Welcome to our July newsletter
The current situation in China is improving with more space being available and rates continuing to drop, which is certainly a welcome change.
But there are still some COVID related issues with various areas of certain cities being locked down or restricted from time to time as they continue to try and maintain a zero COVID policy. Also, many drivers and workers need to provide a negative test every few days and this putting a large strain on the availability of trucks and staff needed to transport and handle goods in the logistics chain.
The good news is that rates are continuing to reduce in July with an excess of space and equipment being available and with most shipments moving close to schedule. But this isn’t expected to continue for too long, as we’re heading into the peak season soon and usually this is when the carriers try and start pushing rates back up again with General Rate Increases (GRI) and Rate Restorations (RR) etc. The carriers may also look to implement some blank sailings again to reduce space and increase the demand for equipment ahead of the peak season as another method to try and push rates up again. No one’s just too sure yet when this might all start and we’ll continue to closely monitor this situation and pass on any rate information or service changes as soon as they become available.
Sydney Port Disruptions
The port in Sydney has been impacted by weather recently, as well as Brisbane to a lesser extent and they’ve both had to close down several times over the past few weeks due to extreme weather conditions. This has caused a flow on effect with many vessels being delayed waiting for a berth and as a result some carriers have changed their schedules and diverted their vessel to call other ports first to try and make up for lost time. Some carriers have even decided to omit Sydney or Brisbane altogether and they’ve discharged cargo for these destinations at other nearby ports instead.
Due to the change of Government from the recent election, there’s been a name change again for the Quarantine Department, as the new government has decided that this department will be known as the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) again. Sadly, DAFF have been having great difficulty in keeping up with the processing and handling of import and export cargo due to an increase in the volume of good being moved, while at the same time being severely understaffed due to illness and staff changes. On top of this, there’s also more pest and disease outbreaks being detected around the world with more resources being needed by DAFF in these areas of border protection and disease control. The Government is trying to address this situation and they’re looking at ways to simplify and speed up the process. They’ve also added more staff with over a hundred new biosecurity officers already in training and more to come. But it will be some time before any improvements are made, as it’s currently taking (up to four) weeks to get an officer booked for a cargo examination, with one AA in Melbourne sighting 8-10 week inspection times and these long delays are costing importers and exporters considerable amounts of money in storage, detention fees and additional handling charges, as well as the fact that the cargo is severely delayed being delivered or shipped.
Empty Container Parks (ECP’s) Heavily Congested
Transport companies are reporting difficulty returning empty containers, as some ECP’s are struggling for space. This leads to extra staging costs for cargo owners, as transport companies in this situation are forced to double handle & store empty containers in their yard until ECP’s issue them a dehire booking. Shipping lines have advised they are not liable for the staging costs incurred.
More Cost Increases
As the cost of living continues to climb and with fuel costs remaining high, we’re constantly receiving notices from depots, transport companies, container terminals and air cargo operators detailing their various increases for their services. Regrettably some of these cost increases will need to be passed on, as we can no longer absorb these ever increasing fees, therefore our standard fuel surcharge and Terminal Infrastructure Fees will be increasing again from the 1st August.
We just wanted to update you with some important news regarding a major staff change that we’ve had in Sydney, as Paul Walsh has decided to retire after over 30 years working at Commercial Freight.
We’ve actually had several long term staff members retire lately, but we just wanted to point out Paul’s retirement, as he’s been such a big part of Commercial Freight over many years, as he started off as a junior clerk straight out of school and managed to work his way up to become a Director of the Company for the past 15 years. During this time Paul has done a fantastic job of growing the business and developing the staff and his leadership and guidance will be missed by us all. But we do wish Paul and all the others that have retired recently, all the very best for this next phase of their life and we’re grateful that we’ve had the pleasure of working with them all for so long.
Please contact your usual CFL representative if you have any questions or if you need any further details regarding any of this information.