Global supply chains have been impacted for some time, primarily by congestion at Chinese ports. Now container ships in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands are affected for the first time.

Traffic jams and delays in container shipping have also reached the North Sea for the first time since the outbreak of the corona pandemic.

Almost two percent of the global freight capacity is currently stuck in front of the ports of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and can neither be loaded nor unloaded, as the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) announced on Tuesday.

According to the IfW, around a dozen large container ships with a total capacity of around 150,000 standard containers are waiting in the German Bight to call at Hamburg or Bremerhaven. The situation in front of the ports in Rotterdam and Antwerp is more dramatic. In contrast, the container ship congestion off Los Angeles has completely receded, the IfW said.

In front of Shanghai and the neighboring province of Zhejiang, more than three percent of the global freight capacity is currently tied up in traffic jams. According to the IfW, exports worth up to 700 million euros from China to Germany have so far been lost due to the lockdown in Shanghai.