February 07 2024 Customer Advisory Notice

February 7, 2024

NZ Local Update

Due to further increases at ports and empty container yards our Auckland VBS rate has increased.  From 1st February 2024 VBS fees for Auckland container bookings increased to $185.00 per container.  The VBS fee is a single charge that incorporates Port VBS costs and container empty de-hire park fees.

Vessels arriving outside of their berth windows due to delays offshore are also causing disruption at Port of Auckland causing VBS bookings to be in short supply once vessels have discharged.

Due to vessel bunching on imports and decreased volumes of exports reports from truckers are that empty dehire yards are beginning to fill and again will be restricting delivery time slots for empty containers due to capacity constraints.

FreightWorks has evaluated the FAF being charged to us by our carriers as of the 1st to 29th February 2024 and FAF rate will remain at 22%. This will be re-evaluated monthly.

Asia Market Update

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

Equipment stock levels have begun to be an issue in Asia due to the security situation in the Red Sea with containers remaining out of circulation longer on the longer voyages.  Equipment levels vary from shipping line to shipping line and port to port.

Shipping lines are taking advantage of increased demand and the anticipated shortage of empty containers due to the Red Sea situation ex Europe and high demand due to Chinese New Year closures to continue to increase costs through February and we anticipate they will try to remain high as they work through any backlog of bookings post Chinese New Year.

Europe Market Update

The Red Sea and Suez Canal security threat has continued to persist with continued strikes on commercial shipping vessels.  All shipping lines servicing NZ to/from Europe via Asia have now pulled their vessels from this area routing via the Cape of Good Hope adding additional time to sailings at significant cost.  Shipping Lines have added with immediate effect an Emergency Risk Surcharge to recover costs of this routing.  Costs vary from line to line and will be also apply to LCL cargo on same lanes.  Actual costs will be outlined on any quotations provided.

Increased transit times is also causing equipment shortages and bunching of vessels arriving at tranship ports causing delayed and missed connections.

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.

From 1st January 2024 the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) came into effect.

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

We are pleased to inform you that DP World has successfully secured a four-year agreement with the Maritime Union ending months of Industrial action at their terminals.  As a result of the negotiated agreement, the MUA has withdrawn all Protected Industrial Action, and each terminal has issued VBS notifications about returning to normal slot allocations and operations.  We are anticipating it will take some time to normal and all backlogs are cleared.

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.

FreightWorks - Ocean Freight Forwarding

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