Transit Times

In the 1890’s a sailing ship (carrying cargo) took over three months to round Cape Horn at the tip of South America. They got caught by multiple storms, almost starved and covered almost the same number of miles as crossing the Atlantic would have taken.

Today delays like that are very unusual and the key to a fast delivery is getting your boiler plate on the right ship. A large number of shipping lines sail from Antwerp all over the world. Most destinations have monthly sailings and many have weekly sailings. When choosing your vessel you don’t just need to look at the departure date. The first question is can you make the closing date? That is the last date that material can be accepted for loading.

Another important factor is what ports of call are on the vessels route. Some vessels and lines are ‘slow’, calling at a large number of ports – spending a day or to loading and unloading at each. Others are ‘fast’ – calling at one or two major ports en route.

For example we can quickly ship to Singapore partly because of its size, but also because there tend to only be 2 or 3 European destinations where additional goods are loaded before a fast transit across the Indian Ocean. Waiting a week for a fast vessel can often save time over going sooner on a slower one.

Other factors to bear in mind are inducement where a vessel will make additional stops if a sufficiently large cargo is to be loaded and matching onward movements when goods are being transhipped. For example when we are shipping to Port Klang in Malaysia we try and reduce overall journey time by matching the Antwerp Singapore schedule to the Singapore – Port Klang schedules.

Conventional Vessel Typical Transit Times

Destination PortAverage DaysMax DaysMin Days
Abu Dhabi363636
Jebel Ali253217
Laem Chabang324127
Ho Chi Minh City384433

Shipments for Port Klang in Malaysia are normally transhipped in Singapore and require an additional 7 days in transit.

Container Vessel Typical Transit Times

Port Klang263916
Bandar Abbas253918
Abu Dhabi192615
Jebel Ali162013
Ho Chi Minh293822

Transit times were taken from a representative sample of sailings during the first half of 2008. Actual sailing times may vary from these and particulars will be advised by our shipping team once your steel plate has been booked onto its vessel.

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