Shipping transit times are still being affected by recent and current events in Sydney. The delays at Sydney have massive knock on effects for all Australian ports. Extra charges are added on to freight charges as the carriers try to recoup the extra costs due to delays in unloading and loading. Ship owners and Shipping agents say it will take at least 8 weeks to get all schedules back to normal, if there are no more disruptions.
For my customers, I am seeing arrival dates changing on a daily basis, normally being put back. Some transits are taking 3 weeks longer than normal. That’s twice as long for an import from China!
This is causing a lot of grief for my clients who are trying to fill orders on time. Contracts are at risk, in some cases.
What’s the lesson?
Extra Cost – most carriers are charging USD285 per TEU, or USD15 per cbm for LCL.
Plan ahead – you must be prepared for delays. Remember the industrial dispute is not settled. There is a ceasefire in place. Even it it is resolved today, it will be Christmas before we can hope for normal schedules to resume.
To make matters worse, Chinese ports are experiencing heavy demand. Ordinarily we can get a booking on the next vessel, departing weekly, from most ports. But now we are having to book two weeks ahead from some ports. Then the Australian congestion takes over from the time the vessel sails.
Then in late January, in China, there will be a rush to produce and dispatch orders before Chinese New Year starts, 11 Feb to 17 Feb. So in early February it will be hard to book space on vessels, or on aircraft, at late notice.
Like most other parts of life in 2020, shipping just got a bit harder.