Sydney Port Congestion and Vessel Omissions

15th September, 2020

Current industrial action at all 3 terminals across various parts of Australia is exacerbating the serious congestion issues at Sydney port. While previous delays were attributed to bad weather and empty park capacities, the Maritime Union is reportedly running multiple stoppages, closures and over time bans. While vessels would normally subcontract services to an alternative terminal if one were affected by industrial action, a new ban effectively prevents them from contracting ships out to each other. The effects are compromising an already strained supply chain and creating massive delays to all schedules both inbound and outbound. 

Shipping lines, citing additional costs in the region of $25,000 per day because of the delays, have started passing this on to the importers and exporters in the form of congestion surcharges of USD300 per TEU. Others have chosen to omit Sydney port all together, discharging containers in Melbourne or Brisbane and applying a Transport Additional surcharge fee of approx USD325 per TEU to reposition domestically. In some instances, arrival dates are being amended multiple times in the space of a day as carriers scramble to maintain some sort of schedule conformity.

At the moment these charges are being applied by only a few carriers (ANL/CMA CGM/MSC/ONE and PIL) and will be passed on accordingly if incurred. However, it is expected that all carriers will follow suit and we will keep you posted as this situation develops.

With the above-mentioned surcharges are being put in place on FCL shipments into Sydney, there will now be a Sydney Port Congestion Surcharge on all LCL shipments at approx. USD 12.50 – 13.50 per w/m. Again, this will only be passed on if incurred. 

On the weekend Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Michael McCormack sought to intervene, calling on all parties to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible in light of the significant pressures being faced by Australian businesses. 

We recognise the damaging effect that these additional charges and delays have on your current businesses and are actively working with our industry bodies to lobby all parties. We sincerely hope that these are temporary measures being imposed by the stevedores and carriers and we will monitor the situation and keep you posted.

Please feel free to contact us for any assistance or clarification on the above



Southern Cross Cargo Pty Ltd

+61 7 3899 6466
12/168-170 Redland Bay Road
Capalaba QLD 4157
Level 2, Suite 210, 29 Kiora Road
Miranda NSW 2228
PO Box 245
Capalaba QLD 4157