southampton recorded a 15% and 18% decrease in port calls respectively while Felixstowe recorded a much larger 39% decrease in port calls. Felixstowe had a very tough 2020, plagued by severe congestion and IT issues which saw carriers seek alternate British gateways.

In terms of the origin regions, calls originating from Asia were the most impacted to the UK, with a 37% reduction in port calls on the Asia-North Europe trade. In terms of the number of services, there was a reduction of three services on Asia-North Europe and two on the transatlantic eastbound in the first quarter of this year.

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