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Date: 31st August 2022

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New Zealand


  • The delay in being able to dehire empty import containers is an increasingly frequent problem for import shipments. Due to a lack of resources, especially available space, VBS bookings are often not available for the uplift or drop off of empty units for several days. Acceptances are also sometimes not in place, depots shutting temporarily at short notice, long queues for dehiring trucks further delaying dehire. Shipping Lines are not offering relief on detention incurred due to importers and their contracting carrier(s) being unavoidably delayed in being able to dehire. Local carriers are doing their best to manage by uplifting empty containers to clear ATF delivery sites and hubbing until a live acceptance is in place at the empty depot but there is inevitably also a cost for this. The cost of making a booking to dehire an empty container is increasing effective 1st September.
  • A number of providers have advised of a general rate increase effective 1st September for LCL & FCL cartage plus the handling and devanning of FAK containers. The additional cost will be reflected in rate cards.
  • Most if not all sectors of the domestic supply chain that involves physical handling including New Zealand ports are operating at reduced capacity due to long-term staff resourcing issues being compounded by a continuing high staff sick leave absence ratio. The interisland ferry service which includes trucks carrying north and southbound freight has had a number of crossings cancelled due to crew shortages. CFS facilities devanning FAK containers to make LCL shipments available for uplift have more containers to devan than available capacity leading to delays of 1 to 2 weeks in LCL shipments being made available from the time the container discharges.
  • The main ports in New Zealand are operating at capacity, often leading to a time delay from when a container is discharged until it can be uplifted from the port(s). Rail from Tauranga to the inland port at Onehunga, Metroport is generally coping with the volume but the number of days for containers to be railed from the time of discharge is subject to fluctuation.
  • Vessel arrival dates into New Zealand ports are more often than not in variance to the scheduled ETA. Shipping Lines are frequently changing port rotation or omitting calls to try and skirt around port delays – often at short notice. The latest vessel to declare Force Majeure and make Auckland destination containers available at Northport for collection is the OOCL Busan v536S. The current ETA into Northport is 5th September, with discharge set to take 2 days. This means that containers will likely start to be available end of week 36 for importers to arrange uplift from Marsden Point.
  • Warehouses utilised for storing and 3PL management of imported shipments are now largely full in the main centres and unable to offer any additional capacity. The cost of storing goods when capacity is available has increased sharply.
  • Regrettably, the issues outlined are likely to continue into at least the medium term due to world factors outside of New Zealand’s control. The tight labour market locally is further leading directly to a lack of resources to cope with the change in demands, capacity issues.
  • The pump price of diesel has eased slightly during the last month despite the fall not matching petrol. Local trucking FAF will reduce from 29.7% for August to 27.3% for September.
  • Stink bug season begins on September 1st, and this will possibly cause delays processing MPI permits. Please ensure that documents are provided to us as soon as possible.


  • Covid related illness is impacting warehousing and container depots staffing levels. Please expect delays at container freight stations and container depots. It would be prudent to plan your export loading 1-2 days earlier than usual, where possible.
  • Hapag Lloyd, ANL, and CMA CGM are desperately short of equipment. A reduction of inbound container flows is impacting Auckland, Tauranga, and Nelson in particular, however, equipment is in short supply in all regions.
  • The Port of Tauranga remains congested. Vessel arrival and departure dates are volatile, with some vessels berthing days early with no advanced notice.



  • Australia
    • Brisbane capacity remains full and we are forced to move larger shipments via Sydney.
    • Airlines have put on more flights, however, they are narrow-body aircrafts so not a great deal of cargo uplift.
  • Asia
    • Rates are stabilising as the ocean freight conversions are not happening due to the cost.
    • Bookings for non-consol are coming through at reasonable transit times.
  • USA
    • Hawaiian Airlines working well from the East Coast shipments via New York.
    • Air Tahiti Nui now running three flights a week ex Los Angeles.
    • Qantas to offer the direct flight from New York that will suit bulking less heavy shipments, due to weight restrictions on the aircraft.
  • UK and EU
    • Capacity has been squeezed due to the European holiday period. Delays on shipments are between 3 and 7 days in some instances.
    • Rates remain high, particularly for maindeck shipments as there are such limited services.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking, and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is being hit by absenteeism due to Covid and flu infections.


  • Australia
    • Capacity to all main destinations remains good with consols moving as booked, unless there is an engineering issue with the freighter services.
  • Asia
    • China is still at full capacity but bookings to other destinations are much easier to obtain.
    • China Airlines are increasing their capacity and Malaysian are adding adhoc services.
  • USA
    • Air NZ and Qantas both confirm direct flights to New York to open up the East Cost USA and onward connections to Europe.
    • Carriers starting to give special rates for larger shipments as capacity grows.
  • UK and EU
    • Capacity to the EU is currently the best it has been for some time with carriers confirming bookings with transit times of around three days.
  • Cargo terminals, trucking, and warehousing across the supply chain at the airport is being hit by absenteeism due to Covid and flu infections.



  • The ongoing heatwave in China has led to more production shutdown in badly impacted areas, as power supply dwindles and what is generated is prioritised for residential supply and other critical infrastructure. While coastal cities aren’t as badly impacted, any manufacturers that operate inland are likely to see disruption over the coming weeks. We recommend communicating directly with your suppliers about potential delays.
  • Schedules continue to be an issue, with large roll pools continuing to form across all major transship ports in Asia with gaps between sailings into New Zealand fluctuating anywhere from 3 to 18 days. Adding to this pressure are delays in Auckland and Tauranga, with any services calling both losing up to 21 days off the New Zealand coast.
  • Equipment stocks seem to have improved dramatically across all major ports, with outports being replenished as feeder vessels allow them to.


  • Space and equipment availability is plaguing this market, notably with a shortage of reefer equipment across all shipping lines.
  • 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 are the only Carriers currently accepting cargo to the Middle East.
  • ANL have temporarily suspended cargo to the Philippines.
  • Berth congestion has been an issue in Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Port Kelang. Current delays are between 1-3 days, however, this is improving.



  • ANL TTZ have made changes to their rotation:
    • You will note, both Wellington and Nelson are removed from the new rotation. ANL will still service the two ports with the below arrangements:

Imports: To be discharged in Auckland and carried to Wellington on our KIX/ANZEX services.

    • NELSON:

Imports: To be discharged in Auckland and carried to Nelson on the Pacifica service.

ANL will work with Pacifica to ensure the Nelson volumes are protected and will experience a more reliable connection under the new arrangements. The Pacifica Nelson calls will be increased to weekly.

The commencement of the new rotation will start with the following voyages.

Safeen Prime v2217/2218 in Tauranga 18/9

Moana Chief v4429/4430 in Nelson 12/9 and in Tauranga 14/9.

  • Brisbane Ports and empty parks are running over capacity. Carriers are struggling to service the road movements.
  • Due to vessel delays and terminal deliveries not being open, our carriers will not always pick up full containers from suppliers immediately. It is better to leave containers at the suppliers premises until receiving opens, as there will be additional charges if we have to redirect the container to a storage depot before receiving opens.
  • Peak Season will hit early. If your suppliers in Australia can accept empties outside of normal business hours or Saturdays this will enable our carriers to continue to provide their usual high standard of service.
  • ANL TTZ Service – Keta v2216 is omitting Wellington.
  • Due to crew shortages, operations on the Safeen Prime v2214 have been delayed berthing in Auckland.
  • Sydney there is currently a supply of 20’ containers on TTZ.
  • PIL have advised that due to ongoing issues with New Zealand Ports and the pressure on the schedule they are going to remove the Brisbane to New Zealand call in approx. 1 month. Oceanbridge will advise our solution to replace this option soon.
  • Oceanbridge Auckland has a new Trans-Tasman Eastbound Trade Assistant, Tilia Hinks. Tilia has been in the NZ Customer Service Team for the past 3 years. Michele and Tilia are here to assist you with any Australia to NZ Trade questions feel free to contact them.


  • Port delays are improving – current average waiting time in Sydney is 2-3 days and Brisbane is 1 day.
  • The ANL TTZ service will omit Wellington until the 26th August. Please contact your Customer Service representative for alternative sailing options.
  • The new ANL ANZ Shuttle service has begun its first voyage from Brisbane. The ANL TTZ service will change rotation – Wellington and Nelson port calls will be removed from the new rotation.
  • Space availability fluctuates depending on the destination and shipping line so we recommend checking with your Export Customer Services representative well in advance of any upcoming bookings you may require.
  • Please note, due to the Omicron variant, Australia is experiencing severe staff and labour shortages. Transport bookings are now requiring 4 days notice prior to delivery. We are now also seeing long waits for Biosecurity inspections to be completed.
  • The depots are also seeing 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.



  • There will be congestion in Rotterdam / Antwerp area due to low water levels in the canal systems. This causes the barges to be limited in how many containers they can load. Some containers are forced to be trucked at higher costs, and some have to wait to be cleared on later barge sailings and miss their intended vessel. The Rhine River has now been closed which will put a lot of pressure on German truckers from South of Germany.
  • The Felixstowe port strike has finished after 8 days but no resolution is in sight. More action is expected before Christmas. Liverpool port is also threatening to go on strike. There are considerable back logs at all UK ports that need to be worked through.
  • Truck drivers from Poland and Germany have been involved in Ukraine aid efforts and many have stopped working their normal routes. This means it can take longer to find available truckers in these two countries for container pick-ups.
  • Please allow 4-5 weeks to secure bookings. Maersk, CMA, and MSC are open, but Cosco, ONE, and OOCL have only limited bookings to New Zealand due to backlogs in transshipment ports.
  • MSC continue to have large delays in Singapore, with exception of Refrigerated and DG cargos that are prioritised.
  • CMA has delays of 4-5 weeks in Malaysia.
  • CFS’s are operating as normal to load LCL.
  • BMSB Season will start again on September 1st and remain in place until April 30th. The procedures are the same as last year.


  • An 8-day strike at the key Port of Felixstowe, in the UK, finished August 29th, affecting supply chains across Europe and impact dozens of vessels. The strike by around 1,900 workers over wages disrupted trade, delayed vessels, and forced port changes. Felixstowe handles half of the containerised freight entering the UK, the strike has caused congestion at other UK ports. Further action appears a strong possibility as the union United have not accepted the 7% pay offer, the union has warned it would set further strike dates if the Port would not negotiate further.
  • Hamburg is severely disrupted by the current congestion levels across Europe and the port itself is subject to congestion on port, long vessel berth waiting times, resulting in significant delays. This has been caused by a magnitude of factors, including labour shortages due to strike action and holiday season, high dwell on import cargo, demand surges into North Europe ports, and inland terminal bottlenecks. The situation is expected to continue through September.
  • Rotterdam and Antwerp have increased congestion due to the Felixstowe strikes.

North America


  • Long Beach reinstatement on the PNW loop vessels weekly service from the CMA-CGM Dutch Harbour v 229s ETD 29th September from the West Coast to New Zealand and Australia.
    • Long Beach terminals have an average wait time 13 days. This is due to terminal congestion, due to import dwell times of containers.
    • The combined number of Import containers to Long Beach are down but dwell time is at 12 days.
    • Import containers being shipped via rail are moving out too slowly and will have a flow on affect with terminal congestion at Long Beach.
    • American freight via rail roads are incredibly chaotic right now as union members may go on strike later this month.
    • Delays still with rail into Long Beach from the mid-west. The best option is to use the East Coast ports for FAK/ FCL containers.
  • Oakland vessel waiting time currently 15 days.
  • New York / New Jersey vessel current wait time 1-3 days and export delivery dates are still volatile at the terminals.
  • Still truck driver shortage causing congestion at terminals and, 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).


  • The VSA service to the West Coast seeing significant delays on arrival dates into Tauranga. Vessel wait times for berths at arrival ports has reduced slightly however delays remain significant.
  • The VSA service is now calling Long Beach on every sailing.
  • There are significant delays in Oakland due to congestion and recent protest. Seattle is working well with containers moving off the port, within days of arrival. Vancouver and Long Beach have improved, however, there are still delays.
  • Container yards are over capacity, particularly in California, often not accepting empty returns resulting in storage and additional transport costs.
  • The East Coast services have been overbooked by the Carriers, consequently short shipping containers. There is significant congestion in Charleston. Congestion in Panama & Cartagena is resulting in delayed transhipment of 2-4 weeks into Houston, Savannah, Norfolk, New Orleans and New York. Maersk has ceased transiting cargo via Panama into US ports, this is now being offered via Asia with transit times exceeding 80 days.
  • Due to congestion in Oceania, all ANP East Coasts vessels will slide by one week in October effectively resulting in a blank sailing on the service in week 41 (week starting October 10th).

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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