Sydney Port Congestion – Update 3




There has been some good news overnight with the MUA agreeing to temporarily end their industrial action at Patrick Terminals for the time being, as per Patrick’s press release we’ve received, but there is still the prospect of further ongoing disruptions depending on how these negotiations fair. But the other main terminal in Australia, DP World have been able to reach an In-Principle enterprise agreement with the MUA for the next three years, which is certainly good news for everyone.

Unfortunately the bad news is that these positive outcomes will have little effect on the current situation with shipping. At present all vessels in and out of Australia are severely delayed and further carriers have now announced that they will not be accept bookings to Australia due to the congestion being experienced here. We’ve included a link to a notice received from OOCL advising that they will stop taking bookings for shipments to Australia and other carriers are also doing the same, as per Maersk’s notice in our previous update and COSCO and Yang Ming line are also restricting their bookings to Australia. Other carriers like ONE are suspending their bookings to Sydney and their vessels will be omitting this port for the next few weeks click here to see the notice. On top of this, most carriers have also suspended their coastal services around Australia due to the on going delays, so these regular shipments are also now severely impacted and some will have to move by road or rail instead.  

As a result of all these actions by the carriers, unfortunately it’s becoming extremely difficult to get any bookings for cargo to Australia and especially to Sydney at the moment, with most shipping lines no longer taking bookings and those that will, are severely overbooked with long wait lists for available space.

As well as the long delays and disruptions, we also now have many additional surcharges being applied by the carriers with MSC putting on a Congestion Surcharge of USD 300 per 20’ container for shipments to Melbourne and Brisbane on top of the one that’s already in place to Sydney. Click here

We’ve also received notices that carriers will be further increasing their rates from Asia to Australia from the 15th Oct with a GRI of up to USD 500 per 20’ being implemented by some carriers, which will further add to the already high rates in place. Click here

So, although there is some good news on the industrial front, unfortunately we still have many more weeks or even months of delays and surcharges to contend with, as per the below quote from Patrick CEO before shipping gets anywhere near back to normal.

“At least now we can get on with clearing the backlog which exceeds more than 100,000 containers around Australia. My operations team estimate it will take between two and three months to return to normal.” Mr Michael Jovicic – Patrick CEO

Sorry for the continuing bad news, 2020 has certainly not been a good year and please contact your usual CFL person if any further information is required.