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The country’s cargo has been heavily delayed for 11 days in the port, and many shipping companies have imposed congestion surcharges

In the past week, strikes occurred in Brisbane, Sydney, and Patrick, Hutchison and DP World terminals in Melbourne, and a large number of liner companies charged congestion charges. Port Botany is the latest strike location.

It is reported that the strike action supported by the Maritime Alliance of Australia (MUA) resulted in a backlog of cargo in the port for 11 days. With the diversion of ships, the chain reaction of congestion in the container supply chain has spread to Melbourne and Brisbane.

On Tuesday, DP World submitted an application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to terminate the strike action, saying it "harmed the supply chain of critical products and exports and put unacceptable pressure on the economy."

The strike mainly involves wages and working conditions. DP World Australia’s chief operating officer Andrew Adam said: “We have been bargaining for nearly two years; this is a long process with several rounds of strikes and the union’s repeated abandonment. Stand up."

At the Botany terminal operated by Patrick and Hutchison, MUA strikes are also ongoing. According to freight company Southern Cross Cargo, the situation at the port has worsened as the dock workers are now unable to subcontract the affected vessels to the other party.

Terminal operator Patrick said that this week’s strike reduced terminal output by 40%, and the shipping schedule dropped significantly by 9 days. For each day of the strike, the delay will worsen for half a day.

Last week, Shipping Australia estimated that the cost of a day’s delay for a container ship was A$25,000 and has submitted a statement to FWC supporting the termination of the strike.

In addition, shipping companies have begun to pass on additional costs to importers. Carriers including MSC, CMA CGM, ANL, Pacific Asia Express and Hapag-Lloyd have begun to charge a congestion surcharge of around A$300/TEU. Other carriers will follow suit.

The Director of the Freight and Trade Alliance (F&TA) Paul Zalai called on FWC to resolve the problem and allow stevedores to resume full capacity before the peak season.

He said: "The vessel is now bypassing Port Botany, unloading interstates, and allowing importers to pay huge logistics costs to transport the goods back to Sydney.

"Once the goods are received, the importer will face the difficulty of returning the empty containers to the warehouse designated by the shipping company's contract. Since the shipping company is unable to evacuate the excess empty containers, the Sydney warehouse is already operating at full capacity, and the transportation operator will transfer costs. , Waiting time, useless travel and container storage costs are passed on to other companies."

All the additional costs and delays also put pressure on freight forwarders.

A freight forwarder commented on LinkedIn: "This has been a challenging week, explaining to customers the impact of ship delays, cancellations of Sydney freight, daily changes in ship schedules, and the impact of new orders in origin."