Shipping Delays from Asia

Lengthy delays are being experienced on import shipping containers due to several typhoons in Asia, plus industrial action here in Australia. This will impact space availability and rates in the short-term future.

Carriers have been forced to skip some calls, including Japan’s second-busiest
container gateway Yokohama (above),due to the typhoons.
Photo credit:

Clients should be aware of considerable delays on seafreight imports, particularly those originating from, or transhipping through, Asia. This has been caused in part by several typhoons that have hit Asian ports, and exacerbated by industrial action here in Australia.

Currently cargo carriers are experiencing delays and congestion of up to 12 days berthing at Sydney, causing several vessels to omit Sydney from their routes. As a result of limited space now available, combined with additional handling costs being imposed, we expect rates from North East Asia to increase in the short term for consignments imported via Sydney. 

Industrial Action
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has instigated Protected Industrial Action at Patrick Terminals in Australia, which commenced from Friday 4th September for an indefinite period in Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle, and from 7th September in Melbourne. The actions include various work bans on ships and in the container terminals, and work stoppages of various lengths of time depending on the terminal. The action is a result of Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) negotiations.

Typhoons in Asia
Typhoons and associated bad weather in east Asia are wreaking havoc on carriers’ sailing schedules and port calls. Typhoon Maysak hit South Korea after first bringing strong winds and torrential rain to Japan; then Typhoon Haishen, packing 140-mile-per-hour winds, hit southern Japan before also moving on to South Korea. These were the fourth and fifth storms to sweep past northeast Asia since this August, after Hagupit, Higos and Bavi. Collectively, these typhoons have caused much havoc for the regional shipping scene, contributing to prolonged delays in ships' turnaround timing, and disrupting operations at many northeast Asian ports.

Torrential rain associated with the typhoons coupled with storms in central China has brought disruption to ports, including Shanghai and Ningbo along China’s east coast. Carriers have already delayed services calling at Busan and Japanese ports, including Tokyo, due to the typhoons, while also omitting some calls, including Yokohama, Japan’s second-busiest container gateway, to mitigate the disruption. Shippers face cargo delays even as far away as Vietnam.

For information about your import cargo, call us at Colless Young. As licensed Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders, we offer you professional service for all your shipping requirements, including clearance of cargo through customs and quarantine, warehousing and trucking. We are based in Brisbane and handle imports and exports, both airfreight and seafreight, Australia-wide.