Disrupted supply chain now the norm

Europe’s ports need to be flexible to meet today’s headwinds of strikes, congestion, and other disruptions in the supply chain

Dock strikes, port congestion, Covid lockdowns, labour shortages, the impact of climate change – as 2022 drew to a close, Eleanor Hadland, Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, noted that shippers’ planning was now based on a disrupted supply chain as part of the reality of doing business.

Europe’s ports have been through their fair share of trauma during and post-pandemic. Now they face both ongoing and new challenges, not least as the ports and shipping world pushes for decarbonisation, copes with the impact of the war in Ukraine, and rebalances operations to meet the dramatic growth in e-commerce.

Santiago Garcia Milà, sub-director general at the Port of Barcelona, said: “The logistics chain is not feeling very well. Supply and demand are not fitting as they were ten years ago. We will need to find new solutions for that. But in disruptions you can find opportunities.”

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