Deadly earthquake paralyses Turkish ports
THE devastating earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale on the border between Turkey and Syria on February 6 has led to many Turkish ports facing operational challenges.
LimakPort Iskenderun, located in the Mediterranean coastal town of Iskenderun in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, was severely damaged, forcing the port authority to suspend the port’s operations.
As a result, global container carriers are taking measures to deal with the operational difficulties in the region. Maersk and Cosco have already published customer advisories to inform about the impact on their operations and services, according to Container News.
Given the situation at Iskenderun, Maersk said it will need to perform a change of destination for all bookings bound for the Turkish port or already on the water.
“All booking cancellations, amendments and changes of destination will be free of charge for Iskenderun and Mersin bookings throughout the month of February,” noted Maersk.
The company is currently planning to divert containers to nearby hubs within operational feasibility or hold them at transshipment ports, including the port of Mersin in Turkey and Port Said in Egypt.
Maersk added that it is not yet clear when the port of Iskenderun will return to normal operations, while the company also noted that roads have also been heavily affected, and at this time vendors are not moving any trucks in and around the area.
Cosco Shipping Lines decided to suspend all bookings bound for the Port of Iskenderun until further notice with immediate effect. “We suggest a change of destination for all bookings bound for the port or already on the water and will try our best to achieve smooth direction,” said the Chinese shipping giant in its statement.
Similarly to Maersk, Cosco announced that all amendments and changes of destination will be free of charge for Iskenderun bookings until the involved ports get back to normal operation.