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Maersk suspends receiving cargo bookings from Asia/Europe/Middle East/Africa to Sydney

Recently, Australian dock workers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have continued to strike, causing serious cargo delays, and a large number of liner companies have imposed congestion charges.

It is reported that despite the signs of reconciliation between the dockworkers and their employers in Sydney Port, shippers have been warned that the container supply chain will continue to be congested.

In response, some shipping companies refused to book cargo to the port.

▲Maersk refused to book freight to Sydney Harbour

Yesterday, Maersk announced the temporary suspension of bookings to Sydney Harbour, and it may continue until the end of this month.

Maersk said: "In order to eliminate the uncertainty of the customer's supply chain and assist in handling the ships docking in Sydney, Maersk is making the difficult decision to temporarily stop receiving all new arrivals from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent to Sydney. The order is effective immediately."

To remove uncertainty for our customers' supply chain and to assist handling of our vessels calling Sydney, Maersk is taking the difficult decision to temporarily stop acceptance of all new bookings from Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India sub-continent to Sydney, effective immediately.

A customer consultant of Maersk said: "We expect to reopen on October 1 to accept reservations, but will continue to evaluate the situation and accept reservations as early as possible."

The consultant added that Maersk will still accept bookings from North America.

According to data from the liner database eeSea, Maersk cooperates with other shipping companies to operate six service routes to Sydney, of which two PNZ and OC1 services originated in North America. The remaining four: Cobra, Yoyo, Southern Star and Dragon connect Australia and Asia.

This means further bad news for the industry. Shipping companies are currently working hard to ship empty Australian containers back to Asia during the peak season.

The freight company CH Robinson said that due to the inability to export Australia's fully loaded containers and ship empty containers back to Asia, the current imports from Asia are at risk. The company cited research from the Port of New South Wales showing that between April and June, There is an imbalance of 30,000 teu between the volume of imported containers and the volume of exported containers.

"At the same time, due to Covid-19 employee restrictions, Australia's exports have decreased, coupled with port congestion, which has caused confusion for operators, and supply chain costs will gradually flow to consumers." Andrew CH Robinson, Vice President of Oceania Coldrey said.

He explained that the severe congestion at Botany port was caused by weather disturbances, industrial disputes and congestion at the "overwhelmed" empty container yard, which reduced operational efficiency and caused ships to diverted to Melbourne.

However, this has put more pressure on Melbourne’s already struggling ECP, which eventually led to further tensions in truck transportation and increased supply chain costs.