Important Shipping Update

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Empty Park Congestion Peaks in NSW and VIC

Empty Container Parks and Quarantine Processing Depots have once again reached peak capacity with many dehire depots refusing to accept empty container returns in New South Wales and Victoria.

Many carriers are now forced to divert empty return back to their own yard, which are also struggling with space, further compounding the issue and additional via yard and storage fees.

Carriers are forced to contact shipping lines daily, up to four times a day in order to try and find a way to return containers before detention charges mount up with no quick fix in sight.

One of Australia’s largest quarantine processing depots has now announced that they can no longer accept any containers for Tailgate or Fumigation treatment for the next 3 weeks at least. This means that carriers are having to look for alternative depots, causing live tailgates to take anywhere between 2-3 hours instead of the usual 15 minutes and fumigations to exceed the standard 3 day turnaround.

When collecting containers once released from the quarantine depots, carriers are reportedly having to wait anywhere from 1-3hrs, due to capacity issues at all the depots where containers can be sitting up to 15 stacks deep due to the increased congestion of containers.

Additional costs are on the rise and impacting shippers which has resulted in increased pressure on government by industry bodies to help intervene before the situation worsens.


Update on Covid lockdowns in Shanghai

Following the ongoing Shanghai lockdowns, as of today the Shanghai Government has announced they will release part of residential areas around the countryside, but those living there will still be unable to travel outside of their stated areas.

It is expected that the restrictions will likely ease further in mid-late June 2022 if the situation continues to improve. Shanghai office staff must still remain working from home whilst seaports, terminals, warehouses and truckers will be forced to operate with a skeleton workforce.

Warehouse Operational Update

  • Warehouses in Yangshan have partially resumed trading to allow the receipt of inbound cargo as well as limited container loading services and reduced cargo delivery options since early May.
  • Warehouses in Waigaoqiao have partially resumed trading to allow the receipt of inbound cargo as well as limited container loading services. Truckers must also present several health records prior to warehouse entry, known as the ‘Green Health Code’ along with temperature checks and a “COVID 19 travel e-permit” issued by Shanghai International Port (Group) Co, Ltd., as well as undergo nucleic acid tests by the security guard and janitors.
  • Most warehouses require that all truckers apply for warehouse entry by online appointment 24 hours in advance.

Trucking Update

The Shanghai government has now released permits to drivers who must follow fill in details via an EIRIMS system along with presentation of one of the below testing options:

  • PCR test with a negative result within the last 24hrs.
  • PCR test with a negative result within the last 48hrs and Rapid Antigen Test with a negative result within the last 24hrs

Due to the slow turnaround time on permit approvals, trucking services are still limited and struggling with the volume of containers with some carriers requiring upwards of 10 day notice on new bookings.

For now, Ningbo is still the best alternative for Shanghai export containers if shippers are unable to secure bookings are trucking services for their cargo within Shanghai.


Wharf Capacity Struggles hit Germany

Not immune to the international supply chain challenges, delays and operation issues have steadily been on the rise in Germany resulting in overcrowding and congestion at major seaports.

On the 23rd May, all rail services were temporarily suspended to Hamburg due to the seaports, transhipment stations and warehouses reaching capacity.

Now in Hamburg, containers are only authorised to be delivered in a 1-to-1 exchange, regardless of the mode of transport.

Containers transported by rail may only be delivered 7 days before arrival of the ship and containers delivered by truck only within 24 hours before arrival of the vessel.

In Bremerhaven they are facing similar challenges and have also adopted the 1-for-1 supply of containers as well as the 7 day regulation on any containers delivered to the terminal prior to arrival of the vessel.

Trucking capacity has also been severely reduced at all terminals, in some cases by half of the actual handling volume for that location.

This applies in particular to Burchardkai in Hamburg which is feeling the full effects of the capacity strain.

Shippers are warned of the potential increased handling costs and delays as each location struggles to keep the containers flowing smoothly inbound and out.


Change to Free Time at Fremantle Ports

Fremantle Ports have released a statement advising that effective from the 1st July 2022, weekends and public holidays will no longer be considered storage free days if they fall within the 4 free days offered once cargo becomes available.

Full statement listed below:

“Fremantle Ports has been working with industry participants over recent months to remove bottlenecks and improve the overall supply chain efficiency.

As an example, a five-day shipping shutdown was carried out for Berths 11 & 12 to enable a focus on clearing cargo. While these types of initiatives are proving valuable, there are occasions when berth laydown areas are being used for storage and distribution rather than efficient discharge of vessels.

In a bid to encourage better utilisation of laydown areas and reflect the 24/7 nature of port operations, effective 1 July 2022, the storage-free days on weekends and public holidays will be removed when they fall within the four free days.

This change is aimed at helping improve overall efficiency of the supply chain. We will continue to review our rates and charges to ensure they are appropriate and drive the right behaviour and overall supply chain efficiency for the benefit of all port users.”

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