Vessel Delays Increased After Cyclone Amphan
May 29, 2020
As the tropical storm season picks up with cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons around the globe in May, what does this mean for cargo delays in the supply chain? We analyzed one of the first major storms of the season, Cyclone Amphan, to investigate.
On the late afternoon of Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the severe tropical cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal in India and caused immense damage in East India and Bangladesh. Port operations resumed the following day, however roads leading to the ports were blocked due to the storm.
We reviewed the impact the cyclone had at the nearby ports of Haldia and Kolkata in India and Chittagong and Mongla in Bangladesh. Combining the four ports’ results, we analyzed 45 unique container vessels that had an estimated time of arrival (ETA) between May 19 and May 21. 33 of the vessels had an actual time of arrival (ATA) at the ports between May 16 and May 27, while 12 vessels were still waiting to berth after May 27.
We found that the number of vessel arrivals spiked on May 18, two days before the cyclone struck the coast. It then dipped to just one vessel arrival on May 20 and increased to five vessel arrivals on May 21.
Each of the vessels that arrived before the storm struck, arrived early or on time. Then, vessels that arrived starting on May 20 were delayed, except for one vessel that was on time on May 21. Seven days after the storm, the vessels were increasingly delayed.
Next, we reviewed average vessel arrival delays. Vessels that arrived from May 20 to May 27 have had increasing delays, with vessels arriving at berth from May 25 to May 27 averaging over six days late.
The amount of time it takes for vessel arrivals to recover after a port closure during an intense storm can vary depending on the length of closure, severity of the storm damage, the impact on landside operations, the ability for people and cargo to enter and exit the ports, and alternate nearby ports where carriers can discharge cargo to keep vessels moving.
Compared to past storm impacts that we have reviewed such as the Cyclone Bulbul analysis in November 2019 and the Hurricane Dorian analysis in September 2019, Ampham appears to have had a more prolonged impact.
Having early notice of potential schedule delays due to weather through applications including Big Schedules and ForeSea can help shippers visualize and communicate upcoming disruptions and take action to mitigate the impact.