Port Update

Delays at Transhipment Ports on Australian Traffic

Patrick Sydney Terminal – Industrial Actions * EA Negotiations:

Patrick Sydney Terminal Manager, Bruce Guy, has confirmed that industrial actions are continuing for at least the next two weeks, in the form of bans on overtime, shift extensions and the performance of upgrades of duties.

The disruptions have been felt more on quayside operations with vessel disruptions last weekend and likely disruptions again this coming weekend, with berthing delays creeping up to approx. 2.5 days.

“There has also been some impacts on rail operations and at least one shift was impacted on road operations” Mr Guy commented.

Patrick Sydney Terminal is trying to manage vessel export receival periods closely to ensure that the Terminal doesn’t become too congested with export containers for vessels delayed from berthing.

Patrick confirmed that Enterprise Agreement (EA) negotiations continue at the national and local levels. Some progress is reported, but there are also “sticking points” between Patrick and the MUA. Patrick is disappointed that the MUA continues to take Protected Industrial Action (PIA) despite the continued negotiations. Patrick also can’t rule out an increase in industrial actions as the negotiations address the identified “sticking points”.


Hutchison Ports Australia – Sydney Terminal EA Negotiations:

HPA have confirmed that national level discussions continue with the MUA on the finalisation of a new Enterprise Agreement (EA). Reportedly, a “document is almost done” despite some last minute amendments which are being worked through. The negotiations, which started three years’ ago, are reported to be “coming to an end”. Senior Manager Terminal Operations, Jarrod Graham, also addressed concerns about a reduction in export slots at HPA Sydney Terminal.

The issue is that the HPA Truck Appointment System (TAS) doesn’t differentiate between slots for Direct Return of Empties (DRE) and full export slots. Hutchison has been taking in more DRE, mainly for Zim Line (Gold Star), and the Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) can only take in a finite amount of containers per hour.

Jarrod Graham mentioned that with the new Enterprise Agreement (EA), once finalised, the Terminal will move to continuous operations (with staggered meal breaks and shift changes) rather than the current situation where terminal operations cease. This should assist with slot availability and terminal performance.


DP World Australia has announced the addition of five new Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) for DP World Sydney Terminal

Scheduled for delivery in April 2022, the machines will be 45% more fuel efficient, and will replace five previously commissioned RTGs as part of DPWA’s commitment to investing in infrastructure and sustainability throughout its operations.

With a total investment of approximately $15 million AUD, the new RTGs are part of DP World’s ongoing renewal of yard equipment at Sydney’s Port Botany Terminal for continued efficiency and enhanced performance across the Australian market


Delays and Congestion continues in Yantan Port, China:

Delays and congestion continue in Yantian after a number of port workers tested positive to COVID-19. The port extended its’ temporary closure on export laden containers to Monday this week however port productivity is still suffering serious congestion.

While some lines have omitted Yantian as a port call, there are still some 40 vessels awaiting berths to discharge and load. The port omissions will again throw schedules into disarray. It is expected the congestion will last for at least another week.


Order Early to avoid disappointment:

GPSM would suggest that all clients monitor stock requirements closely over coming months as we head into “Peak Season”.

Traditionally starting in August each year, all indications are that the peak is already underway and with congestion, empty equipment shortages and vessel schedules changing on a regular basis, it would appear this season could be more difficult that previous seasons.

Please note we are doing everything possible to secure equipment and bookings as soon as possible, however the above mentioned factors are not helping the situation.

We have been advised by our Asian partners that some lines are diverting much needed tonnage on the Australia/NZ trade to the highly lucrative Asia to Europe and USA trades where freight rates have hit an all-time record.

Some services to Europe-USA that were costing around USD 3,000.00/40ft a year ago and now USD 13,000.00/40ft container.

Please liaise with your GPSM Customer Service Team should you require assistance on any information or urgent bookings.