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PUBLISHER: The Load Star (

UK retailers have been mitigating the dearth of export capacity on offer from Asia for the main container hubs of Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway by chartering space from ad-hoc providers for discharge at smaller ports.

Moreover, with thousands of containers packed with Christmas goods stranded at ports on the continent, the left-field strategy of taking a chance on entrepreneurial carriers and NVOCCs has paid off for some major retailers, ensuring empty shelves are kept to a minimum in the vital pre-holiday peak buying weeks.

As an example, the Cetus Star, a 33,800 dwt handysize bulk carrier, arrived at London Container Terminal, Tilbury, yesterday with a deck load of Uniocean containers from Asia, understood to be for a large high street retailer, with the boxes said to be available for collection today.

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