Industry Update – April 2024

Attention: Shipping Manager


Situation in Red Sea

  • First casualties in Red Sea shipping crisis:

A missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi Rebels on a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden killed at least three people earlier last month. Carriers continue to avoid the Red Sea due to the ongoing disruptions, with the diversion of over $80 billion in cargo already. Freight rates peaked in late January and have started declining as demand eases post-Chinese New Year with new ships introducing adding capacity.

(Source: Freightwaves)


Situation in Panama Canal

After the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) revised up the allowance to 24 vessels from January onward, the PCA have confirmed they see no need to impose further restrictions until at least the end of the dry season in April.  If rains arrive in May as expected, the canal plans to progressively increase daily slots, aiming to return to about 36 vessels per day, its’ normal number during the rainy season. If however, rains are short of expectations, the authority could apply further restrictions to either daily passage or draft.

(Source: FTA & DCN)


Situation in USA

  • East Coast port strike looming:

Cargo owners have been advised to make contingency plans for a possible strike at US East and Gulf Coast ports that could hit flows as early as 1st October, right in the peak shipping season.  The six-year labour contract between the International Longshoreman Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), covering ports on the Eastern US coastline, is set to expire on 30th September 2024. If you are concerned regarding any upcoming orders, please speak with your sales representative who will be able to advise you on alternative options.


  • LA/LGB Ports busier and eyeing earlier peak season:

Container imports through the US West Coast, Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are booming – a trend that looks to continue, with some peak season volumes from Asia expected to arrive earlier usual this year.  Both hubs are well ahead of last year’s volumes, LA facilities up 35% over the two months, while the Long Beach terminals reported a 20.7% rise.

(Source: Loadstar)


General Rate Increase from North East Asia to Australia:

We received notifications this month from some shipping lines in regards to a General Rate Increase from North East Asia to Australia, details as follows:

Effective from 15th April 2024:

USD 300/20’

USD 600/40’

LCL will increase accordingly.


Ongoing delays at Brisbane DP World terminal

Due to recent system upgrades, there has been significant issues with some of DP World’s modules. DP World has been recently troubleshooting these issues, with an end result being the rollback of upgrades to restore optimal functionality.  In regards to a previous notice about Protected Industrial Action taken by the Electrical Trade Union, latest repots state that whilst bargaining on the enterprise agreement is ongoing, employees have since returned to normal duties in good faith, whilst those negotiations continue.

(Source: Freight Trade Alliance)


Further delays caused by protests at Sydney and Melbourne Ports

Earlier in the month protesters were very active at Sydney and Melbourne Ports, with protests becoming violent.  This caused significant delays and traffic chaos after blocking VICT and Webb Dock.  There is now debate about whether Victoria should adopt similar laws to NSW, requiring an application to be made to Police containing all relevant information about any protest, including the date, time, place, and the route for the protest.

(Source: FTA)


Continuing road construction disruptions at Melbourne Port

The West Gate Tunnel Project construction works will continue to impede road transport operations through the Port of Melbourne in the coming weeks.  Major road arteries that are under construction will affect heavy vehicles travelling to/from the Port of Melbourne. These combined disruptions are adding between 45 minutes to an hour to truck travel time delays to/from transport yards in Melbourne’s western industrial suburbs.

(Source: FTA)


WA flooding and road closures causing delays

Due to prolonged and continued rainfall in the flood affected regions of WA, some rail lines are still unable to open. Recovery crews have observed some water levels subsiding in some locations, however there are still many sections significantly impacted with water over the track.   Although some freight has begun moving via road, the additional week closure on the rail will continue to affect the significant delays on lanes into and out of Western Australia.


Airfreight Destination Airline Terminal Fee Increase

The Destination Airline Terminal Fee applicable for all airfreight cargo coming to Australia will increase effective immediately. The new fee will be:

Minimum AUD 77

AUD 0.77 per kg


Adelaide Destination Port Infrastructure Surcharge Increase

Destination Port Infrastructure Surcharge in Adelaide has increased to AUD 215 per container, effective from 1st April 2024.


Adelaide Destination Timeslot Booking Fee Increase

Destination Timeslot Booking Fee in Adelaide has increased to AUD 75, effective from 1st April 2024.


Destination Empty Container Park Fee Increases

Destination Empty Container Park Fee has increased for Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle, effective from 1st April 2024.

Melbourne Destination Empty Container Park Fee = AUD 135

Adelaide Destination Empty Container Park Fee = AUD 100

Fremantle Destination Empty Container Park Fee = AUD 130


We will keep you updated with any further information.