Industry Update – September 2023

Situation in USA:

  • Terminal updates

 Vessels continue to be pushed further off the proforma schedule causing blank sailings. The following are latest wait times for terminals in the US.

 US East Coast:

  • NY/NJ – Vessel waiting time up to 1 day.

US Southeast:

  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time up to 3 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time up to 1 day.

US West Coast:

  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time up to 4 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time up to 3 days.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time up to 3 days. 
  • Rail Updates


  • Rail ramp is still experiencing congestion in Chicago, Columbus, and Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at these locations.


  • Rail ramp is still experiencing congestion in Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at this location.
  • Chassis shortages

Due to persistent congestion nationwide, chassis shortages continue to be observed resulting in potential delays for pickup and delivery.

(Source: Freight waves)

  • Panama Canal drought restrictions

 Draught limits on vessels seeking passage through the Panama Canal continue to show extensive reach throughout the global supply chain. Ideally the wait time to enter the canal was between two and three hours prior to the restrictions. A total transit would take approximately nine hours.  These times have increased significantly since the restrictions have been introduced, with some vessels having to wait up to five days in some cases and transit times exceeding the standard transit time by several hours or more.  Measures taken include vessels offloading extraneous cargo in order to offset draught and make their way through the canal.  Some carriers are taking more extreme measures and omit the canal entirely on the return leg to Asia.

(Source: The Load Star)


Situation in Asia:

  • Port of Nagoya reopens after cyber attack

The Port of Nagoya in Japan has reopened after a crippling cyber-attack and an outage of more than 48 hours.  The Harbour Transport Association noted that some containers that were unloaded prior to the cyberattack could not be moved onto trailers during the outage, which had caused long queues to form near the port.

(Source: The Loadstar)

  • Demands slows for Asia-North Europe trade

Asia-North Europe carriers are managing the trade’s soft and irregular demand by blanking more sailings and making some port calls inducement-only.  Ocean carriers serving the Asia-North Europe route have all but given up on a traditional peak season this year, which will make a significant dent in their predictions for full-year earnings.  Carriers warned that routes may be subject to increases.

  • Blank sailings ahead of Golden Week Holiday

With just over a month before China’s national Golden Week holiday, ocean carriers are belatedly ramping-up their blanking programmes.  Weak cargo demand in July and August has forced carriers to deploy smaller vessels and to skip sailings.  The combined scheduled capacity reductions on the trade lane for the Golden Week period (Golden Week plus the following three weeks) is currently just 3%, compared with an average of 10% for the years between 2017 and 2019.

(Source: The Loadstar)


Situation in Europe:

  • Air cargo through Europe’s major hubs still lower than pre-pandemic

 Air cargo through some of Europe’s biggest hubs continues to fall well short of pre-pandemic levels. An indication that the market remains stagnant, or at best is slowly recovering.  Throughput of airfreight and airmail last month at Frankfurt (FRA), Europe’s biggest air cargo hub, exceeded the July 2022 level by 2.3%, reaching 164,503 tonnes, but mainly due to measures reducing freighter capacity last year.  Airport operator Fraport said the figure was “significantly below the July average over many years, of about 178,000 tonnes”.

(Source: The Loadstar)


Situation in Canada:

  • Rail flow into the US nose-dives

The two Canadian ports, Vancouver and Prince Rupert, affected by the strike, have had a big impact on US importers.  A significant portion of containerised import cargo is moved by rail to Chicago and many other American destinations. These rail moves have been heavily impacted by the strikes earlier in the month and could take weeks or even months to normalise.

(Source: Freight waves)


General Rate Increase from NEA to AU:

We received notifications this month from some shipping lines in regards to two separate General Rate Increases from North East Asia to AU, details as follows:

The first GRI will come into effect from 1st September 2023:

USD 150/20’

USD 300/40’

LCL will increase accordingly.

In addition to the first GRI, shipping lines will have a second GRI effective from 15th September 2023.

USD 150/20’

USD 300/40’

LCL will increase accordingly.


General Rate Increase from SEA/India Sub Continent/Middle East to AU:

We received notifications this month from some shipping lines in regards to a General Rate Increase from South East Asia/India Sub Continent/Middle East to AU, details as follows:

Effective from 15th September 2023:

USD 100/20’

USD 200/40’

LCL will increase accordingly.


Khapra Beetle Handling Fee:

We are seeing more shipments being pulled up by DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) for Khapra Beetle issues.  Effective immediately, any job which is pulled up by DAWR for Khapra Beetle issues will have an additional handling fee charged to cover the additional labour of A$40.

99% of the time, when there is an issue with DAFF, it is when the shipper has arranged the shipping themselves, without checking prior the requirements for importing into Australia.  For this reason, we always suggest you ship ex-works or FOB, rather than CIF as we are an Australian based freight forwarder and customs agency, so are aware of Australian Customs and Quarantine requirements.  We can ensure that your shipment moves with the proper procedures/fumigation done correctly so that on arrival, there are no local issues.


FCL Fuel Levy Updates:

  • Fuel Levy Increase in Brisbane

 Fuel Levy in Brisbane will increase to 35.7% for all FCL pickups/deliveries effective immediately.

  • Fuel Levy Increase in Adelaide

 Fuel Levy in Adelaide will decrease to 35.5% for all FCL pickups/deliveries effective immediately.

Please note the above is applicable for FCL 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.

We will keep you updated with further information.