News Archives

Fracht Australia News - August 2022


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" Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. "
- Robert Kiyosaki


  • GERMANY - For the third time within a few weeks the 12,000 members of the German dockworkers trade union downed tools on 14 July for two days. The strike affected the ports of Hamburg, Emden, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Brake and Wilhelmshaven. This will further increase the pressure on very congested ports and terminals in Northern Europe. Even before the latest strike action there were reports of vessels having to wait up to two weeks at the Hamburg terminals.
  • SRI LANKA - The economic crisis in Sri Lanka is now negatively affecting airfreight to / from Colombo. As a consequence of unavailable jet-fuel many passenger flights are forced to operate with double sector fuel which in turn means that no cargo can be uplifted.
  • USA - Supply chain problems continue in the USA and costs have hit a new high in July. Truckers and chassis shortages are hindering the removal of containers from terminals and there seems to be no end in sight until early next year. This also has a significant impact on exports resulting in average turnaround times at terminals of nine days. The problem is compounded by port congestion and port omissions by shipping lines. Exporters are struggling to find space in key ports and the lack of equipment at inland terminals is making nothing less than another supply chain disaster. Exporters can expect more of the same well into 2023. 


  • FINALLY THERE ARE SIGNS SUGGESTING A RETURN TO A MORE BALANCED MARKET and a gradual stabilisation of container freight rates in some markets. Some ocean freight spot rates are falling and demand for containers is down with carriers now attempting to protect profitability. Nominal TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity is improving as more tonnage becomes available but some carriers appear to be putting the brakes on softening spot rates by tightening up supply on certain routes and switching tonnage to more profitable trade lanes. Demand data shows signs of a weakening market with annual growth rates compared to 2019 approaching zero on a declining trend. Despite these positive signs for importers and exporters there are still predictions that carriers will make improved profits over the records set in 2021 and that supply chain constraints won’t ease before the first half of 2023.
  • SWIRE PROJECTS HAS CHARTERED THREE 28,000 DWT MULTIPURPOSE VESSELS which will be delivered in Q4 this year and early 2023. They will be renamed Pacific Honour, Pacific Humility and Pacific Hero and these vessels will be ideal for carrying wind-energy turbines, tubulars, power generators, plant and machinery and other related equipment, alongside unitised cargoes and bulky large items. In other news, SWIRE Bulk is launching its first liner service between South East Asia and Europe with one or two vessels deployed on a monthly rotation calling ports in Indonesia, Singapore, India, Spain, Belgium and Germany.
  • HAMBURG SUD HAS ANNOUNCED SEVERAL SCHEDULE CHANGES on its Australia to New Zealand West Coast North America service in an attempt to improve schedule reliability which is impacted by terminal congestions and extended waiting times. The changes include omitting Long Beach and call Seattle / Vancouver or omitting Papeete and call Adelaide.  



  • THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT ORDERED AMSTERDAM’S SCHIPHOL AIRPORT TO CUT FLIGHT NUMBERS by 12 per cent from a maximum of 500,000 to 440,000 per year. These cuts will be in force for the next five years and will no doubt also negatively impact cargo.
  • ALSO FRANKFURT AIRPORT WAS FORCED TO CURTAIL SOME FREIGHTER FLIGHTS as labour shortage bites. Fraport’s ground handling arm, BVD was severely limited due to traffic peaks, schedule changes and limited staff. The capacity restrictions affected Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and resulted in flight cancellations and delays.
  • IATA’S LATEST AIR CARGO ANALYSIS INDICATES THAT COMPARED TO 2019 pre-Covid volumes there were still some gains in the first five months of 2022. Year to date international airfreight volumes increased by 3 per cent and the Asia Pacific region improved by 1.1 per cent. However, compared to 2021 volumes for the same period declined by -3.6 per cent for international cargo and – 0.6 per cent in the Asia Pacific region. 



Container road transport costs have skyrocketed recently. Rising fuel and additive costs caused by global factors and demand, labour and skills shortage, long equipment purchase lead times, supply chain capacity constraints and fees imposed by third parties are significantly squeezing container transport operator margins and cash flow in Australia. Average diesel fuel prices have increased by a whopping 41.19 per cent in the last 12 months. In addition, road transport operators lost their ability to claim Fuel Tax Credits for on-road diesel use when the Federal Government halved the Fuel Excise rate for petrol and diesel. In practical terms this means that heavy vehicle operators have been over 17 cents per litre worse off in the last few months on top of the spike in diesel prices. Driver availability has dried up, and the cost of employing drivers, warehouse and other labour categories has risen. To survive, transport operators had little choice but to pass on rising costs to importers, exporters and freight forwarders. 


There is a temporary duty reduction for goods from Ukraine. Effective 4 July 2022 for a 12 month period, goods that are the produce or manufacture of Ukraine, will have a “Free” rate of duty.  Further details can be found in the Australian Customs Notice No. 2022/32. 



  • AS USUAL AROUND THIS TIME OF THE YEAR AIR CARGO GROUND HANDLERS ARE INCREASING THEIR FEES. Dnata has increased their import and export terminal service fees effective 18 July and Menzies Aviation will implement a higher tariff on 15 August. We expect Qantas to follow suit. Forwarders will have to pass on these increases to their clients.
  • SYDNEY’S PORT BOTANY HANDLED 239,490 TEU LAST MONTH, an increase of 12.6 per cent compared to June 2021. The figure comprises 116,358 TEU imported and 123,132 TEU exported.  80,278 of the exported TEU in June were empty. Despite the large number of empty containers exported the congestion at the Empty Container Parks (ECP) spiked again in recent weeks leaving importers and their transport providers incurring added costs from empty container de-hire delays, yard storage of empties, futile truck trips and additional administration.  Unfortunately recent weather events in Sydney have led for further unforeseen reductions in the movement of empty containers away from Port Botany, leaving the main ECPs at or near capacity and unable to accept additional empty containers. Shipping lines aren’t offering alternative de-hire options and will probably charge substantial container detention costs for late returns!
  • IN JUNE THERE WERE STILL SOME VESSEL DELAYS IN AUSTRALIAN PORTS. Shipping lines reported 2 to 4 days in Sydney, 0 to 3 days in Melbourne, 2 to 4 days in Brisbane, 0.5 to 3 days in Fremantle and 1 to 2 days in Adelaide.   


If you would like further information about any of the above items, please contact one of our friendly Fracht Team members at 

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