Zeebrugge Port Sees Slowdown of Vehicle Carriers Arrivals

A car carrier vessel
Updated Published

The opening quarter of 2024 has witnessed a slight decrease in the number of vehicle carriers arriving at the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium, a leading entry point for car imports into Europe, with a 2.4% reduction according to AIS data.

Currently, the Nordic Ray and the City of St Petersburg are among the vehicle carriers docked at Zeebrugge.

Similarly, Germany's Bremerhaven port has experienced a 7.7% fall in vehicle carrier arrivals compared to the previous quarter.

This dip in arrivals is occurring alongside a growing congestion problem at European ports. Reports indicate a significant buildup of unsold vehicles, notably Chinese electric cars, which are piling up at an alarming pace.

The congestion crisis is attributed to several issues, including the practice of reserving shipping spaces without securing subsequent inland transport, coupled with a severe shortage of trucks and drivers. As a result, ports are resorting to using car parking areas as temporary storage solutions, further intensifying the congestion.

Adding to the challenges are the declining sales of Chinese electric vehicles in Europe and logistical bottlenecks that delay the movement of these vehicles away from ports.

As a result, European ports are currently grappling with an unprecedented level of congestion, with no immediate solution in view.