Europe to AU Shipments – Current Situation

Attention: Shipping Manager

As advised earlier in our 27th February Industry update email, the space situation from Europe is becoming more and more congested. This is a direct result of shipping lines announcing blank sailings and the overall impact of Corona Virus on shipping industry.

Overnight, we received further updates from our German office. According to the latest information, almost all carriers coming out of Europe (Specially from major ports like Hamburg/Rotterdam/Antwerp etc.) are completely booked out for March as a lot of vessels didn’t make it back to Europe due to Chinese New Year and the Novel Corona Virus. There are reports of similar issues with air freights as well.

Given the fact that these disruptions are likely to continue for a while, we think it will be better to book future shipments for April in advance and reserve space as early as possible. There is however some degree of risk involved as we will have to book without any rates on file for April. We have already seen a significant increase in transhipment rates from Europe to Australia for March and direct shipping lines have also announced Peak Season Surcharges as advised earlier. It is very hard to predict what the rates will be for April but the upward trend is likely to continue.

Another risk associated with advanced booking is the fees charged for cancelled/rolled booking. Our office in Germany have heard from carriers that they will charge a rollover/cancellation fee if the container is cancelled/rolled over 10 days before the closing date. These charges will vary from carrier to carrier and can be around 100 Euros per container for general cargo.

It’s a tricky situation we are in at the moment but with careful planning and proactive action, it’s possible to minimize the impact this is having on our client’s supply chains. If you have any planned shipments from Europe to Australia in the foreseeable future, please contact your customer service representative for the best course of action.

Please note that as warehouses in China come back to full capacity, we expect a similar situation out of China whereby vessels will be fully booked. This is already the case with airfreight moving ex. China.

Dieterle & Victory will endeavour to keep you updated with the latest information as we hear further.