Connector Series - December 2020

With the numerous events of change and disruption to container shipping services to and from New Zealand in recent weeks we would like to keep you updated about ongoing developments.

  • The situation at the Ports of Auckland as outlined in our previous advisories remains to have major impacts on Container Liner Shipping in New Zealand. Congestion as a result of the numerous influencing factors has deteriorated to a level with waiting times for vessels to berth of 10 days on average. We expect the situation to persist until the end of Q1 2021. After ANL had decided to call Northport (Marsden Point) rather than Auckland as a one-off attempt to mitigate the risk of delayed imports into New Zealand as a result of suspended berth windows and waiting time in Auckland, recently one vessel called Mt Maunganui General Wharves for the same reason and we understand that all shipping lines work together with the ports on solutions to improve the situation as early as possible in 2021.

  • The Port of Tauranga has in the context of the current situation announced to introduce a temporary excess dwell charge of $200 per container for containers that spend longer than 10 days in storage within the terminal. Transhipped cargo spending more than 14 days in storage will also be subject to this charge. This is on top of the standard dwell charges and will apply from 1 January 2021.

Further, the port announced to temporarily increase the change of status fee for rolled cargo from $27.19 to $150 per container. Containers in this category will also attract the excess dwell charge if they go over the 10 or 14-day threshold.

 The situation in Australian ports continues to impact the trans-Tasman supply chain. Through reduced shipping capacity as a result of congested ports, space on the New Zealand to Australia route as well as the Australian hinterland remains under immense pressure.

  • Industrial action is set to start at Fremantle Port, with DP World work force going on strike from Christmas Day until January 2nd. Currently the other Australian ports do not seem to follow, but the port of Sydney, for example, has been heavily affected by the new COVID-19 outbreak in the northern parts of the City, leading to labour shortage in the port which results in vessels waiting to berth for up to one additional week at the moment.

  • As outlined in our previous advisories, congestion continues to have a substantially disrupting effect on the many other ports and supply chains worldwide. While the situation in Xingang and Colombo is easing, other ports like Dalian, Xiamen, Kolkata or Long Beach suffer from long waiting times for vessels and yards working at or beyond 100% capacity.

  • With the high peak in demand for shipping capacity and disruptions to the supply chain worldwide, liner carriers have limited space on their vessels and struggle to supply empty equipment at the required ports of loading. In New Zealand in particular, the limited options to reposition empty equipment via coastal moves has put rail and truck capacities under high pressure, which results in shortages of equipment for example in Tauranga. The strategy by the Lines to position empty equipment into areas for trade lanes where rate levels are currently soaring adds further pressure on the availability of empty equipment in New Zealand.

  • Despite the latest talks about an extended BREXIT transition period and/or a UK/European free trade agreement still in December, the official announcement with regards to the regulatory framework foresees the BREXIT transition period to expire on 31st December 2020 23:00 GMT when Great Britain is due to leave the European Union. Northern Ireland, however, remains part of the European Customs Union according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In course of the above, a new advance security filing called Safety & Security (S&S) Declaration will be required for cargo moving to Great Britain (England, Scotland & Wales) and must be submitted to the GB S&S system. This filing will be applicable for all import, transhipment and Freight Remain on Board (FROB) cargo and the relevant shipping instructions must be submitted at least 34 hours prior vessel arrival at last foreign port before the vessel enters Great Britain customs waters.

As a consequence, and despite possible changes to this regulation still before the deadline, we would like to inform you about the mandatory requirement to include GB EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) numbers in the Shipping Instructions for the Consignee and First Notify Party(s) for shipments to Great Britain and kindly ask you to please ensure that this requirement is met effective immediately.

For more information regarding EORI numbers please visit

The numerous operational constraints worldwide continue to be extremely challenging for Container Liner Shipping. To avoid operational disruptions to your supply chains as much as possible, we would like to again ask you to kindly place bookings as early and far in advance as possible in order to mitigate operational risks and build resilient inventory levels. Thank you for your support.

We would like to re-assure you that our teams and service providers are working tirelessly on solutions to provide you the best possible customer service in order to keep the impact on your operations as limited as possible.

Finally, we would like to again thank you for your support, cooperation and partnership in this very challenging year. We wish you Merry Christmas and Meri Kirihimete, refreshing holidays and are looking forward to building further on our relationship in 2021.

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