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ABC Business reports on the current state of shipping


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South China Port Crisis

Courtesy of the Loadstar publication, South China’s port congestion has gone from bad to worse with delays at Yantian now spilling over to nearby Shekou and Nansha ports.

When the bottleneck began over two weeks ago, Hutchison-run Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) blamed out-of-whack shipping schedules for suspending laden export operations.

Since then, however, multiple shipping lines, including Maersk, have blamed Covid-19 for causing the poor port productivity in the Pearl River Delta.

The company said yesterday: “The situation continues to deteriorate as more positive Covid cases have been confirmed in Shenzhen, where Yantian and Shekou ports are located, and in Guangzhou, where Nansha port is located.

Maersk said it was now expecting delays of 14 days, with productivity at berths in the western area of YICT, where mainline vessels call, still only at 30%.

Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime, said Hapag-Lloyd’s list of planned port omissions for Yantian over the next four weeks had quadrupled to 16, compared with just four only a few days ago. And he noted that Maersk’s advisory yesterday listing 40 vessel arrivals affected by the congestion was “quite an escalation” from just three days ago, when the shipping line said “several” vessels would be impacted, with cargo shifted to alternate sailings.

Given Yantian’s throughput of 13.3m teu last year and the current drop in productivity claimed by Maersk, Mr Jensen estimated there was around 25,500 teu a day the port had been unable to handle since the crisis began.

“Putting this in context, when Suez was blocked by the Ever Given, it impacted a daily flow of 55,000 teu. But that ‘only’ lasted six days. In Yantian, we are at 14 days and counting –and there is the impact on Nansha and Shekou,” he added.

“Every day increases the backlog of cargo. Once the ports re-open to normal operations we should expect a surge of cargo – at least to the degree there are even vessels available to handle this. This in turn will cause ripples of potential congestion at destinations with a lag time of some two-to-five weeks.”

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Industrial action at VICT and Patrick Terminals

The Maritime Union of Australia have recently advised Industry of Protected Industrial action being taken at the VICT Terminals in Melbourne, and at the Patrick Terminals in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in the month of June.

Stoppages at the VICT terminal will run for 12 hours each night commencing at 18.00 on 11/6 and finishing at 06.00 on 17/6.

At Patrick Terminals a range of “bans” on the performance of overtime, shift extensions, work upgrades and additional hours will be implemented at various times across various shifts in all 3 Ports, finishing at the end of June.




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BMSB Season comes to an end, for now!

The 2020-2021 BMSB Season comes to an end on 31st May, with the 2021-22 Season commencing on 1st September 2021.

The Department of Agriculture recently reported that during the season there had been a decrease in the number of “alive” BMSB detections, down from 25 to 17. Overall, the number of “alive” and “dead” detections in the past year up to May 13th was 222, exactly the same for the previous BMSB season.

Any changes planned for the new BMSB season will be advised by the Department in the coming weeks, and we will update you accordingly.

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Long shipping line delays and vessel roll-overs become the new normal

Courtesy of the Loadstar online platform, it was reported overnight by supply chain visibility provider Project44, that container roll-overs at major ocean ports around the world continue to climb.

“Carriers have been watching their rollover rates increase for over a year, and have so far failed to mitigate the situation” .

“Shippers need to accept this as the new reality. They are going to have to start making structural adjustments to their supply chains and enhance their visibility if they want to keep shelves stocked and factories running,” he added.

The research found CMA CGM was the carrier with the highest proportion of rolled containers last month, 56% of shipments, compared with 49% in April 2020.

It was closely followed by its Asia-Oceania subsidiary, Australian National Line (ANL), which saw 54% of container rolled, a 30% year-on-year increase.

The percentage of rolled containers per carrier broadly fitted to which alliance in they were operating – 2M partners MSC and Maersk were the best performers, with 28% and 34% of containers rolled, respectively.

Meanwhile, CMA CGM’s Ocean Alliance partners, Evergreen and Cosco, posted rollover rates of 47% and 44% respectively, and The Alliance partners Hapag-Lloyd and ONE had rollover rates of 51% and 53%, respectively.



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MGL Exports Restored Vintage Race Car

MGL had the pleasure of recently shipping a 1928 Stutz BB Black Hawk Boattail Speedster from Australia to the UK. The vehicle was originally purchased by the owner in the early 1990’s in Tasmania and has been lovingly restored to the current condition. For those interested, some additional information on the 1928 Stutz Speedster can be found here –

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Air cargo shipment catches fire moments before being loaded

Last weekend a shipment of Vivo Y20 cell phones and accessories which were made in Guangdong, China, and headed to Bangkok, caught fire as they were about to be loaded onto a Hong Kong Air Cargo aircraft in Hong Kong.

The phones were loaded across three pallets, all of which caught fire, and it reportedly took the emergency services some 40 minutes to put out the blaze. Sources told local media that, while the airport’s operations were not affected, a 24 by 12 metre space on the tarmac was damaged. According to local media, lithium ion batteries were the most likely cause of the fire.

As a result, Hong Kong Air Cargo has embargoed the carrying of Vivo mobile phones, and is not accepting cargo from Cargo Link Logistics HK or Sky Pacific Logistics until further notice.


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USA Warehouse Congestion Fees

Due to the current congestion situation throughout the USA our USA agents have been forced to institute a temporary warehouse congestion surcharge applicable from all US origins to all destinations of U$8.00 minimum, or U$8.00 per w/m effective on all cargo sailing on or after March 21st, 2021. The fee will be removed when sailings, space, terminal capacity and dray availability returns to normal.

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DP World signal increase to port charges in May

DP World have advised Industry that they will be increasing their Terminal Access Fees again as of May 1st 2021. Import container handling fees will increase to $124.00 in Brisbane, $139.20 in Melbourne and $126.60 in Sydney. This increase is potentially one of several by operators ahead of the National Transport Commission’s review into infrastructure and access charges, slated for delivery in November 2021.

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Stealth Bikes feature at Abu Dhabi Defence Exhibition

One of our long standing clients, Stealth Electric Bikes, was recently featured as part of the AM General exhibit at the 2021 International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

Proudly manufacturing in Victoria, Stealth are a great example of an Australian SME strongly growing their business, and building their brand around the world, even during very tough global conditions.

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