We’ve received several updates from our agents in China regarding the situation with shipping to Australia during the next few months.
Unfortunately the space situation is very bad with most vessels already overbooked each week and some carriers have already stopped taking bookings for September. New bookings now are going onto a wait list and are only confirmed once space becomes available, so it’s even more important now to try and have your shipments booked as early as possible. The reason for the lack of available space is due to the reduction in capacity as the carriers have reduced their services and in some cases are using smaller vessels because of the expected decrease in volumes being shipped due to COVID. But the import of containers to Australia has not fallen to the levels expected and this has caused an over supply of containers compared to the space available, so unfortunately there could be delays with bookings and most certainly rates will continue to increase.
Also, China will be closing soon for the National Holiday from the 1st Oct to the 8th Oct and this will further impact the shipping services to Australia, as there will be a rush to have goods shipped before the factories close down for this holiday. Adding further to the shipping issues in China, there is also now a shortage of equipment with some bookings being placed on hold while the shipping line tries to source the equipment needed. Because of this, some shippers are having to pick up empty containers from outside the usual area, which is adding further to the export cost and also the cost for 40’ high cube containers has increased, as these are in short supply and the shipping lines are now charging more for these