ASA Shipping Update – November 2020

Please find below the latest ASA information in regards to the shipping situation both domestically and internationally.

Sydney Port Impacts

  • ASA members should be aware that Port Congestion issues are now IMPROVING and down to 48 hrs in some cases on an Operator by Operator basis.
  • Berthing – During September and October, many vessels departed late from Australia, so we are now seeing these vessels return to Australia off-window resulting in vessel
    bunching in some terminals as well as rotation changes as shipping lines adjust schedules to meet windows or avoid waiting.
  • Due to these factors, as well as being in the traditional peak period for Landside Logistics, we are still seeing delays in container collection in certain circumstances.

Surcharge Update

  • At this stage there are no updates as to when Port Congestion Surcharges will end. As recently reported by the IFCBAA Following discussions with many stakeholders, there are a number of moving
    parts which need to be resolved.
  • EBA negotiations with MUA are still ongoing
  • Despite the pause in protected industrial action, the threat of PIA recurring is still live.
  • Svitzer Tugs are under PIA at their 16 ports from 29 Oct – 29 Nov – Svitzer PIA Notice Svitzer advises they can manage the situation by adjusting schedules while the PIA is in place
  • Delays in ships accessing Port Botany stevedores are down to a few days, with ships slow sailing or at anchor to access their slot at Port Botany
  • shipping lines continue to rearrange rotations with port omissions – some omitting Sydney, some omitting other ports to try to keep vessels on schedule
  • ECPs are overflowing and the cost of holding stockpiled containers at ECPs is ongoing for the shipping lines
  • Shipping lines are under pressure from overseas ports to repatriate empty containers ,despite increased exchanges of empty containers evacuated onto vessels, the volumes are not keeping pace with the arrival of
    more containers.
  • Minimal prospect of a number of designated sweeper vessels clearing out a large number of boxes, the continued drip feed of empty containers onto those vessels which are calling Sydney won’t significantly
    change the situation.
  •  A bumper harvest now expected – export capacity out of Sydney may be under pressure for a while, impacting flexibility in designated types of empty boxes being evacuated
  • Under the current circumstances, each shipping line will make their own decision regarding the duration of the PCS as it affects their business. In general, it appears that the shipping lines continue to monitor the situation for the time being.

International Ports

  • Vessel congestion, Space and Equipment availability continue to be an issues for shipping.
  •  Delays are being consistently seen with many bookings being rolled due to vessel capacity and overbooking.
  • Forty Foot equipment is still in high demand but short supply in most ports. Making shipment of goods very challenging for Traders and Mills alike.
  • Shipping rates remain high and softening remains to be seen as highlighted by a recent announcement by MSC of a general rate increase of circa USD$1000 per Twenty Ft equivalent unit form December 1st.
  • If the market accepts this remains to be seen but indicates that the possibility of further freight price increases can’t be ruled out.