Global Port Congestion Soars as Chinese Exports Surge and Red Sea Crisis Persists

Global Port Congestion Soars as Chinese Exports Surge and Red Sea Crisis Persists

Seung-hwa Kim
2 min read

Global Port Congestion Soars as Chinese Exports Surge and Red Sea Crisis Persists

The recent surge in Chinese exports and the ongoing Red Sea crisis have caused severe congestion at major global ports, especially in Southeast Asia, with Singapore experiencing significant delays. The Shanghai Shipping Exchange reported a drop in global port schedule reliability to 44.47% in the last week of May, marking a 4% decrease from the previous week. This congestion is attributed to Chinese exporters stockpiling inventories worldwide in response to trade policy uncertainties, leading to an early arrival of the shipping peak season. Linerlytica, a shipping consultancy, revealed that the number of containers waiting to be unloaded at ports has risen to 2.1 million TEUs, accounting for 7.1% of the global container fleet, signaling a steady increase in recent weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore and other Asian ports are severely congested due to the Red Sea crisis and increased exports.
  • Global major port schedule reliability decreased to 44.47%, with a significant drop observed from over 60% in late May 2023.
  • The global queue of containers waiting to be loaded has surged to 2.1 million standard units.
  • Chinese exporters' inventory buildup has advanced the peak shipping season due to trade policy uncertainties.


The surge in Chinese exports and the Red Sea crisis have intensified port congestion, impacting global supply chains. The early peak shipping season, driven by Chinese exporters' inventory buildup in response to trade policy uncertainties, has significantly reduced port schedule reliability, causing increased shipping delays and higher logistics costs, affecting businesses and consumers worldwide. This congestion may lead to potential shifts in trade routes and a reassessment of inventory management strategies, exerting a substantial financial impact on shipping companies and port operators, with potential ripple effects on global markets dependent on timely deliveries.

Did You Know?

  • TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit): A standard measure in container shipping, representing the volume of a standard 20-foot container, used to calculate the capacity of container ships and the volume of containerized trade.
  • Port Schedule Reliability: Refers to the percentage of time that ships arrive at ports as per their scheduled times, with a lower reliability rate indicating more frequent delays and disruptions in the shipping industry.
  • Linerlytica: A specialized shipping consultancy that provides data and analysis on container shipping trends, including fleet sizes, port congestion, and market dynamics, serving as a vital source for industry-specific insights and forecasts.

You May Also Like

This article is submitted by our user under the News Submission Rules and Guidelines. The cover photo is computer generated art for illustrative purposes only; not indicative of factual content. If you believe this article infringes upon copyright rights, please do not hesitate to report it by sending an email to us. Your vigilance and cooperation are invaluable in helping us maintain a respectful and legally compliant community.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest in enterprise business and tech with exclusive peeks at our new offerings