CFL November Newsletter

CFL November Newsletter

We just wanted to pass on another update as per the following details so that everyone is aware of the current shipping situation as we lead into Christmas, there’s been a dramatic drop off in shipping all around the world in the past few weeks.

Global Shipping Update

Although shipping has improved from most places around the world, it hasn’t changed much from the USA as yet, there’s still long delays waiting to get FCL export bookings with all carriers.

Currently its taking up to 6 weeks to get space on a vessel and even then there’s still a good chance that the booking could be rolled or the vessel delayed. There are also still many issues with the landside operations in the USA with congestion and backlogs being incurred on both road and rail services all over the country. This is affecting both imports and exports, as containers are held up in long queues at the road and rail depots waiting to be onforwarded and sometimes this can take several weeks.

New Zealand

The ports in New Zealand are still suffering from congestion to a degree with various vessel delays being incurred while they’re held up waiting for a berthing window, especially Auckland and Tauranga. There’s also been several issues with the rail service between Tauranga and Auckland recently and this has caused a backlog of containers waiting to be moved. Also, there’s still some labour issues in the various ports in New Zealand with a shortage of skilled workers required to work the port and at times this is adding to the delays with the vessel management and container handling in these ports.


Shipping from most parts of Europe has improved with equipment and space being readily available on most services. The freight costs have also started to come down now that vessels are no longer overbooked and both the direct and transhipment services are moving relatively on schedule


There’s been a big drop in cargo being shipped from China for various reasons and this has freed up space and equipment from all ports. There are currently no major delays in getting any bookings with any carrier in China and most cargo is moving as booked on the next available vessel, although some sailings are still being delayed slightly in transit due to weather or port congestion along the way.
But there are still many issues being incurred in China due to various COVID shutdowns, as China continues to operate under a zero COVID policy. Both Ningbo and Shanghai have recently been locked down in certain areas due to COVID outbreaks and these shutdowns are affecting the movement of cargo as factories are forced to close and trucks stopped from entering these areas.

Freight Rate Update

The most positive news we’ve received for some time is the fact that freight rates from China have dropped dramatically and they’re continuing come down each week. With the dramatic slowdown of freight from China, the rates have quickly come down close to the levels that they were before the pandemic, as the carriers scramble to try and secure as many containers as they can for their vessels.
Due to the falling rates, carriers are also reducing services and pulling vessels out to try and keep up demand, but so far this has had no effect on the current shipping situation from China.

Free Trade Agreements (FTA) update

We’ve received information that Australia may sign off on two new Free Trade Agreements very soon with negotiations almost complete between Australia and the UK (AUKFTA) and Australia and India (AIECTA). These agreements have been in the system for quite some time and its good news to hear that they may be close to being approved. If signed, these agreements could come into effect from the 1st January 2023 and this will mean that many products from both these countries will no longer pay duty. Australia is also continuing to work on a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU) and its hoped that this agreement will be finalised and approved soon as well.    

New Industrial Action

We’ve received information that the MUA has escalated their ongoing protected industrial action against Svitzer Australia with several work bans being put in place in the major ports around Australia. This will affect the movement of vessels in these ports, as Svitzer Australia is one of the main tug boat operators that handle the arrival and departure of vessels and these actions are expected to cause further delays and disruption in our ports.

We hope this above information is of some benefit you and please contact your usual CFL contact if you need any further details regarding your shipments.