CHINA | HONG KONG
Delays to vessels around the New Zealand coast have continued to affect schedule integrity of most services. The ongoing disruption to vessel schedules has resulted in reduced sailings on three of our direct services over the last few weeks, which unfortunately has caused backlogs at transhipment ports such as Shanghai, Shekou and Hong Kong. We are seeing some instances of forecasted vessel bunching in China towards the end of August as the vessels return to Asia, which should help clear some of the congestion at origin ports and provide an uplift in capacity over a period of two to three weeks.
Prevailing equipment challenges unfortunately persist, with 40ft HC and 40ft NOR containers often most affected. We continue to work through these challenges when they arise however at times increased flexibility with service preference may facilitate faster resolution.
Rates have remained relatively stable with most shipping lines again favoring rate extensions for August, however there is ongoing uncertainty amongst shipping lines over forecasted demand through the coming months where we would typically see volumes and pricing increase through peak season. We continue to work closely with the shipping lines to identify areas of opportunity, and our team will relay this information directly when available.
SOUTH EAST ASIA
Japan | Taiwan | Korea
Space remains tight from Japan, Taiwan & Korea. Taiwan cargo has been impacted by recent roll pools in China and we are seeing bookings being restricted from some carriers and cargo roll overs in Taiwan. The main cause of this is the scheduling gaps caused by the vessel delays in NZ however ANL are forecasting an improvement is expected following the OOCL Busan sailing Taiwan next week.
As you may have heard, China launched large scale military exercises in key shipping waterways around Taiwan. The Maritime and Port Bureau of Taiwan, as well and Insurer P&I Club advised vessels entering the region to amend voyage routes to avoid these areas. While the drills were due to end over the weekend, the impact to Shipping and Trade is unclear at this time although even if the shutting down of these transport routes is temporary, consequences may exist not only for Taiwan, but also trade flows tied to Japan and South Korea.
South East Asia
Demand has reduced across most areas as importers take a more cautious approach to stock levels however, we have unfortunately seen a return to Transhipment delays in Singapore and Malaysia across all carriers as they struggle to get their connecting vessels back onto a regular connection after a recent spike in Port delays in NZ. During July, the KIX service managed only 1x vessel transhipping cargo out of 4x weeks. The reported transhipment delays are currently anywhere from 1-4 weeks, and this is now putting pressure on feeder bookings as carriers restrict bookings to avoid adding to the congestion. While it is difficult to plan around the booking restrictions at origins, it is positive that carriers are taking a restrained approach to try and avoid the situation we saw last year when transhipment delays escalated into months. Fortunately, there are now 3x vessels on the KIX service scheduled to arrive in Singapore over the next fortnight to clear cargo although ultimately, we need to see a return to the fixed weekly service to avoid these peaks and troughs.
New Zealand Port delays have increased again with vessel bunching and labour shortages impacting on Auckland Port in particular.
AUSTRALIA (Trans-Tasman Eastbound)
Scheduling remains disrupted right across the Trans-Tasman services. The ANL TTZ service is suffering significant delays through NZ ports which is creating bunching and frequent port omissions. This is an ongoing issue. Mondiale VGL and our partners in Australia are working on alternative options with other carriers to minimise delays and ensure the continued flow of cargo.
ANL have introduced their dedicated Shuttle service from Brisbane to Tauranga | Auckland. This is a fortnightly service and will offer increased capacity from Brisbane to NZ
There is a severe shortage of empty containers in Australia currently. This applies to both 20ft and 40ft. Mondiale VGL are working closely with all carriers to ensure we maximise our ability to secure equipment.
UK | EUROPE | MEDITERRANEAN
From the softening with Asia imports into these regions, challenges with equipment availability remains. Carriers continuing to perform blank sailings and port omissions are leading to port congestion issues which impacts the weekly capacity and supply of equipment. August holidays and road transport restrictions thereof is leading to trucking delays in some regions with cargos movements.
Transhipment port congestion in Singapore, Port Klang, Kingston and Tanjung Pelepas remains comparatively stable (at this stage), but we recommend allowing for possible delays of 1-2 weeks for transhipment.
Recommendation remains to book at least 4-6 weeks prior to cargo ready date. We urge you to consider all carriers as there may be limited options and your first | preferred choice may not be available. Flexibility with equipment type can also assist.
Germany Port Industrial Action
Following Ver.di Union warning strike ending Saturday 16th July has led to port receival issues at both Hamburg and Bremerhaven ports. From this many planned rail deliveries have been either postponed or cancelled along with truck deliveries being limited as the ports work through the backlog. This has also led to Carriers sailings being delayed. Regional Courts have banned further industrial action until the 26th August in the hope that Port Employers & Ver.di Union can come to pay agreements. This latest strike action has and continues to have an effect on port operations so load & sailing delays are expected over the course of the next two to three weeks.
UK Port Industrial Action
The threat of dock strikes at Felixstowe and Liverpool next month, together with the potential resumption of industrial action at German ports, could make for a challenging few months for many supply chains. Talks between the Unite union and the Port of Felixstowe were set to continue Thursday 4th but the threat of a strike throughout August is looking like a very real possibility with advice that 92% of port workers voting to strike. Dates have been set in place for Felixstowe port strikes with advice these may happen between the 21st Aug to 29th Aug unless the Union’s disputes are resolved prior.
BMSB 2022-2023 Update – 1st Sept
Though still no official notification to the market from MPI ; current advice is that BMSB procedures will be reflective of that of last seasons. For any containers packing prior to 1st September yet expected to load vessel | ship post 1st September must have a date stamps photo of the bolt seal locked to container. Further advice to come.
USA & CANADA
Shipping lines have re-introduced Los Angeles to Auckland discharge effective end September, and have outlined updated schedule with fortnightly sailings from Los Angeles port to Auckland discharge port. Schedules are changing frequently without notice, so please allow for this with timing for shipments. All cargo will be loaded on earliest available sailing at the time of booking.
Vessels remain overbooked for 4-5 weeks; some port pairs are booked until end of September with October sailings and pricing not yet released. East Coast ports and terminals are reporting record congestion and Charleston port, in particular, has had intermittent embargos on container receipt. This has meant loaded containers are still sitting on trucker chassis unable to gate in and | or sitting at Charleston rail-head unable to deliver to port.
Rail-Ramp Reservation Process
Please note there is record congestion at many rail-ramps and Chicago is one of the worst affected. Truckers cannot secure rail reservations without container number, and container number is only available once loaded. Last week no containers were provided reservations, so almost every FCL container will incur additional charges, such as additional chassis costs; yard storage and trucker re-delivery costs. These will be invoiced at cost, and unfortunately outside our control. We have had reports from truckers that they are sometimes waiting over two weeks for reservation to return loaded container to rail.
Port Issues | Truckers – FCL and LCL
Truckers remain heavily overbooked, with almost all areas reporting workforce shortages and it is not unusual at present for trucking companies to decline requests or report driver shortages.
Services remain overbooked from most US ports that service New Zealand. Load dates will continue to change constantly in line with ERD | LRD (earliest and last receipt dates at rail | ports). Shipping lines continue to cancel bookings without notice, leaving us in a tricky situation, with unavoidable delays. Truckers are all reporting major delays for empty containers | chassis equipment, and in some cases, this will result in bookings having to roll. With the combination of overbookings and infrequent sailings, the situation is not good, but also outside our control. Shipping lines continue to charge cancellation fees if bookings are cancelled by the booking party. Many origin inland areas are reporting a major shortage of equipment with no empty containers and/or chassis equipment. Truckers are reporting record queues to return both empty and loaded containers and there are restrictions in place at many railheads. There is still a major equipment shortage in and around the South-East and mid-West areas.
Groupage container bookings are also being cancelled without notice by shipping lines, and space remains heavily overbooked. Hazardous cargo is getting more and more difficult to get approval for and load. All | any hazardous cargo will be subject to approval from the shipping lines | vessel owners, and there will be delays.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season
The 2022/23 BMSB season will start for any target risk cargo that departs on or after 1 September 2022. We will outline BMSB process and requirements in the next week.
Please note: Change to LCL Hazardous Requirements
Please note effective immediately, our origin teams will require the SDS sheet for all hazardous LCL shipments. In the past, we have only requested these for certain commodities when required by the shipping lines. However, we now have nearly all shipping lines requesting SDS sheets along with the hazardous approval request. Failure to provide the SDS sheet prior to documentation cut-off, may result in cargo being rescheduled to the next available sailing.
We are seeing a few airlines increasing rates due to higher fuel costs. Not all airlines have done so but it may only be a matter of time before they all follow suit.
A number of airlines have ramped up services to cater for the increasing number of passengers now travelling. The downside to services which have not increased the frequency of flights is the available capacity for cargo is reduced to cater for the additional weight of passengers and their baggage.
Over the next few months we will see the return of United Airlines who will start off with 3x weekly service in October before going to daily flights to San Francisco. American Airline resumes daily flights to Dallas Fort but only on a seasonal basis until March 2023. Hopefully positive market conditions will allow American to continue year-round. Canadian Airlines will start 3x weekly services in November increasing to 5x weekly for the peak season.
Apart from the cost of fuel, the market rates are relatively stable and we can only hope with increasing services from various airlines that this will provide pressure on the rates to be reduced.
We are continuing to see the effects of peak season, with carriers experiencing both space and equipment supply issues.
▪ Europe – port congestion is diminishing capacity. This is further complicated with the transhipment hubs (Singapore & Port Kelang) also experiencing congestion issues resulting in longer transit times.
▪ USA – services are running at full capacity with carriers steering away from offering US inland solutions, due to the US Covid transport crisis. Space is very tight to the US West Coast, due to lack of trade tonnage (vessels | services) and port congestion issues that continue in both the West & East Coast.
▪ Schedule reliability and ongoing delays continue to create port omissions with vessels experiencing rotation delays.
▪ Pricing seems to have stabilised on all services
▪ NZ | Australia – Demand is outstripping supply. Carriers continue to over book vessels resulting in rolled bookings (in some cases multiple times) which leads to export demurrage and detention issues. ZIMs combined N2A & N3A service has now begun and is seeing 3 vessels now in rotation departing from Auckland, Tauranga and Lyttelton.
▪ Some lines have major shortages of both dry and reefer equipment. Supply is possible from alternate depots, however this may increase cartage costs. To try and combat this, ANL has introduced a strict window that containers can be collected in from Tauranga depots. ZIM are only activating releases 14 days prior to vessel ETA to port
▪ TS Lines are now calling Auckland port directly and will no longer be using Metroport. They are still calling Tauranga port as well.
Import airfreight capacity into NZ is still very limited. Our agents and team are pushing to secure space to move your cargo to meet your requirements.
▪ Air NZ Cargo Operations Team in Auckland have major delays due to Covid | Flu, which means they have staff shortages.
▪ We are still quoting shipments on a case-by-case basis to give our clients the best options available, as in some cases rates are changing daily.
▪ China – with Shanghai opening up we now have more options to move cargo.
▪ Australia – with passenger traffic increasing we are seeing cargo capacity removed due to baggage.
▪ USA and Europe flights are still very full and transit times are being pushed out due to space.
▪ NZ Customs have introduced a new system called DTR which will come into effect on 1st July 2022.
Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact your Mondiale VGL representative.