New Zealand

Imports

  • Ports of Auckland advise uplift of available import containers over the long weekend was less than available capacity. The yard space at Fergusson plus conventional wharves will be under pressure during the short week. Berth windows are suspended. There are delays on the truck grids for containerized and non-containerized shipments at conventional wharves, however, Fergusson Container Terminal facility receival and delivery has been coping reasonably well once a VBS slot has been allocated. Queues at the greater Southdown site which includes the Tauranga inland port (Metroport) are ongoing.
  • Timely dehire of empty import containers, uplift of export empty containers continues to be a major pinch point. Container depots are challenged 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. Shipping Lines are not offering relief on detention incurred due to unavoidable delays in dehire.
  • Freight Stations unpacking FAK containers are space constrained, limiting the ability to unpack and make LCL shipments available in a timely manner. Please arrange uplift, acceptance of LCL shipments as soon as possible after unpacking to assist.
  • New Zealand Customs recognises that the current supply chain realities are requiring businesses to place more frequent or larger orders from overseas. Customs has therefore decided to increase selected credit limits that businesses hold with us to allow trade to flow more smoothly. If your business has been selected for an increase, you will receive notification via email.

For further information visit the FAQ’s page on Customs website.

Exports

  • The impending Omicron outbreak in New Zealand will likely lead 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 is expected to become more prevalent as we move forward into the NZ peak export season.

Asia

Imports

  • At time of writing carriers have provided no clear signals for March rates. However, with no drastic changes in shipping characteristics in the region, rates are likely to rollover at the same levels.
  • Chinese New Year is officially over for this year, but please keep in mind the wind-up to normal operation is gradual. Many factories close for longer than the advertised holiday dates and are not at full utilisation until early March.
  • Matson’s continue to contribute capacity to the import market. The latest extra loader departs Shanghai (and potentially calling Xiamen) in late February, provides a fast direct routing to Auckland.
  • The pressure through hub ports, Singapore and Port Kelang, continue. Please factor in an additional 1-2 weeks for delays as close transshipment connections are unlikely to be successful.
  • Carriers have a desire to ship NOR (Non-Operating Reefer) equipment into the country as these are required for the lucrative export peak season (week 9-26). As a rule of thumb 20’ & 40’ NOR containers are slightly cheaper than standard GP containers so it is beneficial to check if your suppliers are happy to pack NORs, as well as your Oceanbridge representative on current availability on specific port pairings.
  • Although no announcements to date, shipping lines have signaled the possibility of non-scheduled Marsden Point callings in place of calling Ports of Auckland and Tauranga.
    • The main reasoning behind this decision is the persistent congestion that surrounds those vital ports causing ongoing resource and scheduling problems for the carriers.
    • If a Marsden port calling did come to fruition, vessel unloading will be a more timely process as Marsden Point is not equipped with the same level of crane support to handle larger vessels. Additional container trucking would fall under the account of the consignee.

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.
  • Various outbreaks through China will see restrictions in place in affected areas. We will update any bookings impacted as they arise.
  • MSC and OOCL are the only Carriers currently accepting cargo to the Middle East

Australia

Imports

  • Hansa Offenburg ANL – vessel delayed due to infestation of Longicorn Beetles. The vessel was sent to Port Kembla for fumigation. This delays our Sydney and Melbourne FAK/FCL shipments.
    • Expected departure dates are now ex Sydney 09/02, and ex Melbourne 12/02
  • Space is becoming increasingly tight from all Ports
  • Direct Brisbane call on ANL is showing a transit time of 20-22 days transit on the schedule. This includes 10-14 days waiting for a berth in Auckland.
  • A reminder Shipping Lines are charging a US 250 per container cancellation or amendment fee.
  • Adelaide ANL – no equipment we cannot accept bookings. Hapag Lloyd is an option.
  • Maersk only accepting 40’ bookings.
  • MSC Direct to Auckland and Lyttelton. Bookings upon approval.
  • ZIM space and equipment available SYD/MEL/AKL/TRG/LYT/NPE.

Exports

  • The current Omicron outbreak in Australia is causing a number of issues across the East Coast, and while we have not seen any major shutdowns, things are definitely running slower as staffing issues become increasingly problematic. With case numbers in NSW not expected to peak until late January, and Victoria and Queensland a week or so after that, here is what we can expect over the next 1 to 2 months:
    • Container trucks booked out up to a week in advance – this may mean the desired time for a container being delivered may not be available; we urge you to discuss this in advance with your customers to ensure they remain as flexible as possible.
    • Delays on container unpacks as depots manage a dwindling workforce and social distancing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NOR containers have now been withdrawn from the Europe to NZ trade. Cargoes that relied on this equipment must now be moved in operating reefer boxes or suitably packed to handle ambient temperatures in a dry container.
  • 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

  • German delays with customs clearance and transport continue. There is port congestion in Hamburg and Bremerhaven.
  • UK Driver shortages are causing delays. There is significant congestion at Felixstowe.
  • Congestion surcharges still apply for most UK ports.

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. LCL that has been delivered in will incur storage if it goes over 21 days in the CFS.
  • 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 to Long Beach is being closed for two weeks. This will disrupt any FCL’s from Chicago area. Our FAK is loading out via Philadelphia, so that should still move ok.
  • 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 may 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 is scheduled to resume. The first departure is the CMA CGM Dutch Harbor 152N, her ETD Tauranga has slipped to March 3rd and is fully booked. Oakland will revert 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.
  • Container yards are congested and delivery appointments to return equipment are limited, containers & chassis’ unable to be returned immediately will incur extra transport and yard storage charges. Empty container return in Vancouver remains an issue with many container yards full to capacity.
  • Please remember all door delivery quotes indications only and subject to the rate at time of delivery.
  • Cargo is moving from Vancouver via rail with minimal delay. Block stacking of Vancouver destined continues with some inaccessible, delays are significant. Port storage and container detention will apply to any containers unavailable for collection. Truck and driver shortages are impacting deliveries, most warehouses are full meaning containers cannot be hubbed off port while waiting delivery. Weather continues to impact all regions with snow causing issue as far south as Houston.
  • All West Coast services are fully booked to the end of March.

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 maindeck shipments.
  • International couriers still at capacity as they work through clearing back logs from the end of 2021.
  • New Zealand import cargo terminals are running well.

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 for 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.
  • New Zealand export cargo terminals are running well.
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Oceanbridge

25 Anzac Street

Takapuna 0622

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

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