New Zealand


  • In recognition that vessel diversions, port omissions at short notice to avoid delays in berthing at Auckland plus other ports will be ongoing, Northport have signed up to use Port Connect to aid container tracking for liner vessels calling at Marsden Point to discharge.

    In addition to the Tianjin Bridge, the Debussy v147S is omitting Auckland at short notice to commence discharge 8th March at Northport for consignees to make their own arrangements for delivery to Auckland. Please communicate with your key contact at Oceanbridge
  • Covid is having a significant direct impact on the productivity of industries where it is not possible to work from home. None more so than on ports, trucking companies, warehouses with drivers, crane operators, store personnel.
  • Being able to dehire empty import containers, 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.
  • Importing Covid-19 tests:

    Only Ministry of Health approved Point of Care (includes Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)) tests can be imported or used in New Zealand. There are no restrictions on who can import the authorised tests
  • Export Controls in place: Russian Federation

    Exporters to the Russian Federation are advised to familiarise themselves with the new Gazette Notice.

    This Notice sets out firm controls over the export of any goods to the Russian Federation which may be intended for military use, including “dual use” (civilian/military) goods. Exporters are recommended to undertake careful due diligence on the intended end user of any goods they are proposing to export. Any breaches of the export controls may result in the exporter facing substantial penalties.

    Please contact with any questions.


  • The Omicron outbreak is impacting warehousing and container depots staffing levels. Please expect delays at container freight stations and container depots.
  • Container supply has become problematic as container depots staffing levels reduce many are struggling to repair and upgrade containers. Please provide advanced notice of your requirements for empty container deliveries.
  • 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).
  • Shortages of reefer equipment has become more prevalent as we enter the NZ peak export season.



  • While space pressure out of North and South East Asia has buttoned off slightly following the Lunar New Year celebrations, many services have blank sailings over the coming weeks meaning that we are likely to see pressure return over for the foreseeable future.
  • Due to the limited number of sailings, most lines have growing roll pools at their nominated transship ports. Unfortunately, this means a number of containers will not make their intended connections. This has been most prominent with ONE Line who have significant ‘rolling pools’ of cargo at transshipment ports such as Singapore and Hong Kong. This ensures their vessels have maximum utilization for the journey down to NZ.
  • As has been an ongoing topic, schedule integrity remains dire and as a result, to some destinations we are only showing a smaller number of sailings on our schedule; this is to ensure the most accurate information possible is provided. Also, as a result of vessel delays, many of our origin CFS receival windows are changing regularly. We encourage customers to regularly follow up with their suppliers about cut-off changes/amendments and ensure these inconsistencies are factored into the planning process.
  • Most shipping lines are becoming very vocal regarding their need to move reefer containers into the NZ market for the peak export season from here. If you are looking to increase your odds of attaining a booking in a timely manner and for it to move as booked, we suggest considering moving to Non-Operating Reefer (NOR) containers where your supplier will allow you to.
  • Ongoing port congestion, often covered off in other sections, has led to more vessels calling Northport of Tauranga instead of Auckland. In addition to this, we are seeing some shipping lines moving holding Auckland destined bookings at transship ports in order to load them on more appropriate sailings and avoid these omissions.


  • Space and equipment availability is plaguing this market, notably with a shortage of reefer equipment across all shipping lines.
  • Advanced bookings are a challenge with more line imposing cancellation fees, schedule changes and reduced booking windows, however we recommend discussing options with your Customer Services representative as to how to best handle your booking(s).
  • MSC & OOCL are the only Carriers currently accepting cargo to the Middle East



  • Gaining more traction with bookings, but vessels still off their berthing windows, congestion, and space are all still issues.
  • 20’ container supply still inconsistent. 40’ NOR’s available on some services.
  • Flooding in NSW and QLD, port closures in Brisbane and notices of 3 vessels omitting BNE so far. There are also port rotation changes with MEL/SYD being called first instead of BNE.
  • Cartage still needing 4-5 business days’ notice for arranging transport due to staff shortages.
  • Melbourne – heavy road works has caused traffic delays. Westgate bridge has been closed or reduced lanes which is causing delays.
  • Across Australia many companies are back in the office.
  • Shipping lines striving to keep the flow of Reefer containers coming into NZ for Export cargo. This has meant DG containers Australia to NZ are being rolled due to incompatibility with Reefer.


  • Flooding in Queensland has led to a number of issues including the closure of various terminals at the port and depots having issues both with flooding directly but also with staff who are unable to get to work over this time. We expect a lot of the issues resulting from the flooding to begin to ease this week.
  • New South Wales is now bearing the brunt on heavy rain and, while this hasn’t resulted in any major closures, the situation is still developing. In the meantime, we expect significant delays with interstate and linehaul trucking, especially heading from Sydney to northern NSW and Queensland.
  • Space availability fluctuates depending on the destination and shipping line so we recommend checking with your Export Customer Services representative well in advance of any upcoming bookings you may require.



  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not directly affected services, however, many European suppliers potentially have raw materials that come from these countries so it would be worth checking in with them to make sure that they can produce your orders OK.
  • 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 hoke 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


  • Transport into the UK remains heavily booked and congested. Most UK ports are fully operation after recent storms however there is a backlog to clear and this may impact on upcoming deliveries.
  • There has been significant improvement with transport on The Continent however the current conflict with Russia and the Ukraine will impact negatively on the supply chain. We expect delays and congestion as cargo transiting the EU into Russia arrives and is subsequently held/returned to its origin.

North America


  • 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. At the stage there is just one sailing in March from Long Beach.
  • 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.


  • The VSA service to the West Coast is shambolic, vessel wait times for berths at arrival ports span between 3 and 36 days. Departures from Tauranga continue to be significantly delayed and vessel schedules changed at late notice.
  • The East Coast services are tending to be more reliable on their schedule although there has been recent disruption due to crew contracting Covid on the way southbound to NZ/Australia. This has settled for the time being.
  • US rail terminals remain congested, particularly Chicago, Columbus, and Los Angeles. Port congestion is delaying container availability in Oakland and Vancouver. Most deliveries are suffering delays due to chassis, truck, and driver shortages.
  • All services are heavily booked to late April.
  • Average vessel wait times for berths are as follows:

U.S. East Coast

    • New York – Vessel waiting time is 1-3 days
    • Philadelphia – Vessel waiting time is 0-1 day
    • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is 8-12 days due to high import volume.
    • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is 1-2 days
    • Houston – Vessel waiting time is 2-10 days due to high import volume.

U.S. West Coast

    • Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is 36 days
    • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is 10-12 days
    • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is 3 days


  • Vancouver – Vessel waiting time is 28 days

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.



  • Cathay Pacific have introduced a freighter service twice a week from Hong Kong until the 7th of April. It will mainly take courier and postal shipments but there is room for larger consolidated shipments.
  • USA consols mostly moving as booked, but adhoc larger LCL to air conversion shipments taking a little longer to get space for.
  • China have just increased rates for the third week in a row. Some Covid related shipments have been moving on charter flights however the standard passenger services are at full capacity.
  • Rates ex Europe continue to increase particularly from Germany where some airlines are now refusing to even quote as they can’t offer any space at all.
  • Australia is still at full capacity despite some additional services being added to bring passengers home. Some previous freighter only flights are now passenger flights so there is actually less capacity for cargo.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is severely affected by Covid with many workers isolating.


  • Sydney space is still open however it has now become much harder to get additional space to Melbourne other than allocation.
  • Asia still remains easy to get immediate bookings particularly to China with a number of Air NZ charters heading their to bring back Covid related goods.
  • Courier networks remain at capacity with extended transit delays to all destinations.
  • Cathay Pacific has introduced a 747 freighter aircraft twice a week until the 7th of April, this is an option for main-deck shipments to Asia and Europe.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking, and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is severely affected by Covid with many workers isolating.
Oceanbridge Outline Logo


25 Anzac Street

Takapuna 0622
Auckland | Tauranga | Napier | Christchurch

This email was sent from Oceanbridge.

You received this email because you are registered with Oceanbridge






Share this post:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email