Dear Customer,

We are sure you are well aware by now of the struggles occurring in the international supply chain:

• Huge manufacturing demand
• Container shortages in major manufacturing countries
• Congestion at ports all around the globe
• Chassis and driver shortages
• Container Park capacity

In addition to the above is the congestion at major transhipment hubs.

Once the difficulty of securing space on a vessel and sourcing the necessary containers is overcome, the next major hurdle affecting the supply chain is congestion and delays at transhipment hubs. Finally after the goods arrive at the final port of discharge, the supply chain also faces (depending on destination) congestion within the port, lack of chassis/trucks, drivers, and ultimately a place to de-hire the empty container.

This article from Seatrade highlights delays at transhipment ports around the globe:

If you have any questions about the state of the supply chain and how your shipments are impacted - please contact your local SILA Global representative.

Thanks & kind regards
SILA Global Customer Service

Shipping Container Transport Logistics

Australian Steel News – Industry Insider January 2021

January 2021

The Department of Home Affairs in conjunction with the Australian Border Force is seeing an uptake among importers and exporters of its Australian Trusted Trader program. The program is a voluntary partnership between
accredited businesses and the Australian Government (Border Force) with the aim to streamline and facilitate trade and enhance supply chain security.

Benefits to members continue to evolve, indeed members are encouraged to make suggestions on improvements to the program. The program offers certain benefits to importers which could be extremely helpful to their business in affecting cash flow and administrative work.

One of the benefits is Duty Deferral. Becoming a member allows you to arrange duty deferral, including any dumping duty, in a similar way to GST, allowing payments to occur after the goods have been imported. This could help businesses which usually may need to pay large amounts prior to cargo collection. Duty deferral allows extra time for the payment and thus may reduce interest payable and other financing costs.

Another benefit within the program is Origin Waiver. Australia has many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and paying duty is not a huge burden for some businesses. However, the issue then arises of taking advantage of FTAs and ensuring you have the correct documentation (Free Trade Certificates) at the time of entry. Origin Waiver under the Trusted Trader program allows an accredited business to enter goods under an FTA without the need for a certificate. This does not apply to China FTAs at present, but may do so in the future.

Becoming a member of the Trusted Trader program is well worth considering. The website has a sub category which details additional benefits which may apply to your particular business.

Written by Simon Pepper
Director – Customs & Logistics

Published in Australian Steel News – Vol 4, Issue 5 – Jan 2021

We encourage our customers to become Trusted Traders and are happy to assist. To find our more about the application process please contact Simon Pepper -

Shipping Containers Logistics Australia

2021 commences with record high freight rates and container shortages


Thank goodness 2020 is over - but will 2021 be any better for supply chain management? COVID, congestion, container shortages etc continue to plague industry. Loadstar provide some insight to how the market is behaving in this article.

M5 East Toll Increase - 1st January 2021

To our valued customers,

Please be advised that M5 East Toll has increased from 1st January 2021 to:

$21.70 one way

$43.40 return

We thank you for your understanding, continued support & should you require any further Information please feel free to contact the SILA Customer Service Team.

Please pass this on to any staff within your business whom the notification is relevant.

Kind Regards,

SILA Customer Service

IFCBAA MEMBER UPDATE - Port & Empty Container Park Outlook


To our valued customers,

Please see below International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia (IFCBAA) update on Ports & Empty Container Parks in Australia.

IFCBAA would like to update members on the current port and ECPs situation and outlook in the short term.

There are a lot of moving parts contributing to the issue in Sydney as follows - some of which applies to Melbourne and Brisbane - and Perth to a lesser extent.

• Ships are arriving full and some bunching is occurring to get a berth window
• Stevedores crane rate is said to be averaging 28 lifts per hour
• Stevedores are limiting exchanges to turnaround ships as quickly as possible and not delay them in port to load more empties and exacerbate bunching and port omissions. (*exchanges are the total lifts off and onto a vessel in port – if the stevedore allows 4000 TEUs exchanges and there are 3000 TEUs imports to unload, only 1000 TEUs of export and empties can be loaded)
• This week a shipping line requested to exchange 4500 TEUs and was allowed 3200
• Under the circumstances, sweeper vessels obtaining a window to evacuate thousands of containers is a challenge - combined with instances of one stevedore unloading a vessel at Port Botany and then sending it out to anchor and then it returns a few days later to another stevedore to load empties.
• Whilst some lines have evacuated bulk quantities of boxes, there is still a backlog to clear at the ECPs and stevedores – SAL and NSW Ports estimates 38,000-42,000 empty TEUs backlog. Worth noting is the efforts by SAL and the major shipping lines throughout December, in working to increase the number of bulk empty container movements out of Port Botany/Sydney based ECPs
• Some inaccuracies in Container Chain data has been detected by IFCBAA, which has been adding to the process issues being experienced
• IFCBAA continues to push for transparency for industry for details of ECP capacity/utilisation, to date this information has been withheld, with IFCBAA having now elevated this issue to the CEO of NSW Ports, in addition to raising concerns on the ECP operating hours restrictions over the Xmas/NY period
• Protesting to SAL and the shipping lines continues by IFCBAA in relation to the continuation of the levying of congestion surcharges onto industry for full container import and export movements through Port Botany
The outlook for evacuation of empties volumes varies depending on the shipping line. Some lines have ad-hoc sweeper vessels arranged over Xmas and into the New Year, but if the bunching of scheduled vessel rotations continues in these numbers and carrying huge import TEUs loads, it will be a while before the empties backlog reduces substantially.

For the most part, the ECP’s are busy but coping with the high import volumes, with the exception of Cosco’s OCS ECP, which has been congested and operating above capacity. The issue has been bubbling away in the background now for several weeks with the transport companies managing the best they can. With the OCS going to a 24 hour booking has sent everyone over the edge, exacerbated by the short weeks of the festive season - detention bills will follow……

Apart from the Cosco/OCS issues, Port of Melbourne Container Park, Medlog and Cargolink have a mix of amended access, hours & capacity issues which haven’t helped.
Vessel scheduling is contributing, with some vessels either being delayed or omitting Melbourne and thereby providing fewer opportunities to reposition empties. November export of empty containers was up 22.4% refer to attached POM trade report. Shipping Lines are committing to bringing in sweeper vessels to clear up the backlog as reported by SAL.

Port of Melbourne has put in place short term licence agreements with several landside transport operators to provide them with additional land (within the PoM boundary) to use as overflow container or truck storage.

The VTA hasn’t made any public statement on issues with ECP’s and Port of Melbourne is monitoring the situation.

IFCBAA will continue to engage with the stakeholders to improve the situation, although the congestion issues are likely to continue for a while longer due to the systemic moving parts outlined.

The Port has increased its usage – a combination of the peak season, increased import TEUs volume and knock-effect of ships omitting Sydney and offloading in the Port of Brisbane.

• Delays are occurring at all terminals
• Patricks and DPW are automated but still having delays and wait times increasing
• Hutchison is badly impacted, with truck waiting times of 5 – 9 hrs
• Carriers cannot continue to absorb waiting time and are passing on the costs
• Carriers are hopeful that the situation recovers post-Christmas but as wholesale, retail and building trades industries are booming it may take a while longer to improve
• ECPs in Brisbane are pretty full.
• Exports are down since COVID hit and empties are not being used or evacuated significantly
• Ships omitting Sydney and offloading in Brisbane have added empty container volumes into the mix
• 2 ECPs have given notice that they will not be accepting charges for waiting time detention on drop off, eventhough they have accepted slots through Containerchain.
• The slotting system appears not to match the timing of unloading and loading of empties at the ECP.
• Bottlenecking is occurring and truck queues are constant and waiting up to 3 hours
• IFCBAA recommends the ECPs and Containerchain spread the slot times further apart to match their service capabilities
• At the weekend, the Port is open but ECPs are closed, so carriers are unable to offload an empty container on the weekend.

• Fremantle Port is busy with instances of terminals congestion with increased volumes and knock-on effect of the issues experienced on the East coast, with revised vessel rotations and port omissions.
• DP World Protected Industrial Action over Xmas and New Year will further impact vessel and container operations
• ECPs and container de-hires are busy but no real concerns

A major focus for IFCBAA has been on the Sydney Port Botany congestion situation, which has impacted vessel schedules and stevedores operations in Sydney and created a ripple effect to other ports, leading to port omissions, severe congestion at the ports and ECPs overcapacity. The situation is further exacerbated by the imposition of the Port Congestion Surcharge by several lines.

IFCBAA has expended an enormous amount of time and energy lobbying government ministers and as a member of TfNSW ECWG attended 12 meetings over the past weeks and engaged with the SAL, shipping lines, stevedores, Ports, transport providers and members and in the media, in an effort to improve the flow of containers and unblock the ECP overcapacity of empties.

The seeds of positive change from that engagement are now starting to see progress being made in the ports where congestion has been occurring, it is now up to the stevedores and ECPs to work their schedules together to ensure that the level of empty container evacuations available to them, does occur.

Whilst the shipping lines are endeavouring to evacuate bulk numbers of empty containers from all ports, the strong import volumes continue to undermine this effort. It appears that there will be more empties evacuated over the Christmas and New Year Period, with a number of shipping lines arranging for the bulk evacuation of empties via sweeper vessels.

Members experiencing sustained container de-hire issues can provide IFCBAA with examples where excessive time periods are incurred waiting for empty container ECP dehire nominations and dates; constant re-directions at short notice and for other significant issues relating to information surrounding empty container dehires. Such issues will be continue to be raised directly with senior executives of the relevant shipping lines.

IFCBAA will continue to engage with stakeholders at each port to improve outcomes for our members.



If you have any questions regarding the impact of the current situation of Australian ports and empty container parks on your supply chain please contact your local SILA representative.

Thanks & kind regards

SILA Customer Service

Shipping Logistics

Vessel scheduling hits record delays as demand surges


In what is no surprise to anyone in the industry, the latest Global Liner Performance Report released by Sea-Intelligence highlights just how significantly vessel scheduling has been impacted throughout 2020. In Q2 many carriers blanked numerous sailings to maintain schedule reliability, but as the market rebounded and demand increased – the delays have only gotten worse.

The delays experienced this year have hit record highs, with the Asia – US trade in particular being impacted heavily, and it’s expected to get worse before it gets better.

However, it’s not all the carriers fault, and Sea Intelligence Consulting Lars Jensen wrote in an online post “The reality is that many ports suffer from catastrophic indigestion due to the sudden boom in demand owing to the pandemic effect. Such port congestion leads to massive waiting times for simply getting a slot at a berth. It would not be reasonable to purely blame the carriers for this dramatic drop in performance,”

This article from Freight Waves outlines the findings in the Global Liner Performance Report.

If you have any questions regarding your supply chain and the impact of the scheduling delays – please contact your local SILA representative.


SILA Global Christmas banner

Christmas & New Year Trading Hours


To our valued customers,

Please note below our Christmas & New Year trading hours.

Wednesday 23rd December              Normal hours
Thursday 24th December                  Close at 12pm local time
Friday 25th December                       CLOSED

Monday 28th December                     CLOSED for Boxing Day public holiday
Tuesday 29th December                    Normal hours
Wednesday 30th December              Normal hours
Thursday 31st December                   Close at 12pm local time
Friday 1st January                              CLOSED

Monday 4th January                          AU office Normal hours / NZ office CLOSED
Tuesday 5th January                         All offices resume normal trading hours

The staff at SILA would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their understanding and support in what has been a very unique and difficult year.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Thanks & kind regards

SILA Customer Service

EUROPE T/F NAEC | Maersk confirms Canada Void/Blank Sailing

Dear Clients,

Shipping line Maersk has announced that after a careful evaluation of their network covering the North Europe to/from Canada Market, they have decided to Blank a sailing over the Holidays.  Their aim with this blank sailing is to provide stability to the service, while considering holiday closure and business slowdown. Please see below blank sailing details:

CAE Blank Sailing

Westbound Effect

Week Service Voyage Vessel Name First Port call NEU - ETD
Maersk Patras
Bremerhaven - 28.12.2020

Eastbound Effect

Week Service Voyage Vessel Name First Port call NAM - ETD
Maersk Patras
Montreal - 13.01.2021

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your SILA Representative.

Kind Regards

SILA Customer Service

New benefits for Australian Trusted Traders


To our valued customers,

SILA Global is proud to be an Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) as recognised by Australian Border Force.

ATT is a government partnership with Australian businesses to streamline legitimate trade - reducing red tape at the border and expediting the flow of cargo in/out of Australia. It is available to those business that can demonstrate a secure international supply chain and compliant trade practices.

Being a Trusted Trader is a mark of distinction and provides many benefits including;

  • faster resolution of any border clearance issues
  • priority processing & treatment of cargo
  • less checks and interventions of import cargo
  • trade facilitation benefits with certain countries under Mutual Recognition Arrangements
  • duty deferral – into a single monthly payment
  • origin waivers - Certificates or Declarations of Origin are not required under certain free trade agreements

In addition to these existing benefits the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have received advice from the Australian Border Force (ABF) in terms of expanded benefits for Australian Trusted Traders:

Expansion of ATT Origin Waiver benefit

The Origin Waiver benefit for Australian Trusted Traders has been expanded to the following trade agreements.

  • Indonesia-Australia FTA (IA-CEPA)
  • Australia-Hong Kong FTA (AHKFTA)
  • Peru-Australia FTA (PAFTA)
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
  • Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus

Australian Customs Notice 2020/43 provides further detail

Periodic Payments benefit

The Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Jason Wood recently announced the Periodic Payment benefit for eligible Australian Trusted Traders. This measure will enable Australian Trusted Traders to pay ABF-collected import related fees and charges on a monthly basis (on the 21st day of the month following the month in which the goods are imported), rather than on a transaction basis. The measure is expected to become available by mid-2021.

The benefit will initially be available to eligible Australian Trusted Traders who defer payment of GST through the GST deferral scheme (i.e. importers). It will allow deferred payment of: Import Processing Charge (IPC), Wine Equalisation Tax (WET), Luxury Car Tax (LCT), Agriculture Processing Charge, and the Wood Levy. This extends the existing ability for Australian Trusted Traders to defer payment of customs duty, including anti-dumping duty, which was introduced to the program in 2018.

The ABF have advised they will provide more information on the benefit in 2021.

If you have any questions about how to become an Australian Trusted Trader please reach out to our Director of Customs & Logistics – Simon Pepper

Thanks & kind regards…

SILA Customer Service

Australian logistics company

The impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains


To our valued customers,

2020 has been a difficult year for supply chains to say the least.

The level of disruption to the container shipping industry could not have been predicted at the start of the pandemic, and a “perfect storm” has been created in the way of increased product demand, container shortages, capacity issues, record high freight rates and terminal/landside delays. We have worked closely with our partners and customers to navigate through this disruption, and provide the best possible service delivery that we can during this time.

Globally, vessel operators say the container shipping industry is under intense pressure due to the effects of the pandemic. Delays caused by lockdowns, quarantine requirements and changes to workplaces have created significant disruption to global trade, despite a huge demand for product.

In a recent article for Financial Times Lars Jensen, chief planner of services for Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container ship operator, said there was a “perfect storm” created by a mix of rising demand and reduced capacity in logistics systems. “There’s congestion in terminals,” said Mr Jensen, “There’s a shortage of truck drivers because some have not been able to drive. Particular out of Asia, we see a part of that is linked also to the fact that a lot of companies are restocking”. As a result “productivity slows down”, which “delays more ships, then we get a vicious circle”, Mr Jensen said.

Delays to berth at some ports have been widely reported. Earlier this week the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported 17 container ships waiting for berth at LA & Long beach, with only 3 due to move into port that day.

COVID-19 outbreaks have the ability to quickly and heavily disrupt a port terminal’s productivity.

“The entire supply chain is under pressure,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive at Hapag-Lloyd. “The market situation is extraordinary. We’ve had examples where in a port 600 port workers were put into quarantine… [Even] if that port was on top of its game, then within a week you have 10 vessels struggling to get alongside [the terminal’s quays].”

CMA-CGM last week it would not accept any new bookings until the last week of December to “hopefully, put us in a better situation for January”. But there is a concern that deferring orders would only contribute to the problem and create higher freight rates and space issues later.

When the pandemic first hit global trade declined at an unprecedented pace – seeing shipping lines cancelling hundreds of sailings. In the last few months as the world navigates through the pandemic, trade has rebounded and demand for product shipped from Asia is high, meaning that lines operating at close to or at capacity. A lack of available space combined with increased demand has contributed to a doubling of the rates as measured by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index. Rates from Asia to the US west coast have increased to record highs. Additionally Mr Habben Jansen of Hapag-Lloyd said that despite boosting capacity by more than a quarter of a million containers this year “We had too many boxes in the wrong places because of disturbances earlier in the year”. This is further compounding the raft of issues the container shipping industry is currently facing.

It will take time for the supply chain to recover from the current conditions and we will continue to keep you all informed of the status of the industry.

If you have any questions, please contact your local SILA representative and we will be happy to assist.

We thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Thanks & kind regards

SILA Customer Service