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Date: 18th January 2023

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Airfreight | Asia | Australia | Europe | North America | South America | South Africa

New Zealand

Imports

  • Regrettably, congestion at mainly Auckland Container depots has deteriorated further since the last update. Capacity in the main centres, especially Auckland, is operating at an overcapacity level and unable to handle the volume of empty containers for dehire or turn around units to make them available for export use. Key depots have either shut altogether for lengthy periods or greatly restricted the number of acceptance bookings issued. Often the only option for trucking companies is to uplift the empty container(s) from importers’ premises and then hub the containers called in until they can obtain an active acceptance with a matching booking, many days later. The backlog of hubbed containers waiting to be dehired is significant. It will take some time to redress the imbalance even with a concerted effort to reuse containers for export, and evacuate unused empties out of New Zealand as the latter requires a redirection of scarce resources away from handling import containers. We are taking issue with Shipping Lines currently not offering any relief on detention due to the unavoidable delay in dehires.
  • There is an ongoing resourcing issue in the New Zealand supply chain driven by a long-term lack of skilled & semi-skilled labour. A resurgence in covid, along with staff absenteeism for other reasons, is and will continue to be a major factor hindering the Ports, warehousing, and trucking companies’ ability to cope with existing volumes. With warehouse storage capacity for imports at a premium coupled with no relief on demurrage or detention, please plan to have resources available to receive incoming shipments over the upcoming short weeks.
  • VBS (Container booking) charges will increase again in February with a rise in Metroport VBS charges closely following announced adjustments to be billed by Ports of Auckland from 1st January 2023.

Exports

  • Congestion at the Port of Tauranga continues with slight easing. Vessel arrival and close-off dates constantly change. Please monitor the Port of Tauranga website closely and aim to have your containers on port at the first opportunity.
  • Equipment shortages continue for Hapag Lloyd, ANL, & CMA CGM & Maersk, Nelson, Port Chalmers, and Napier are the most impacted.

Airfreight

Imports

  • Australia
    • We have increased our Melbourne consol to three days a week and are looking to expand this service to five days a week.
    • Our Sydney consol has been increased to two days a week.
  • Asia
    • Will be very quiet over CNY and then capacity issues will hit during the first weeks of February.
  • USA
    • No capacity issues with all consols moving as booked.
  • UK and EU
    • Allocations generally moving as booked at agreed rate levels, however, there remains a large variation in rate levels for adhoc shipments depending on the origin and airline used.
  • Trucking and warehousing at the airport are running OK, even with limited staff.

Exports

  • Australia
    • A new freighter service to Melbourne starting this week will help capacity, Sydney is still at full capacity and off-loads are frequent.
  • Asia
    • Space at absolute capacity with the build-up to CNY, is expected to go back to normal after the 22nd of January.
  • USA
    • Plenty of options and capacities with shipments moving as booked.
  • UK and EU
    • Space via Asia is at full capacity due to CNY.
    • There are options via USA and Middle East where bookings are being accepted.
  • Trucking and warehousing at the airport are running OK, even with limited staff.

Asia

Imports

  • There are a number of disruptions caused across China by the current Covid outbreak. These are mostly impacting factories, many of whom are operating on a skeleton staff or closing altogether in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to minimize the spread. We encourage you to discuss any impacts with your suppliers directly as they are best placed to advise how this will affect the dispatch of any orders.
  • Schedule issues are a continuing theme in 2023 and will likely remain an issue until Auckland and Tauranga can return all services to a weekly berthing window.
  • We predict that rates from Asia will continue their downward trajectory until the middle of 2023. However, these may not be as big as we saw at the back end of 2022 as we start to get close to the bottom of where the carriers can go.

Exports

  • Space and equipment availability is improving; however, we are still seeing a shortage of reefer equipment at some origins.
  • Advanced bookings are a challenge with more lines imposing cancellation fees, schedule changes, and reduced booking windows. We recommend discussing options with your Customer Services representative as to how to best handle your booking(s).
  • MSC, OOCL, & ONE are the only Carriers currently accepting cargo to the Middle East.
  • Berth congestion in North East Asia is minimal – currently seeing 1-2 days or less. South East Asia is seeing waits of 1 day or less.
  • China is currently batling COVID outbreaks in cities across the country, from Zhengzhou in central Henan province to Guangzhou in the south and Chongqing in the southwest. If you have cargo on the water to any of these destinations, please make contact with your Customer Services representative to discuss options for discharge in alternative locations. Please note, the Lunar New Year holiday may also cause delays in cargo reaching its final destination.

Australia

Imports

  • Starting 2023 with no equipment or space issues for bookings ex Australia to New Zealand.
  • Trucking around Australia for export goods is quiet, no delays and plenty of availability.
  • ANL still experiencing arrival delays of vessels into Australia, pushing out ETD dates to New Zealand over 7-12 days from originally planned schedules.
  • ZIM Napier will be a direct call on N2A service.
  • Bookings are open for ex Adelaide direct calls into New Zealand.
  • The most concerning issue is container dehire in New Zealand with depots at full capacity and a VBS slot to return your empty container is at least 7 days. This will affect both LCL and FCL bookings with possible detention charges.
  • Please contact your Oceanbridge Representative or Tilia and Michele if you require advice or have any questions, we are here to assist you.
  • The Trans Tasman Eastbound Team look forward to presenting you with multiple options for your Australia to NZ goods.

Exports

  • Port delays have improved slightly – current average waiting time in Sydney is 1-3 days, Melbourne is 1-2 days and Brisbane is approx. 1 day.
  • There has been another change to the ANZ Shuttle service second vessel – this is now the ANL Tasman Trader. The ANL Tasman Trader call Brisbane, Sydney, and Tauranga. The other vessel on this service will change to be the Contship Win from early December – this vessel calls Tauranga, Brisbane, and Noumea.
  • On the TTZ service, the X Press Nuptse will be replaced by the Capitaine Baret in January 2023.
  • Space availability fluctuates depending on the destination and shipping line. We recommend checking with your Export Customer Services representative well in advance of any upcoming bookings you may require.
  • The depots in Australia are facing staff and labour shortages. This is affecting the timeliness with which our FAK containers are being unpacked and cargo being made available for collection/delivery
  • DAFF (The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) will be increasing the AQIS Processing Charge for shipments arriving by sea from the 16th of January 2023. The revised charge will be AUD 58 per declared consignment.

Europe

Imports

  • Maersk, CMA, and MSC are open for bookings from most ports now but Cosco, ONE, and OOCL have only limited bookings to New Zealand due to back logs in transshipment ports. Rates have softened on most carriers.
  • MSC continues to have delays in Singapore, with exception of Refrigerated and DG cargos that are prioritised.
  • CMA has delays of 3-4 weeks in Malaysia.
  • CFS is operating as normal to load LCL.
  • BMSB Season is in place from September 1st and will remain in place until April 30th. The procedures are the same as last year.

Exports

  • There is congestion in Hamburg, resulting in delays with on carriage of other EU destinations and deliveries into Germany.

North America

Imports

  • What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2022, over 100 container ships were stuck waiting off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, with around 150 off all North American ports combined. Now, there are almost no ships waiting in Pacific waters and increasingly few off the East and Gulf coasts.
    • Ship-position data showed just 30 container vessels off North American ports Friday morning. All remaining queues are down to single digits per port.
    • The Port of Savannah in Georgia had almost 50 ships waiting in mid-2022; there were still close to 30 in late November. As of Friday morning, there were eight.
  • Port Tracker covers 12 U.S. ports. While final counts are not in yet, it is estimated the ports it covers handled 1.88 million twenty-foot equivalent units in December, down 10.1% year on year.
  • Port Tracker forecasts that import volumes in January and February will be roughly even with pre-COVID levels then will bounce back above them again in March-May.
  • Last month’s imports were down 19.3% year on year and down 1.3% versus November.
  • Ocean schedules have improved, but delays remain higher than they used to be. In the first week of January, the Flexport Ocean Timeliness Indicator for the Asia-U.S. route was still 25% higher than three years ago.
  • The coastal mix is also much different. Ports on the East and Gulf coasts continue to handle significantly higher volumes than before the pandemic. Volumes on the West Coast are much lower than they used to be.
  • A new West Coast dockworker labour contract has still not been signed, over seven months after the last one expired.
  • Still, the truck driver shortage causing congestion on the East Coast at terminals, due to Covid reasons, replacement drivers at short notice cannot be found, so we are incurring penalty rates moving containers.
  • The previous BMSB requirements will be reinstated for the upcoming BMSB season and will be made permanent for all future BMSB seasons (between 1 September and 30 April).

Exports

  • West Coast ports have improved, while there are still congestion and berthing issues cargo is moving through the ports with less delay. Container yards remain at capacity impacting container dehiring and subsequent additional costs.
  • The East Coast services are still heavily booked.
  • Recent bad weather has caused delays with inland transport.

South America

  • Port congestion is causing a waiting time of up to 4 weeks for FCL bookings.

South Africa

  • Port congestion is causing a waiting time of up to 4 weeks for FCL bookings.

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