In Focus: Strike action at the Port of Liverpool is underway

The two-week industrial action at the Port of Liverpool has started as unions and Peel Ports were unable to reach an agreement on pay increases. 

The strike at Liverpool coincides with a second strike at the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest port, which will take place between 27th September to 5th October. 

Data from the first strike at Felixstowe in August shows that the average wait time for containers peaked at 30 hours during the strike. 

This week’s strike is likely to bring further delays and disruption to the UK supply chain. Shippers will likely incur detention and demurrage charges for goods and equipment caught up in the strike. 

We advise that you work with your freight forwarding partner to build contingency plans. If you are a Zencargo customer, our customer operations team will be working closely with you if your cargo is disrupted by the strikes. 



  • Last week, Typhoon Muifa hit Shanghai, China’s largest city and home to the world’s largest port. 
    • The typhoon was classed as a Category 2 storm and was recorded as the strongest to hit Shanghai. 
    • The Chinese meteorological observatory issued its first typhoon red alert of the year as the typhoon brought sustained winds of 95mph and 200mm of rainfall and waves in excess of five metres. 
    • The storm caused 7,400 vessels to seek shelter in ports in the Zhejiang province and Shanghai’s international airports were forced to cancel all incoming flights.


Central China to USA and Europe 

  • Rates have increased between SHA to Europe and the USA.
  • From NGB to Europe, rates have remained the same and the market is stable. 

North China to USA and Europe 

  • From TSN to Europe, rates have decreased. However, rates have remained the same between TSN and the USA compared to last week. 
    • Airlines are offering competitive rates to increase bookings on their carriers. 
  • Rates have decreased from PEK to Europe and the USA. Space is still tight to both lanes. 
    • Due to hot weather and rain, carriers are taking on less volume and have even cancelled or rescheduled flights.

South China to USA and Europe 

  • From CAN to Europe and the USA, the market is cold and discounts may be applied to shipments. 
  • From SZX to Europe, rates are stable this week. Rates have decreased from SZX to the USA.
  • From XMN to Europe and the USA, the market is stable compared to last week.


  • Next year, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) will increase transit tolls by 15% for all types of vessels apart from cruise ships and dry bulk ships. 
    • Transit tolls will increase by 10% for dry bulk ships and cruise ships from January 2023. 
    • Rising inflation has contributed to higher costs for operational and navigational services which ultimately led to the increase in transit tolls. 




  • Strike action originally scheduled to run from 16th September has been postponed for US Class I railways.
    • After 20 hours of negotiations, with heavy involvement from the US government, an agreement was reached between the rail companies and the last two unions who had rejected suggested pay increases and insisted on changes to working rules as well. 
    • Although the agreement needs to be officially approved by the unions, the possibility of a strike has been postponed until 29th September. 
    • Railways have since cancelled the measures they had put in place for the strike last Friday. 


  • Labour availability at the Port of Antwerp is at a good level.
    • Reefer plug usage is manageable and general yard density is on the high side. 
    • The designated area for long dwelling imports on the port are seeing stacks increasing. 
  • At the Europe Container Terminals (ECT) at Rotterdam, labour availability is reduced and terminal dwell times for transhipment and import cargo are long.
    • Off-yard storage at the ECT terminal for long dwelling imports is being fully utilised and the acceptance of empty containers to the terminal is limited. 
    • As new services are pushing into the terminal, the berth line-up is under pressure. 
  • At the Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG), there is a reduction in labour availability. 
    • Yard utilisation and reefer plug utilisation is also high. 
    • RWG is not accepting delivery of empty containers until further notice. 
UK and Rest of Europe


  • As mentioned briefly earlier in the market update, the Port of Felixstowe will strike between 27th September to 5th October. 
    • The new eight-day strike over pay will cause disruption to imports as retailers stock up before Christmas. 
    • Felixstowe handles nearly half of the UK’s container imports and the previous eight-day strike in August brought the port to a standstill. 
    • The union, Unite, has rejected the pay deal of 7% offered by the port as it does not match up to the inflation rate of 10.1%.

European Bank Holidays

We anticipate a shortage of availability and the occurrence of delays around the bank holiday periods. Plan ahead and allow extra time for your products to be delivered.

September 20th – Germany*

September 21st – Malta 

September 22nd – Bulgaria 

September 24th – Austria*

September 27th – Belgium*

September 29th – Czech Republic


October 1st – Cyprus

October 3rd – Germany

October 5th – Portugal

October 10th – Austria

October 12th – Spain

October 23rd – Hungary

October 26th – Austria

October 28th – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece

October 31st – Germany*, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia

*Not in all regions


The route ahead

The information that is available in the Weekly Market Update comes from a variety of online sources, partners and our own teams. Click below to learn more about how Zencargo can help make your supply chain your competitive advantage.

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