Sea Freight – delays part 3

The situation at the port of Auckland (POAL) has continued to deteriorate. Most vessels are now waiting over 10 days in the Auckland harbour in anchorage before getting a berth.
These severe delays, combined with transhipment delays have meant that goods that were expected to arrive long before Christmas are now arriving without sufficient time to deliver before Christmas. For those clients who are planning to close during the Christmas period this will mean you will either incur storage charges or need to open to receive deliveries. Most container freight stations (CFS) are already suffering capacity issues and will be over capacity during this period, causing storage to be at a premium.
Earlier this week CMA CGM announced that their vessel Constantinos P, will be calling North Port in Whangarei on 6th December rather than waiting until 23rd December to call the POAL. In doing this the line has declared “force majeure”, which means that the consignees with cargo on this vessel will need to pay to have the goods moved to Auckland. If you are uncertain how this effects you, please be sure to notify your marine insurer to see if they cover you for these additional costs.
This is the largest ship to ever call North Port unloading a estimated 1300 containers. It is unknown how efficiently the port will be able to process this vessel. There is no adequate rail link from North Port to Auckland so all containers will need to be move via road and trucks are likely to be travelling to Whangarei empty. The trucking sector fears there may not be enough trucks to move the containers in a timely manner, so importers will also be hit by demurrage and detention. In theory, one truck can make two round trips a day between Auckland and Northland, so could move two containers a day if everything runs smoothly. Having consulted with the trucking sector, I know they have significant concerns about the ability of the Northport infrastructure to keep trucks flowing freely. There may also be difficulties in finding sufficient drivers. There are strict limits to the hours drivers can work and the Northland / Auckland route requires linehaul as opposed to metro driving, it’s a different skillset.
Australia is also experiencing similar problems due to industrial action earlier this year.
For those of you who are still using airfreight services, please be aware that service issues are rate increases will most likely begin as the world starts to roll out COVID vaccines.

We will keep you as updated as we can.