December 14 2023 Customer Advisory Notice

December 14, 2023

NZ Local Update

Port of Auckland have given notice of an increase for their VBS rate.  From 1st January 2024 VBS fees for Auckland container bookings will be increasing to $165.00 per container.  The VBS fee is a single charge that incorporates Port VBS costs and container empty de-hire park fees.

Kiwirail have advised full track and tunnel maintenance on lines out of Wellington will be taking place between 25 December – 07 January 2024.  During this time no trains will run out of Wellington.

Kiwirail have also advised they will have a block of line shut for maintenance between Tauranga Port and Auckland Metroport from 30 December – 03 January 2024.  During this time there will be no rail movements on this line and reduced services two days either side of these dates.

Labour shortages are causing disruption at Auckland’s Ferguson terminal.  Vessels arriving outside of their berth window are also causing disruption the flow on being VBS bookings are in short supply once vessels have discharged.

Empty dehire yards appear to once again be restricting delivery time slots for empty containers due to capacity constraints.

Asia Market Update

Space constraints are beginning to ease ex North Asian ports with Christmas closures causing a decrease in demand for the second half of December.  Shipping lines are continuing to hold their rates from this area anticipating another rush before Chinese New Year in early February 2024.  Southeast Asia space and rates continue to remain steady.

Shipping lines have advised their intention to blank sailings ex Southeast Asia during week of 15th December.

Chinese New Year 2024 – The Year of the Dragon – Will fall between 10 – 17 February 2024.

Europe Market Update

Shipping lines have intensified their blank sailing programmes in the past six months, suspending services for consecutive weeks.  The current trend of blanking programmes, coupled with potential disruptions to schedule reliability, is expected to persist until there’s a notable upturn in the demand for global cargo shipments.

Due to the war situation declared in Israel, shipping lines are impacted by a significant increase of war risk insurance premiums.  Most lines have now announced a war risk surcharge with immediate effect that would be charged in addition to freight charges.

Effective 1st January 2024 the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will come into effect.  The ETS sets an upper limit on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of companies in various sectors and requires them to purchase emission allowances equal to their emissions above the upper limit each year.  This upper limit will be reduced annually in line with the EU’s climate targets, a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 relative to 1990, and net zero by 2050.

Ship operators from 1st January will need to buy allowances for every tonne of CO2 emissions covered by the system or risk heavy penalties. As a result, shipping companies will have higher operational costs for compliance and will look to recover these costs in the form of a surcharge in an amount per TEU, which will differ based on trade lanes. Since the EU has taken a phased approach the cost of compliance for shipping lines is expected to increase over the coming years.  The ETS will not apply on trade lanes that do not call in Europe on any leg.

USA / Canada Market Update

The Panama Canal Authority has taken steps to reduce maximum ship weights and daily ship crossings in a bid to conserve water. Maritime transportation experts fear such events could become the new normal as rainfall deficits in the world’s fifth-wettest country spotlight climate risks affecting the ocean shipping industry that moves 80% of global trade.

Australia Update

The ongoing industrial action at DP World terminals continues for each of their terminals with notices received advising an extension now until 18th December 2023 and an industry expectation this will continue until after Christmas.

Australian port congestion has hit critical levels for breakbulk and Ro/Ro carriers due to bio-security concerns over seed contamination.  Delays have seen rates balloon with demand for space far outstripping supply and lead time increasing significantly and is further exacerbated by restrictions on the Panama Canal.  The situation is expected to last into 2024.

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