Melbourne/Brisbane Port Congestion Surcharge and other relevant updates

Attention: Shipping Manager

First Shipping Line to Introduce Port Congestion Surcharge for Melbourne/Brisbane ports:

After Sydney, the issues relating to Port Congestion and Industrial strikes have now reached the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane. MSC is the first carrier which today has sent a notice advising of a Port Congestion Surcharge applicable for Melbourne and Brisbane Ports. The reasons they have cited are extended berthing delays of over 9 days in Melbourne and over 10 days in Brisbane due to the ongoing action at port terminals and sailing schedule adjustments to maintain their service offerings. Below is how this will be applied for Brisbane and Melbourne ports as per their latest notice:

20’ = USD 300

40’ = USD 600

Export cargo to everywhere except USA: From B/L date 15th October 2020 onward

Export Cargo to USA: From cargo possession date 29th October 2020 onward

Import Cargo from Europe/Turkey/Israel: From B/L date 15th October 2020 onward

Import Cargo from USA: From cargo possession date 29th October 2020 onward

Import Cargo from South Africa, South Americas, Canada and Mexico: Effective date not advised yet but will apply.

Import Cargo from Asia: No confirmation yet.


As we observed in Sydney, we expect other lines to follow the lead of MSC in introducing Port Congestion Surcharges for Melbourne and Brisbane ports.


The Current Status of Industrial Action and the Overall Situation:

As you would be aware from our previous notices, the overall space situation is quite limited and bookings are being affected by these ongoing port strikes. According to DCN, Maritime Union has decided to offer a peace deal ending industrial action to Patrick terminals prior to today’s hearing at the Fair Work Commission. As per the proposal, they have offered to extend existing enterprise agreements for twelve months while asking for a 2.5% pay rise for wharf workers. If Patrick accepts this deal, we might see an end to the current Industrial actions at their terminals across Australia. Even if the deal is accepted, the situation won’t improve immediately and it will take time to clear the backlog caused during the past few weeks.

So far, OOCL and Cosco have completely stopped bookings to Australia on their South East Asia to Australia services as a result of these issues. Other lines have also significantly limited their services and have severely reduced new bookings with some not even calling Sydney at all. Some have even announced excessive GRI’s from Asia to Australia effective 15th of October 2020 ranging from 350-500 USD/20’ and 700-1000 USD/40’ containers. Some carriers are also introducing hefty booking amendment and cancellation fees. The entire situation is very uncertain and new charges are being introduced almost every few days. We will do our best to keep you informed however if these charges apply or any new ones are introduced, they will have to be unfortunately passed on.


BMSB Fumigation:

Apart from the above notices, please note that during the BMSB season, all cargo undergoing fumigation should not be wrapped in standard plastic shrink wrap. It must be packed in permeable wrap including plastic that has sufficient holes in it or in a web wrap in order to let the fumigant penetrate inside. Shipments which aren’t properly packed for fumigation may not be fumigated and might require additional handling which will incur additional costs/delays.

We will keep you updated as we hear further on these issues.