New Zealand

Imports

  • Covid restrictions especially around isolation requirements are significantly impacting the productivity of industries where it is not possible to work from home. None more so than ports, trucking companies, warehouses with drivers, crane operators, and store personnel.
  • Being able to dehire empty import containers and uplift export empty containers continues to be challenging. Container depots are faced with overcapacity with often long lead times to be able to accept empty import containers. A number have shut off receival of empty import containers at times to alleviate overcapacity. The largest empty container depot, Manukau Container Park, has effectively been shut from receiving import empty for several days. Shipping Lines are not offering relief on detention incurred due to unavoidable delays in dehire.
  • Vessel diversions and port omissions at short notice to avoid congestion are ongoing. Northport advises the Tianjin Bridge v161S is omitting Auckland and discharging a large import container interchange at Marsden Point on the 25th February for consignees to make their own arrangements for delivery to Auckland.
  • As the pump price of diesel continues to climb, fuel adjustment factor (FAF) has followed. The FAF for local trucking will regrettably rise from 01 March 2022 to 18.2%.
  • Customs:

    For those on deferred payment with Customs you would have received a letter advising of an increase in your credit limit, if you have not received one please contact your Broker or customs revenue section direct
  • MPI:

    A reminder to all that to unpack a container at an ATF you must have an approved person present, it would be prudent to ensure that you have sufficient AP’s able to do this if you need to stand staff down for any reason due to sickness etc. Most training providers are still doing training, including virtual training.
  • BACC applications are still taking several days to process as BMSB season progresses please ensure that your Broker has all documents as soon as possible so that they can lodge applications promptly.

Exports

  • The Omicron outbreak in New Zealand has led to a shortage of truck drivers (container and loose cargo) as well as other pressures at ports and warehouses. Please allow more time for requesting uplifts of containers and loose cargo as transport companies migrate their way through this.
  • Vessel delays and schedule changes continue to be an issue. We highly recommend that the receival window is confirmed at the time of arranging container transport (both empty in and full back to the port).
  • Coastal scheduling remains problematic with many services changing as of January, including the Trident/ANP no longer calling Napier.
  • Shortages of reefer equipment are expected to become more prevalent as we move forward into the NZ peak export season.

Asia

Imports

  • Demand for space and bookings has been slow to rebound this year after the Chinese New Year holiday. As a result the team is reporting some good progress securing target sailings and carriers per clients preferences. Equipment and rolled bookings at transhipment ports remain problematic, but at least we are able to get started on cargo movement. Securing bookings now is very important as the current lull in demand may be short lived due to the number of blank sailings coming up in March. Unfortunately, it will be a disrupted month as the import market chops and changes volumes between shipping lines that are sailing and those that are not.

    The lack of schedule integrity across the board will impact both FCL and LCL cargo movement and while we will endeavor to keep online schedules up to date, they are subject to constant change. Tracking shipments via our online portal is the most efficient way of viewing your shipment progress.

    The extra loader sailing Shanghai – Auckland loader later this month (proforma schedule ETD 01 March) is expected to be one of the last sailings where cargo will move as close to schedule as expected, please contact your customer services representative for more information.
  • NOR (Non Operating Reefer) equipment is now head and shoulders above all other equipment types from a carrier preference perspective. This equipment type will most certainly be prioritised over all others in preparation for the NZ export peak season (week 9-week 26), so we would strongly suggest considering this as an option.
  • Ex North Asia a number of shipping lines have extended February rates through till mid- end of March and some have even reduced freight rates. BAF’s (Bunker Adjustment Factor) for the most part have increased due to rising fuel costs. Given the reduced number of sailings ex North Asia, they may have felt it prudent to not throw fuel on the fire by hiking rates on services that we cannot use. South East Asia rates have been extended and in some instances slightly increased, these services are still showing weekly schedules as per normal. Any and all changes for both North and South Asia will be reflected in your March rate card.
  • In general, any load ports that operate feeders into the transhipment hubs connecting to deep sea NZ bound sailings are inconsistent. Often operated by third party barge services space or smaller carrier owned shuttle services space is limited in both directions. This affects full containers to and from an origin and also means equipment supplies can be limited. Allowing for ‘longer than advertised’ transits is a safer way to plan.
  • Normally port congestion is covered off in a different section but of late issues in Auckland have resulted in lines rolling Auckland discharge bookings to alternative sailings. These bookings are then rescheduled and will later be discharged at Tauranga or Marsden Point. The feedback received from carriers is that even with a delay and an alternative discharge port, cargo will still arrive earlier than a vessel waiting to berth in the Hauraki Gulf. We are yet to see this executed well but expect to see more Auckland omissions in future and ‘force majeure’ announcements.

Exports

  • Reefer space is extremely difficult to come by, with many lines either not offering space or cancelling existing bookings as they look to manage their equipment and plug availability moving into the NZ peak export season.
  • The Hong Kong outbreak has yet to cause any major issues, however, we expect that it may have significant impact in the coming weeks as it worsens, specific updates will be sent out to shippers.
  • MSC & OOCL are the only Carriers currently accepting cargo to the Middle East.

Australia

Imports

  • Australia Imports have weekly 40’ NOR containers available from Sydney and Melbourne to Napier, Lyttelton, Port Chalmers, Tauranga, and Auckland. 20’s are scarce this could be your cost effective option. Please talk to your Oceanbridge Representative for more details.
  • TSL Lines ex Brisbane omitting Auckland due to congestion. Vessels now calling Tauranga/Metroport.
  • A fortnightly service ex Brisbane to Lyttelton Port has been added to TSL Lines schedule.
  • Australian Government is encouraging staff back to the office in March. This week borders opened for international visitors.
  • Australia Fuel Surcharge increases to +18.5%.
  • Still delays in Container and LCL cartage. Please ensure your supplier books transport well in advance.
  • Many services delayed 1-3 weeks due to USA / Los Angeles congestion.
  • Space is becoming tight, book ahead. Try a 40’ NOR if no 20’s available to keep supply chain moving.
  • ANL have no 20’ containers.

Exports

  • While the Omicron outbreak in Australia is still causing some issues, we have seen significant improvement in processes to mitigate any major delays. We still recommend discussing the need for flexibility around deliveries with your customers in Australia over the coming months.
  • Space on services remains a challenge, especially to Brisbane, however, there are pockets of space available.

Europe

Imports

  • The Hamburg Sud/Maersk Spot pricing announcement has effectively taken a chunk of capacity out of the market from Europe to NZ. The Hamburg Sud Panama vessels have not yet been added to the Maersk Spot market and so are not available to be booked after Jan 1st. This could change, but for now we will be moving our European LCL on other carriers until we can access these ships again. Unfortunately, the extra demand on the remaining carriers has pushed rates higher. They also have much slower transits.
  • Storms in the UK have caused many vessels to omit UK ports and drop cargo off in Europe ports like Rotterdam. There will be a large back log to clear.
  • It is peak season and space is very tight across all lines, 4-5 weeks to get bookings on in most cases, sometimes more. Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Scandinavian ports are experiencing space and equipment shortages. Others are raising rates considerably in response to demand. Please allow 4-5 weeks to secure bookings. Many are also reverting to the standard 7 days free detention time with no exceptions.
  • CMA Panama service will go weekly in March. The extra tonnage is sorely needed.
  • Trucker shortages are growing with the rise in Covid cases sending many home at short notice with illness to isolate. Replacement drivers are hard to find. This is particularly bad in UK where road freight rates have hit record highs.
  • CFS’s are operating as normal to load LCL.
  • BMSB Season started on Sept 1st and will remain in place until April 30th. Poland has been added as a Schedule 3 country and the UK is under review and may be added during the season.

Exports

  • Following on immediately after Storm Eunice, Storm Franklin has caused further disruption with many port operations now suspended.
  • This includes major UK ports such as Felixstowe and Southampton, and also the EU ports of Antwerp, Dublin and Rotterdam.
  • Most UK ports were temporarily open for a few hours between storms at the weekend. Unfortunately, the ongoing situation is likely to have an impact on many collections and deliveries during this week.

North America

Imports

  • The weekly Long Beach – Auckland service is still only alternate sailings every 2-3 weeks. This was to be re-instated in August when Ports of Auckland started the automated terminal but this is now on hold until June 2022 at the earliest. There is no alternative service that does not involve long transits via Asia, so we have to wait for this service to return. This is a lot of space to take out of the market and the remaining vessels are overloaded, especially from Seattle which is also being omitted on a fortnightly basis. Please book ahead as far as possible for this service. It can take up to 21 days just to get a booking in place. These ports, along with Long Beach , Oakland and Vancouver are under unprecedented strain to NZ.
  • The gaps between sailings are now regularly going over 21 days so LCL that has been delivered in will incur storage if it goes over 21 days in the CFS. It is very likely that there will be no sailing at all to NZ in March from the West Coast.
  • Trucker shortages are an issue – congestion has hit drivers wages with fewer jobs able to be completed in a day and forced some drivers out of the market to other employment opportunities. Truckers are also cancelling jobs at short notice due to health/Covid reasons. Replacement drivers often can’t be found at short notice or are charging penalty rates. These extra costs are now just a part of getting containers out of the USA and we have to incur them to keep your cargo moving.
  • There is a record 100 vessels awaiting berth on US West Coast ports and 40 waiting berth in the East Coast, many now pushed out to sea to reduce emissions near the coastlines. This is close to zero in normal times. These delays have caused large build up of full containers from the mid-west that have arrived by rail into Long Beach ports. In response, the rail service from Chicago has a back log of 30,000 containers to clear. This will disrupt any FCL’s from Chicago area.
  • Services from the East Coast are still calling NZ weekly and rail to Metroport. A lot of cargo has moved over to these ports so space is tight. Connections thru to Metroport are running slow, 5-10 days to get up.
  • Rail in the USA for 20’ containers is still an issue – the networks are built to carry 40’ boxes and 20’ers can be delayed while they wait for another 20’er to fill the wagon. Where possible, place orders that will fill a 40’ container.
  • CFS’s are operating as normal to load LCL.
  • BMSB Season started on Sept 1st and will remain in place until April 30th. The processes are the same as last year.

Exports

  • The VSA service to Seattle resumes in March. The first departure, the CMA CGM Dutch Harbor 152N, has slipped back to March 12th and is fully booked as is the subsequent Seattle vessel. Oakland has reverted to a fortnightly call from the recommencement of the Seattle service.
  • Inland rail terminals remain congested. Transport costs continue to escalate, all deliveries are suffering delays due to chassis, truck and driver shortages. Shipping Lines will be on passing on storage costs incurred while containers remain stuck on port awaiting oncarriage to inland destinations.
  • Trucking shortages and damaged infrastructure continues to impact deliveries from Vancouver and delays are significant. Port storage and container detention will apply to any containers unavailable for collection.
  • All services are heavily booked into April.

South America

  • Many lines are not taking bookings to NZ while they clear back logs that have built up due to vessel /service withdrawals.

South Africa

  • There are severe container shortages. Lines have introduced Equipment Imbalance Surcharges and there is a wait of several weeks on bookings.

Airfreight

Imports

  • Air NZ and Qantas/Jet Star looking to increase flights as border restrictions in both countries start to ease, space is still extremely tight ex Australia with no additional space other than allocations.
  • Trucking from the East Coast USA is still heavily delayed due to the recent storms.
  • Capacity ex Asia has increased dramatically at the end of CNY with PPE and Covid related shipments taking priority, rates have increased 22% in the last week.
  • Rates ex Europe have continued to increase from the start of the year, particularly for main-deck shipments.
  • International couriers are still at capacity as they work through clearing backlogs from the end of 2021.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is severely affected by Covid with many workers isolating.

Exports

  • Air NZ and Qantas/Jet Star looking to increase flights as border restrictions in both countries start to ease, there may be options to trans-ship over Australia as the larger airlines start to increase their schedules out of the main gateways of Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Plenty of capacity to Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, USA is now much better bookings as the perishable shipments start to decline.
  • Courier networks remain at capacity with extended transit delays to all destinations.
  • Trucking across the US East Coast has been severely delayed with the winter storms with transit times for DAP/DDP shipments being pushed out.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is severely affected by Covid with many workers isolating.
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Oceanbridge

25 Anzac Street

Takapuna 0622

www.oceanbridge.co.nz
Auckland | Tauranga | Napier | Christchurch

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