March 06 2024 Customer Advisory Notice

March 6, 2024

NZ Local Update

Kiwirail have advised they plan to close the rail link between Port of Tauranga and Auckland Metroport for maintenance over the Easter Period.  During this time there will be no rail movements on this line.  Export cut offs are expected to be bought forward and delays on import containers are expected.

Centreport in Wellington has also advised they will not have a rail service for onforwarding of containers to Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Whanganui or Blenheim from 29th March – 01st April inclusive.

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 31st March 2024 and FAF rate will remain at 22%. This will be re-evaluated monthly

Asia Market Update

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 extended voyages.  Equipment levels vary from shipping line to shipping line and port to port.

Shipping lines have continued to try and keep rates higher through the first half of March though volumes are lower than expected with factories taking time to come back online in China.  Backlogged containers rolled from multiple blank sailings over CNY are keeping volumes up for now.  Lines have indicated however that slashing rates doesn’t bring back the volume this time of year and have a preference for blanking sailings to keep demand and therefore pricing high.

Backlogged tranship cargo from Europe in Southeast Asian tranship ports is causing multiple rolls of booking originating in Southern Asia.

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.  In most instances shipping lines have also not updated their online scheduling tools to allow for these changes and give accurate ETD/ETA information.

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.

BMSB Season is due to end with cargo arriving after 30th April 2024.

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. In addition, “land bridge” services have been implemented by some lines utilising a rail service 80kms across Panama between Manzanillo and Cristobal to Balboa.

Snowstorms are causing delays with Rail and Port Operations at East Coast ports.

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.

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