tel. (0xx) xxx xx xx

Oceanbridge Black Logo
View From the Bridge Header

Date: 6th July 2022

Go to Directory:
Customs | Airfreight | Asia | Australia | Europe | North America | South America | South Africa

New Zealand


  • There are currently high container volumes at Ports of Tauranga, rail to and from Metroport, plus at Metroport itself. Local container carriers are keen and willing to assist requests from Metroport to clear arriving import container but are being stymied by long delays on the truck R&D grids. A good number of backlogged containers were cleared from the rail stacks at Tauranga to rail Metroport over the weekend but the transit time for non priority selected containers varies greatly and can be up to 2 weeks.
  • Lyttelton Port and Ports of Auckland are similarly experiencing congestion especially effecting the road grid due to high volumes. Long terms staff resourcing issues are being exacerbated by a high percentage of the working roster reporting in for isolation and/or sick leave. This affects all companies involved in the supply chain and is expected to be an ongoing restricting factor.
  • For all New Zealand ports, the actual arrival times for vessels transiting the Australian East Coast is unpredictable. Brisbane port has been adversely affected for some months, now the other ports are experiencing weather related delays. Port Kembla has been shut this week for a period.
  • Container depots are still challenged with unpredictable lead times to be able to accept empty import containers. Frequently, acceptances are not in place 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.


  • The second wave of 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.
  • Container supply has become problematic as container depots staffing levels reduce many are struggling to repair and upgrade containers.
  • Vessel delays and schedule changes continue to be an issue, we highly recommend that the receival window is confirmed at the time of arranging container transport (both empty in and full back to the port). There is congestion at the Port of Tauranga, this is causing vessels drop back 3-4 days very close to the planned ETD.

New Zealand Customs

Free Trade Agreement:

New Zealand and the 27 country European Union signed a Free Trade Agreement last week. While all of the details are still to be published, it is said that this will give greater access for our exports and make products from the Union duty free into New Zealand. More information can be obtained from the MFAT website,, and our Customs team will also be able to help.



  • Australia – Carriers are increasing capacity from some origins so bookings outside of consol are getting easier, however, maindeck shipments are still having to move at express rates and bookings are only confirmed the day before departure.
  • Asia – Most shipments are now moving as booked as capacity starts to open up as the continued high rates are not sustainable for certain commodities.
  • USA – Hawaiian Airlines have started operations and taking East Coast shipments via New York. Air Tahiti Nui now running three flights a week ex Los Angeles.
  • UK and EU – Some additional capacity has become available via Asia as the bookings from that region ease. Rates do 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 returning to normal as covid restrictions are eased.


  • Australia – Capacity has eased as more flights are added across the Tasman to all destinations. Bookings outside of normal allocations are starting to get harder to move but space is generally becoming available.
  • Asia – China is still at full capacity but booking to other destinations are much easier to obtain.
  • USA – Hawaiian Airlines have started operations with three flights per week. Air Tahiti Nui have also increased to three flights per week.
  • UK and EU – Capacity is currently the best to the EU 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 returning to normal as covid restrictions are eased.



  • Schedule issues continue to plague North Asia with the J Star/NZJ/JKN only offering 2 sailings from China to NZ, and the ANZEX/CNS only offering 3 sailings from China to NZ during July. This removes around 13,000 TEU of capacity in July alone across the 2 main North Asia services to New Zealand (a loss of around 38% capacity). Where viable, we are looking for alternatives for our LCL containers.
  • Space from South East Asia continues to ease across most services, however, this could tighten up if lines look to increase the flow of European cargo to Oceania via Singapore/Malaysian transship ports. Feeder availability can be problematic, however, this is limited to specific origin ports rather than a broader issue. Please speak to your Customer Service contact if you would like further clarification on this.
  • The Subcontinent seems to be less problematic than it has been over the last 12 months, with space beginning to open up out of many of the larger ports in India. However, freight rates remain elevated and will likely need to see a sustained period of easing before these begin to creep down.


  • 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’s new service ex Brisbane will kick off from the 6th August. It is a fortnightly service calling Tauranga only. Other NZ ports will be difficult to get bookings for from August.
  • Equipment shortages getting worse. No 20’s until mid-August. 40’s and reefer equipment in short supply as well.
  • There have been waiting times reported of up to 2-3 hours at depots in Sydney and Brisbane.
  • Flooding and strong winds in NSW has added pressure to the supply chain, with many operators slowing down or closing due to the weather conditions.


  • Brisbane and Sydney ports are seeing congestion and current delays as up to 4 days.
  • 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.
  • 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.



  • Blank sailings and port strikes in Hamburg and Antwerp have led to further build ups in Rotterdam. We are seeing regular rolling of containers at all 3 ports as they work to clear the back log.
  • Some UK truckers have blocked roads to protest high fuel prices. We can expect more of this.
  • Space is very tight across all lines, 4-5 weeks to get bookings on in most cases, sometimes more. Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Scandinavian ports are experiencing space and equipment shortages. Others are raising rates considerably in response to demand. Please allow 4-5 weeks to secure bookings. Maersk, CMA, and MSC are loading OK (with the waiting times mentioned) but Cosco, ONE, OOCL, PIL, and Hapag have all stopped taking bookings to NZ due to back logs in transhipment ports.
  • MSC continue to have large delays in Singapore, with exception of Refrigerated and DG cargos that are prioritized.
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not directly affected services to NZ, however, many European suppliers potentially have raw materials that come from these countries so it would be worth checking in with them to make sure that they can produce your orders OK.
  • CFS’s are operating as normal to load LCL.
  • BMSB Season has now ended.


  • UK Import Customs Clearance

For DDP shipments in the UK, where the customs entry is for a non-UK Entity need to be assessed. Any such ‘indirect representation’ now exposes to our UK partners to additional risk.

Direct Representation: The importer we act for is a UK Entity, meaning they have premises and staff in the UK.

Indirect Representation: The named importer is potentially just a registered address or an HMRC VAT address without premises or staff.

When acting under ‘Indirect representation’, our UK partner becomes jointly liable for duty, VAT & penalties for any misdeclaration to HMRC. If the shipper advises the incorrect HS code/cargo description, there are potential fines up to £2500 per incident.

If you have a requirement for DDP clearance under indirect representation, please contact your Oceanbridge representative.

  • Coincidentally, there will soon be a new way for businesses to declare imports in the United Kingdom—HM Revenue and Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is scheduled to launch in September.

U.K. Importers will migrate automatically into the new CDS system; however, they should be aware of the following requirements for CDS enrolment:

North America


  • Long Beach – Auckland service is still only alternate sailings every 4-6 weeks. This is a lot of space to take out of the market and the remaining vessels are overloaded, especially from Seattle/Oakland which is also being omitted on a fortnightly basis. Please book ahead as far as possible for this service. It can take up to 21 days just to get a booking in place. These ports, along with Long Beach, Oakland, and Vancouver are under unprecedented pressure to NZ.
  • There are still over 100 container ships waiting off North American ports. As of Tuesday, there were 29 off Savannah, 21 off Los Angeles/Long Beach, 17 off Houston, 16 off New York/New Jersey, 11 off Vancouver (B.C.), 6 off Oakland, and 4 off other ports.
  • Delays still with rail into Long Beach from the Mid–West. The best option is to use the East Coast ports for these FCL containers originating in Chicago.
  • As of June 18th, ECU Worldwide no longer apply LCL Export storage for USA export as a result of ocean carrier delays, or space constraints.
  • From the 1st July, the current USA LCL export congestion fee will increase from current level with the following,
    • USD 10w/m increase from NYC/CHI/ATLCHS/HOU Export consol points to all destinations Oceanic
    • USD 15 w/m increase from all US West Coast origins for destinations in Oceanic.
    • USD 10 w/m increase from Canada origins for destinations in Oceanic.
  • BAF will increase for both USA and Canada to USD 21 w/m from 1st July.
  • Trucker shortages are an issue – congestion has hit drivers wages with fewer jobs able to be completed in a day and forced some drivers out of the market to other employment opportunities. Truckers are also cancelling jobs at short notice due to health/Covid reasons. Replacement drivers often can’t be found at short notice or are charging penalty rates. These extra costs are now just a part of getting containers out of the USA and we must incur them to keep your cargo moving.
  • Services from the East Coast are still calling NZ weekly and rail to Metroport . A lot of cargo is moving over to these ports so space is at capacity, so we need to book early.
  • Rail in the USA for 20’ containers is still an issue – the networks are built to carry 40’ boxes and 20’ers can be delayed while they wait for another 20’er to fill the wagon. Where possible, place orders that will fill a 40’ container.


  • The VSA service to the West Coast is shambolic. Vessel wait times for berths at arrival ports has reduced slightly, yet delays remain significant. Due to vessel bunching, port calls are being switched with limited notice. There is talk of changes to the schedule and port call rotation, however, nothing has been confirmed.
  • Containers are still being block stacked on arrival in Vancouver, nevertheless, we have seen recent improvement with containers being made available for collection after 2 weeks, down from 3-4 weeks. Oakland congestion continues to worsen with delays of 3-4 weeks with container availability.
  • Container yards are still over capacity and often are 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. While the service continues to be running close to schedule, space remains has tightened well into August.
  • All services are heavily booked to mid-August.

South America

  • Many lines are not taking bookings to NZ while they clear backlogs that have built up due to vessel / service withdrawals.

South Africa

  • Equipment shortage. There is a wait of several weeks on bookings.

Thank you for choosing Oceanbridge Shipping

Share this post
Scroll to Top

Italy Promotion: June – August 2022

Oceanbridge Black Logo
Italy Promotion

For more information or to arrange a booking, please click the link below.

Oceanbridge Shipping
25 Anzac Street
Takapuna 0622