Empty Equipment Update 2020

Maersk Line withdraws Detention Holiday on 40ft Equipment:

Maersk Line have managed to repatriate a large volume of empty 40ft equipment over the last few days and are now able to accept empty 40ft containers at their Sydney Container parks.

Sydney Empty Container Parks:

Generally most empty container parks in Sydney are close to 100% capacity at present, with a number of locations still unable to accept empty equipment.

This is making our job as container truckers extremely difficult and adding a whole new level of truck/trailer management to our daily tasks. In many cases it is far more cost effective to return the empties to our yard than leaving them on customer’s sites, hopefully the Transport team can manage to return the empties through their close contacts in various parks and terminals.

Extra costs are involved in returning to our yard but much lower than dropping at destination then returning at a later date to start the redelivery process from scratch.

Melbourne Empty Equipment Issues:

Container logistics congestion in Melbourne is at a critical level, with empty container stocks building and significant landside delays being experienced.

November 2020 was another record month for total container throughput (full and empty) with 295,022 TEU – 12% above November 2019.

Worryingly, the ratio of TEUs imported into Melbourne (full & empty) compared with the number of TEUs exported (full & empty) shows a surplus for November alone of over 21,000 TEUs.

Empty container evacuations were up markedly in November – demonstrating that shipping lines are making efforts to reposition empties overseas where there is a shortage of stock.

Despite this, the evacuation rate has not been enough to counter the import surge. This translates into operational congestion at Melbourne’s empty container parks, and in transport yards, as full and empty containers need to be juggled and double-handled.

Brisbane Chaos at Empty Parks:

There’s little cheer in the Port of Brisbane in the lead up to Christmas with appalling landside service performance at Hutchison’s Brisbane Container Terminal (BCT), and truck turnaround time delays also at Patrick Brisbane Autostrad Terminal.

The Hutchison BCT is incapable of dealing with its current container volumes and has been woefully caught short with the surge in container volumes during peak season. In the last few days, truck turnaround times at BCT have blown out to between 5 to 9 hours. Hutchison has also closed its empty container return pool “indefinitely” due to terminal congestion, with empty import containers having to be redirected to other empty de-hire facilities which are also feeling capacity pressures.

This lack of operational performance by Hutchison BCT is totally unacceptable to the container transport industry, and is costing transport companies considerably more in operational and administration costs.