Operational Update – 22-April-2022

IMPORTANT – Operational Update from SILA Global 22-April-2022

We would like to take a moment to provide an update on current operational capacity.

In the last few months, we have taken steps to increase our transport service supplier base to increase capacity, and our base has almost doubled. However, capacity remains an issue due to the far-reaching nature of the supply chain issues. Regrettably, we have not been able to improve turnaround times as much as we would have liked, especially in Melbourne. Since we started alerting clients to issues & delays within the domestic supply chain, there has been little to no improvement with continued deterioration in some states; our biggest ‘bottleneck’ currently occurring in Melbourne with 4 to 6 week unpack & re-delivery delays in some cases. Nevertheless, containers continue to arrive. The weeks this month are short and short staffing is a constant issue, which is now being seen in other sectors, as you have no doubt seen on the news. Here are some good examples [ article link ] [ article link ]. Repercussions are extending to all stakeholders and it is causing more pressure to an already strained situation. If you may have missed some notices you can find them on the news section of our website [ SILA News ] or check your mailboxes by searching SILA Global Customer Service or sales@sila.net.au.

Operational Update – 3PL

The following information applies to containers which SILA Global have been requested to unpack, de-hire empty and deliver the contents.

We ask that anything sent to SILA has a 21-days free detention time, however, this does not confirm we will pay any detention costs. The free time recommendations are to assist in mitigating any detention costs that may be incurred due to the extended delays which we have been advising of for some time. SILA Global cannot be held liable for detention charges due to issues beyond our control, once again please refer to SILA News and your inbox for further info.  We have assisted clients in writing to shipping lines requesting extended free time, detention reductions and support during this difficult period but to this point little to no relief has been provided. We suggest that our clients write to their nominated shipping lines or freight forwarders and request assistance with additional free time or reductions in already issued detention invoices during this period of unprecedented difficulty. We are here to help and if you need any assistance composing a submission, please reach out. I would also take this time to remind clients that the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) will be making a submission to the Productivity commission on detention practices, and you can find further information in our notice here.

Shipments sent to SILA will be handled as ‘normal’, however we need to be clear that there are delays so customers & receivers need to expect such delays. We have sent many notices on this over the last few months and if not already done so, please consider increasing lead times to receivers of at least 4-6 weeks in Melbourne & Fremantle and at least 2-3 weeks in other major cities such as Sydney & Brisbane. As always, we will do our very best to unpack cargo as soon as possible but we cannot be held liable for detention costs. We understand that other transport providers have been unable or unwilling to accept work, we have made the decision not to do this so that our customers still have options for the movement of containers to avoid terminal storage and facilitate deliveries but, once again, we cannot be held solely liable for detention by making this decision to continue providing a service in order to assist clients, albeit not operating at optimal levels.

As an alternative we ask that Customers speak to their receivers to see if they have capacity and equipment to unpack containers themselves. We understand most of our customers utilising SILA for unpack operate on an FIS basis however this option needs to be seriously considered for receivers to have stock quicker and assist in avoiding container detention. Any customers that can unpack their containers can have boxes dropped to their yard by side-loader which has a much quicker turnaround time, further info below.

If you have options available with alternative carriers, especially Melbourne and Fremantle, we suggest that containers are directed to them or, if already in SILA nominated yard, arrangements can be made for the container to be collected. While our business is here to provide services to our customers, and we are doing the best we can provided the circumstances, however if suitable alternatives can be found by customers, we are happy to facilitate or assist with movements to other sites nominated by our clients.

*Note: To assist in decision making, our turnaround times in each our major ports are approximately as follows: –

  • Melbourne: 4-6 weeks from vessel availability
  • Fremantle 3-4 weeks from vessel availability
  • Sydney:  2-3 weeks from vessel availability
  • Brisbane: 2-3 weeks from vessel availability

This is an approximate average. The situation remains fluid and can vary depending on many factors such as container size, location in depot stacks, product types, delivery location, shipping line, available free time etc.

Operational Update – FCL  

The following information applies to containers which SILA Global have been requested to deliver direct to customers as full containers either by side-loader or standard trailer.

Side-loader and standard trailer capacity has not been as greatly impacted as 3PL unpacking work. Side-loaders are in demand but given the nature of the work, and reliance on less resources, the capacity is easier to manage. In Melbourne & Fremantle we have a lot more capacity for side-loader delivery than unpack and are currently able to deliver containers to sites within 7-10 days of the vessel availability. Sydney and Brisbane are around 5-7 days.

*Note: In almost all cases, transport providers have increased their empty notification period from 48hrs to 72hrs. So, when containers are empty please allow 72hrs for the collection of the empty container from empty notification. Given these circumstances, we ask clients to have a minimum of 14free days on their container bookings to allow enough time for collection from terminal, staging at depot, delivery to site, unpack at site and subsequent de-hire with 72hrs of empty notification.

Operational Update – Break Bulk

The following information applies to Break Bulk which SILA Global have been requested to deliver to customers.

Arrival tonnage of Break Bulk has more than doubled, which is mainly due to the huge rise in costs of shipping FCL containers. Vessels with increased tonnage are arriving, resulting in block stacking issues at terminals with newly arrived cargo being stacked in front of older cargo, as well as splitting and sorting issues. We also understand that some vessels are diverting from Newcastle in favour of Port Kembla and some lines have a congestion surcharge in place for Newcastle and Fremantle. Add to that the overall reduction in transport capacity due to lack of drivers and trucking equipment, the situation here is not much better. Again, depending on the port and other factors, turnaround times can be 4 weeks for coiled product and a few months for long product with Fremantle and Newcastle being the longest turnaround times of a few months to clear some vessels.

Our staff are working tirelessly to keep customers informed, cargo moving and pushing deliveries with our partners. We please ask for your patience and understanding during this time.

Feel free to share this with your customers as I hope it can assist with conversations moving forward.

Please reach out at any time to discuss further.

Simon Pepper
Managing Director
SILA Global Pty Ltd