Industry Update – June 2023

Conclusion of the 2022/23 BMSB season:

Please be informed the BMSB 2022/2023 season has concluded as of 1st May 2023. Goods shipped on board vessels departing from BMSB identified target risk countries on or after 1st May 2023, will no longer be subject to the BMSB seasonal measures, including Seasonal Pest Inspection (SPI) on arrival.  Importers are reminded that it is their responsibility to continue to ensure that any goods imported into Australia are free of biosecurity risk material throughout the year, not just during periods of heightened seasonal measures.  Random inspections can always occur.


Situation in Asia:

  • Excess of new China-Europe capacity will depress airfreight rates

Surging China-Europe air passenger services will only serve to further depress air freight rates, as the industry struggles to contend with mounting belly capacity amid weak demand.

Looking at the UK alone, the spike in services over the past six months has been dramatic, with weekly China-Heathrow flights increasing ten-fold, from 5 to 54.

(Source: Loadstar)


  • Cyclone disrupts sea and airport operations in India

Earlier this month, a cyclone which battered the coast of Bangladesh and Myanmar led to the suspension of operations at Chittagong, Mongla and Sittwe ports.  A knock-on effect and more delays are expected throughout the month, as loading, unloading and delivery at port yards were delayed for more than two days.

(Source: Loadstar)


Situation in USA:

A nation-wide slowdown in freight has helped cut US diesel prices by half from last year’s record prices. As diesel is the key industrial fuel, used to power machines and trucks that haul goods around the country, the slowdown has been worsened by the weaker demand for trucks.  Wholesale diesel prices in NYC fell to USD2.65/gallon compared to USD5.34/gallon in May last year.

(Source: Insider)

  • West Coast container ports labour shortages

 Southern California dockworkers disrupted cargo activity on Friday at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, as well as at some other West Coast ports after contract talks deteriorated in recent days.  Unions are staging concerted and disruptive work actions that have effectively shut down operations at several terminals in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma.  A spokesperson for LA and LB ports said late Friday that the ports were operating despite labour shortages. An Oakland spokesperson said cargo operations had halted because there were not enough dockworkers to handle containers. Normal operations are expected to resume on Monday.

Fortunately, a system is already in place to deal with labour-related backups courtesy of lessons learned during the COVID-era backup. According to a media report on Friday, vessel traffic in and out of LA/LB Ports is still moving per schedules and no schedules have slipped yet.

(Source: LA Times/Freightwaves)


  • Georgia Ports Authority to build rail hub in Gainesville

 Georgia Ports Authority has been approved to expand capacity with an inland rail hub in Gainesville.  Once built the Northeast Georgia Inland Ports will be able to handle 60,000 containers per year and help to reduce a round-trip truck route of 602 miles. Construction is expected to start in January 2024 and is predicted to finish by July 2026, if the grant from the Transportation Department is finalised.

(Source: Supply Chain Drive)


  • Panama Canal restrictions

 The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is to further reduce the maximum draft allowed for vessels transiting the waterway during the drought season. The Panama drought season is causing major draft issues, resulting in ocean carriers having to lighten loads of Asia – US east coast loops.  Transpacific carriers are set to impose hefty surcharges of up to USD 500 per container effective from 1st June for shipments on Asia – US east coast all water services and redirect some of their loops via the Suez Canal.

(Source: Loadstar)


Situation in Europe:

  • Hauliers positive despite drop in rates

The post-holiday drop is hitting European road freight rates harder than usual, but the market appears to be adjusting after a large surge in 2022.  Experts are doubtful however that it will return to pre-pandemic conditions, especially with capacity shortages remaining a major concern.

(Source: Loadstar)


  • Operational problems in Hamburg

We have been informed about operational complications caused by high filling and utilisation at the Eurokai and partly also at CTA terminals in Hamburg, which is currently causing delays in train processing.  Trains serving these terminals in Hamburg are currently being unloaded and dispatched with about one day delay.  Further delays and irregularities in the circulation of trains are expected over the next few days.


North East Asia to Australia/New Zealand General Rate Increase:

Shipping lines operating in North East Asia to Australia/New Zealand trade lane have announced an implementation of a General Rate Increase effective from 21st May 2023.

Other carriers have announced an increase effective from 15th June 2023.

The increase varies from carrier to carrier, the average being USD 250 per 20GP and USD 500 per 40GP/HC.

LCL applies proportionally.


Brisbane Destination Empty Container Park Increase:

Destination Empty Container Park Fee in Brisbane will increase to AUD 115 per container, effective immediately.


LCL Fuel Levy decrease in Fremantle:

Fuel Levy in Fremantle has decreased to 17.5% for all LCL & AIR pickups/deliveries, effective immediately.

Please note this is applicable for pickups and deliveries within metro areas only and is subject to change – fuel surcharge for regional and interstate areas will be higher and will vary depending on location.


FCL Fuel Levy Decreases:

  • Fuel Levy Decrease in Brisbane

Fuel Levy in Brisbane will decrease to 25.1% for all FCL pickups/deliveries effective immediately.

  • Fuel Levy Decrease in Adelaide

Fuel Levy in Adelaide will decrease to 29.5% for all FCL pickups/deliveries effective immediately.


Poor turnaround times in Brisbane terminals:

We have been advised that slots at some terminals in Brisbane have been very difficult to secure on First Fee Day (FFD) and sometimes are not able to be secured until late on Last Free Day (LFD), or sometimes not within the free time at all. This may result in some deliveries being delayed or detention charges being incurred, with some containers not reaching their intended delivery location until the container is already in detention.   Unfortunately, we have no control over this but if there are issues with a particular container, your customer service representative will keep you posted in this regard.

We will keep you updated with any further information.


Best regards,