There are four main ports in the UK, these are Liverpool, Southampton, London Gateway and Felixstowe, at each of them, container ships arriving into the UK, are being met by massive congestion and unloading delays. These delays are outside of our control unfortunately.
During 2020, the levels of imports of all types of goods increased dramatically due to Coronavirus lockdowns across Europe, this is continuing into 2021. The result of this increase is that our ports, particularly Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, are totally congested, we use Southampton. Currently, container vessels are queueing for a berth into and beyond, The Solent.
CUT & RUN
Some vessels simply cannot wait for a berth to be allocated or, they are partially unloaded and then sent to the back of the queue to wait to be called forward again. Some vessels cannot wait for 7 to 12 days for this and have ‘Cut & Run’ by sailing to an alternative port, often on mainland Europe. Their loads then have to be transported back to the UK by road causing more pressure and more delays.
There is a worldwide shortage of shipping containers due to the volume of goods being transported around the world and empty containers at European docks. Our shutters are being manufactured on schedule but sadly, the container shortage, fuelled by port congestion, means that they’re not always shipped as planned as containers are not available in China, to load them into.
Our deliveries cross a number of international borders and at some of these, additional tests are imposed on crews, who have been on board and not on land, since leaving China. These checks are resulting in vessels being held up while the results are checked.
KEEPING YOU UPDATED
We have direct links to both the factory and shipping portals which we review daily. Our normal system is to make customers aware of estimated delivery dates as we get them. In the past, this has worked well and been extremely accurate. At the moment however, changes are made daily and sometimes, several times a day and this is making it impossible for us to keep you fully updated for which we apologise.