Ocean Cargo Archives - Atlas Logistics UK LTD


Due to the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea the situation continues to impact global shipping lanes.   Last week saw more attacks on vessels by missiles launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

Despite allied nations air and missile strikes in retaliation, the attacks are still impacting shipping with the result being most liners avoiding the area to keep their vessels and crew safe.

In recent days, these Red Sea attacks continue to cause significant disruption to the global supply chain, with around a 68% decrease in vessels transiting through the Suez Canal and 264 vessels known to have rerouted in the majority around the Cape of Good Hope.  This is causing severe delays on both east and westbound services, often adding around 12 to 15 days transit time.   This trend is causing significant space issues and increases in freight rates throughout the shipping industry.

The issues in the Panama Canal are adding to global supply chain disruptions and it is expected that throughout Q1 and Q2 2024 the trends will persist.   The upcoming Chinese New Year will as always create congestion in the market so forcing rates to remain higher than seen during 2023.   These constraints on ocean trade are also impacting air and rail options as the industry looks for alternative methods to move cargo.  We are seeing space and rate increases on many air trade lanes along with rail freight prices from Asia to EU being higher than seen in recent months.   In addition to this war risk premiums on insurance are increasing as the market adjusts to this volatility.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has convened a public hearing on 7th February 2024 to investigate how the Red Sea crisis is impacting commercial shipping and the global supply chain, aiming to gather information on the effects of attacks and how the industry is responding to such incidents.

Atlas Logistics UK Ltd in conjunction with our partners are working to mitigate the impact as much as possible and the whole team is here to help however, we can.  Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any concerns or wish to look at alternative methods of transport to sustain your business continuity.


Considering the drone and missile attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea area Friday 15th December 2023, many shipping lines have chosen to either suspend services, reroute ships around The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa or in some instances ask vessels to pause their journeys and call at safe harbour awaiting the outcome of the escalation.

There are known to have been two attacks on vessels Friday, which included a Hapag Lloyd operated containership being struck by a missile. According to widespread reports, the missile was launched from an occupied area inside of Yemen, but this is yet to be verified.

Members of all three shipping alliances have announced drastic measures to avoid harm to their vessels and crew, including over 100 ships being rerouted which in some cases is adding around 10-12 days to Asia inbound and outbound transit times.   We are receiving every few hours from carriers notices of GRI’s or emergency PSS on freight rates to cover these added costs, and in some cases, liners outlining the laws around force majeure that is in place to cover this type of eventuality.

Atlas Logistics UK Ltd is doing everything we can with our Global partners and carriers to mitigate the impact of this situation outside of our control, for our clients, but please do be aware of the impact of potential delays and costs to your business in the light of the escalation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to a member of our team who will be able to update on the situation as it develops.


Streamlining Customs Declarations and Tailored Solutions
Streamlining customs and excise procedures is a paramount concern for businesses operating in today’s fast-paced global market. At Atlas Logistics, we specialise in simplifying these complex processes while offering bespoke solutions to meet your unique requirements. We have in-house electronic links to the majority of HMRC locations around the UK and have published these on our website. With unparalleled coverage of UK ports and airports, our team of experienced Customs brokers leverages our cutting-edge software to handle diverse import and export declarations efficiently. Discover how our centuries of combined expertise and tailored services can benefit your business.

Unmatched Expertise and Comprehensive Coverage
Our seasoned Customs brokers possess unrivalled expertise in managing various processes, including IPR, OPR, End Use, BIRDS, EIDR, and warehousing, among others. Whether you need assistance with specific Customs formalities or require comprehensive support, our diverse range of services caters to your business’s unique needs. Thanks to our electronic links to HMRC locations we ensure seamless customs clearance regardless of your geographic location.

Cutting-Edge Technology for Optimal Efficiency
Leveraging our proprietary software, we empower our Customs brokers to handle import and export declarations with utmost precision and speed. Our advanced technology minimises the risk of errors, expedites clearance processes, and guarantees compliance with all relevant regulations. By investing in state-of-the-art tools, we deliver accurate results while maximising operational efficiency, allowing your business to thrive in the competitive international trade landscape.

Operational Excellence at our ETSF HMRC Warehouse
As a testament to our commitment to end-to-end solutions, we operate our own ETSF HMRC warehouse strategically located in Birmingham. This facility provides handling services for goods under Customs control, ensuring flexibility and convenience for our clients. By seamlessly integrating warehousing and transportation services, we offer a streamlined supply chain experience that optimises the handling of your valuable goods.

Expert Consultancy Services
Recognising that every business faces unique challenges, we go beyond our core services by offering consultancy services through our sister company, Atlas Business Solutions Ltd. Our dedicated consultants possess deep knowledge of Customs and Excise regulations, enabling them to provide tailored guidance for your specific needs. From compliance management to strategic planning and process optimisation, our consultancy services offer invaluable insights to help your business thrive in the dynamic world of international trade.

Partner with Atlas Logistics UK Ltd
Atlas Logistics UK Ltd stands as a trusted partner in simplifying Customs declarations and delivering tailored solutions to meet the diverse needs of businesses. With our in-house Customs electronic links to HMRC locations (known as “badges”), we ensure efficient customs clearance and comprehensive coverage of UK ports and airports. Leveraging cutting-edge software and operational excellence, we streamline import and export processes, guaranteeing accuracy, speed, and compliance. Our ETSF HMRC warehouse and expert consultancy services further enhance our ability to provide end-to-end solutions. Reach out to our dedicated team today to experience the benefits of our bespoke services and unlock your business’s full potential in the global marketplace.


April 1st 2017 saw the introduction of the new carrier alliances which will last for the next decade or so.  The previous four shipping alliances have gone to be replaced by just three.  The new alliances have been formed due to several key factors.  Back in 2008 many of the major liners started investing in bigger container ships.  These ships entered the market with lower running costs and thus some core lines were able to offer lower than their competitors on given trades. To stay competitive other carriers then began investing in these larger more economical vessels so resulting in an over capacity on many routes.  Other factors that helped decide the creation of the new alliances included the fall of Hanjin Shipping, unprecedentedly low rates throughout 2016 and a high number of mergers throughout the ocean shipping industry.  The new carrier alliances represent nearly 80% of the global container capacity and are currently divided as below:

The 2M Alliance – Maersk, HMM, Hamburg SUD & MSC

The Alliance – NYK, MOL, K Line, Yang-Ming & Hapag Lloyd (with UASC)

The Ocean Alliance – CMA-CGM, Evergreen, OOCL, APL & Cosco Shipping.

So, what sort of effect will these new mergers have on the current schedules and availability offered to shippers?  Schedules will be more fixed and less likely to change once the new alliances are settled in.  Some ports are seeing an increase in the amount of calls they receive, whilst others are seeing a reduction.  For example, Singapore prior to the new alliances received 29 calls per week, this will increase to 34 now the new alliances have kicked in.  On the other hand, both Hong Kong and Port Kelang will see a reduction in the services it receives from the alliances.  Hong Kong from 15 to 10 calls and Port Kelang 11 to 5 calls.  As a consequence of the services being shifted there also appears to have been a short-term capacity issue, such as the route back to Asia from Northern Europe.  Being able to get space and competitive rates has been proving difficult for many freight forwards and shippers for some time but is now showing signs of easing.   In regards to speed of service a high percentage of routes will have a faster transit time.  Asia – Europe will be 60% faster whilst transatlantic will have 47% of its lanes faster.   All this said there will still be space in the market for the smaller independent liners and specialist carriers.    Atlas Logistics UK Ltd is well placed for access to all the global liners both import, export and cross-trade.   Just contact us if you have any questions or requirements in this area.


How not to miss the boat on those last sailing dates for delivery before Christmas 2016.

Without a shadow of a doubt Christmas is an exciting but stressful time of year, regardless of what your position may be.  From the personal side of keeping on top of the social commitments, (whether it be your own or those of your children), to the business side of ensuring everything is finalised for the end of the year and prepared for the new.   Something inevitably slips from mind and as a freight forwarder we expect this.  We receive every year towards the middle of November a telephone call.  “I need an order out of XYZ via ocean which needs to be here by Christmas.”  A lot of the time it will also include, “We will be on production stop when we reopen if it’s not here by then”.

If this sounds like what happens to you then with exception to planning ahead and making the necessary arrangements in advance is there anything else, you can do?

Have you heard of a sea / air option, it’s still a possibility and worth exploring?  If your product is from China, why not consider the rail route via the Old Silk Road?  Its sounds a little long winded but could help save on your transit time.  Either option could save substantial time and course less of an impact on your supply chain.  Another alternative is short term warehouse storage.   Has your forwarder got a warehouse they can house your cargo in?  If so transferring the cargo to their facility until the new year could be the best solution.  Housing cargo in the shipping or airlines warehouse is extremely expensive and also could compromise the integrity of the cargo.  With a forwarder they will take better care of your order.  The final option if cost permits is a full air freight solution.

There is nearly always a solution to this situation but to help you to try and avoid being in this position Atlas Logistics UK Ltd has come up with this basic latest date ocean shipping guide. These estimated dates and transit times allow for substantial leeway. Of course please check with the team at your local Atlas office for further details.  Please note these dates are subject to availability and change dependent on the shipping schedules and shipping lines.