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Global Pulp News Shipping Forecast: Smooth sailing for Södra shipments

Shipping Forecast: Smooth sailing for Södra shipments

It has been a turbulent time for freight. Covid-19 caused severe disruption to supply chains and the flow of containers around the world. Then, just as demand for goods and commodities was strengthening again, the chaos caused by a vessel stuck in the Suez Canal for around a week last month was a further, and most unwelcome, development for global container shipping.

According to Ola Holgersson, Södra Cell International’s Logistics Manager: “Colleagues in the shipping industry were reporting a queue of around 350 vessels to get into the Suez Canal. Now that the canal has reopened, the vessels that have been in the queue will arrive at European ports at the same time. This means an increased risk of further congestion and loss of efficiency in some of the major European ports, which could take some time to fully stabilize.”

Ola Holgersson

But as Ola explains, Södra’s shipments have not been particularly affected. This is due to several factors. “For sea freight in Europe, we mostly use breakbulk and the ports we use for our breakbulk deliveries work well. Where we use containers it has also worked well so far because we work with different ports to minimize the risk of, for example, congestion.

“In addition, the great majority of our shipments in Europe are via our own time-chartered vessels which means we can manage our deliveries closely and optimise our routes. We sign longer contracts to insure ourselves against the fluctuation of the market.”

Holgersson continues: “Chartering our own vessels also has the advantage that we can maintain consistently high quality, because we have full control over the vessels and can adapt them to carry pulp.

“The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone involved in logistics, but we are relieved that we have been able to protect customers from the disruption.”

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