Shipping Alerts – South Africa, Oceania, US Port and Rail Updates 

South Africa – Ports / Rail Temporarily Closed
The South African Ports authority has reported their IT system has been compromised and as a result operations at all ports (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban) and railway lines have been stopped. For customers with pending export bookings from South Africa, this will delay container positioning and deliveries to the ports. This incident comes as the country already is suffering following recent unrest and rioting and hope the situation can improve. We’ll continue to update on developments.

 Australia – Melbourne Port Strikes
There is new labor action from the Maritime Union of Australia that will affect port operations and prolong the disruption and delays to the supply chain network in the Oceania region. MUA labor stoppages ended at Patricks Terminal in Sydney July 15th, but new work stoppages will apply to Patricks Terminal in Melbourne starting tomorrow. There is a 24 hour work stoppage starting 7AM July 23rd, followed by intermittently scheduled 8 or 4 hour work stoppages for next week. All overtime and shift extensions for Saturday will be cancelled for the rest of the month.

Vessel berthing delays are currently averaging up to a week at Sydney and the 1-3 day wait times at Melbourne will worsen in the coming days. Services from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) are over capacity going to Oakland as a result of carriers omitting regular weekly port calls in Auckland and Oakland – this has a rollover effect for subsequent vessel space and containers and chassis units, rail and trucking deliveries – all supply chain actions are impacted.

 US – Intermodal Suspension on inbound loads destined for Chicago terminals 
View more detail of rail service changes announced in North America Operations Update here.  Note that ocean carriers will be implementing intermodal or oncarriage charges in the range of USD 350 per container when they handle the inland portion as of next month.  View details of those announcements here.

 Global Trade Lane Summary 
 In case you missed it, you can find additional trend data for July by global shipping trade lane published by Hillebrand’s Procurement team here.   

FMC action for detention and demurrage
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has been hearing shippers’ complaints about detention and demurrage costs for several years. In the latest initiative to address these concerns, the FMC launched the Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Audit Program this week which will look at the top nine carriers by market share to assess whether they are using their market position to overcharge on these fees. The nine carriers are Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, COSCO Group, Hapag-Lloyd, Evergreen, HMM and Yang Ming. Read more from FreightWaves here.  

 E-commerce demand projections
New numbers released from the National Retail Federation show that despite the reopening of retail, non-store and online sales are expected to grow between 18% to 23% this year over 2020. This continued demand for consumer goods will continue to keep global shipping demand high and keep pressure high to find space and equipment. Speaking of space, we came across a news article that the demand for online purchases has prompted the US Postal Service to encourage customers to consider “jumbo” mailboxes, designed to be wider and taller to accommodate more packages. It’s a real thing – see the details from USPS here.   

 For more information on pending or planned shipments, please reach out to your Hillebrand representative to discuss the best possible arrangements for transport, warehousing, insurance, and customs compliance needs.