- 08 December 2020
Service Announcement | New Zealand Transport Service Update
08 December 2020
Sea / Air Freight
Worldwide shipping disruption continues to impact global supply chains, with extended delays and unreliable timetables transferring pressure onto New Zealand’s supporting infrastructure.
Availability of sea freight space continues to tighten as shipping lines adjust to the varying levels of global economic activity and recovery. Wharf disputes in Australia, container shortages, and Ports of Auckland’s low productivity have all exacerbated the situation. Ship arrivals continue to be late and discharge timetables are unreliable.
With reduced capacity and the advent of spot pricing, several shipping lines have seized the opportunity to reduce detention allowances alongside the imposition of port delay surcharges. Customers should be aware of additional cost arising from shipping lines deliberately reducing time to discharge and de hire containers, some under the minimum average 10-day tolerance aligned to several standing agreements.
We expect further fees to arise as sea/airfreight operators and ports look to recover the cost of additional services. Today, Ports of Tauranga has advised that, due to the cost of additional rail services, and the operation of their Auckland Metro Port facility, the Vehicle Booking System/Container Chain (VBS) fees applicable to containers moving through Metro Port will increase effective 14 December. Mainfreight has no other avenue than to pass this cost on at NZD$40.00 per container (plus GST if applicable).
The Port has advised the VBS fee will be reviewed again in January, when they are better able to gauge the need for ongoing additional rail services.
We are expecting a late spike in airfreight demand as sea freight options fall short of key Christmas timetables. We recommend that customers liaise with your local specialist Air Freight team at Mainfreight to secure options as early as possible. Imports are already experiencing delays and price pressure as a result of reducing capacity.
Domestic networks remain under pressure, with the arrival of previously delayed imports now overlapping with the traditional Xmas seasonal highs. At the same time, coastal services are impeded by NZ port congestion and disruption, and rail has not significantly increased seasonal capacity, leaving road to carry the extra volume.
Mainfreight has worked to increase available resources and has deployed more road assets to bridge shortfalls in linehaul vehicles which are filling gaps in coastal and rail services at this time.
Our transition facilities are all ATF licensed for unloading import containers throughout the country, and are working extended hours to support customer demand.
Please continue to provide early notification (ASN's) to our Warehousing teams outlining inbound container volume and ETA's, to assist them in allocating space and resources ahead of time.
Our teams appreciate the support from our customers, particularly in making the necessary adjustments to delivery times, and proactively sharing this message with their own customers and front-line personnel, to ensure that there is a uniform service expectation.
Our teams are working hard to meet our usual service schedules, however it is prudent and honest to communicate that additional tolerances are needed because of these extraordinary times.