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Worldwide Shortages of Equipment is Worsening

Equipment shortages are worsening from markets around the world. We have initially reported that CMA-CGM and ANL were suffering shortages that they had hoped to have resolved after Golden Week in China but that has not eventuated and they are still suffering extreme shortages of 40GP and 40 HC containers (Movements of Containers in Key Asian Markets Continue to be Impacted).

Unfortunately, all carriers are now reporting that they have shortages in all equipment types including ANL, CMA-CGM, OOCL , Evergreen, ZIM Line ,Hapag Lloyd and others. This will result in delays waiting for available stock or require stock to be sourced from points some distance from your factory that may result in increased costs.

The movement of containers is complex and encapsulates global movements not just movement into and out of Australia. If we look at China as an example, containers are either imported back full or empty from countries all over the world. The empty containers are released back into depots for the use of the exporter from China. If an export vessel to the United States is departing days ahead of an export vessel to Australia it will drain the empty equipment available, leaving little for the pending Australian vessel.

In normal times there would be enough stock at empty yards in the China ports that will cover bookings for exports to all countries.

As we know, we are not in normal times and there is a great deficit in containers at the origin ports . There are various factors but it is predominately an inability to reposition equipment back to Asia from the destination ports.

Congestion in ports around the world, is delaying container release to importers resulting in containers unable to be turned around for 6 to 8 weeks instead of the normal 2 weeks , there is significant congestion at:


Felixstowe is taking at least 3 weeks to process containers and port congestion surcharges have been applied. Other ports like Southampton are seeing growing congestion issues.

New Zealand

As previously advised Auckland has imposed a Port Congestion Surcharge this week (ANL and CMA CGM Imposes Port Congestion Surcharge in Auckland) to cope with delays moving through the terminals.


Los Angeles has severe congestion and has opened up off-port overflow sites to cope with congestion and only today it has been reported a shift to of containers to Gulf ports to avoid the West Coast congestion. Shortage of chassis has slowed down movement to importers.


Australian ports have been severely congested for the past 2 to 3 months as a result of Industrial action and bad weather.

The congestion is caused by ongoing surging imports into all of the above regions, the impact of COVID 19 to the port operations where ports in the UK and mainland EU are subject to social distancing and deep cleaning regimes that slow down port operations , industrial action and weather events.

In the case of Australia where vessels have been held up for weeks on the Australian coastline vessels have been badly delayed in returning to origin ports and so are the containers being exported back to the origin ports.

Shipping lines in some countries (e.g. Australia and USA) have restricted export bookings of full containers in favour of empty equipment to have faster turnaround of equipment once discharged at origin ports.

The shortages are going to be in place during November and into December at least and we are sorry to inform, it will impact shipping from all Asian origins into Australia and New Zealand.

ACA International is exhausting all options to access equipment.  Your customer service and sales representative will continue to keep you updated on this situation.