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ACA Alerts

Global Port Congestion Creating Major Delay and Disruption

Vessel delay continues to prevail on vessels arriving and departing Australian and New Zealand Ports.  The issues causing the delays remain as per our previous news alerts.

  • Singapore is currently suffering severe congestion resulting in double the normal turnaround time (e.g. the large 18,000 TEU vessels taking 5 to 7 days to complete operations rather than the normal two-day turnaround.
  • Similar congestion is occurring in Malaysian ports caused by labour shortage resulting from the ongoing impact of  COVID-19.
  • Singapore and Malaysia are a major gateway to and from Asian ports to Australia/New Zealand and so imports and exports from Australia/New Zealand are being effected.
  • New Zealand congestion is at critical point with continued high demand for import and export containers , labour shortages and a failing  automation of ports programme has resulted in delays of over 9 days to clear containers from the port of Auckland. This has forced containers to move through Tauranga however this has caused massive backlog on rail between Tauranga to Auckland of 10- 14 days.  Port congestion surcharges remain in force in Auckland.
  • Shipping Lines are taking action to prevent delays that equates to significant cost to their operation. Hapag Lloyd, Maersk , Hamburg Sud and MSC has removed Auckland from their service between US East Coast and New Zealand.
  • The Trans-Tasman service is suffering significantly where ANL has reported their dedicated New Zealand to Australia TTZ service is losing an average 1 voyage per month due to the aforementioned delay in New Zealand.
  • ANL has advised that they have over 1000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) backlog and on Friday evening announced the cancellation of all bookings on the Nefeli V 2105. The vessel will be used to remove the backlog that has developed in Australian ports. In this case there will be impact to bookings that you may have with ACA International on this vessel, our sales and export customer service team will discuss those with during Monday 12 April and into the week.
  • USA  port congestion also continues at very high levels, particularly on the West Coast USA. West Coast Ports are reporting the busiest February on record and TEU volumes have increased by 43.3 % year on year. Rail movements in and out of West Coast Ports are severely delayed due to the major backlog that has formed resulting in delays in rail from Discharge Ports to Interior ports of 6 weeks.

Unfortunately, any shipments departing from West Coast USA to Australia will be subject to delay and certainly all exports through the West Coast USA will be delayed. As reported earlier East Coast USA ports are also seeing delay building due to congestion in both USA and NZ and major carriers have suspended their Auckland service.  

The congestion in the above regions is wreaking havoc on vessels schedule into Australia/New Zealand ports and we continue to see shipping line drop ports in transit to recover schedule or slide their entire schedule to regain schedule integrity.  Further vessel delay notices will highlight some of the current delays.

Our Export and Import customer service teams will keep you as updated as possible however please understand that the actions being taken by carriers are being made on the fly  so we are receiving very late notice on many changes.