With the Lunar New Year celebrations in full swing our General Manager in New Zealand, Tom Pritchard, gives this market update.
Unfortunately, there is and will continue to be pressure on the NZ import shipping market for the foreseeable future. We are seeing no evidence of increase supply from the shipping lines into NZ and with demand still high, freight rates and space issues will need to be continued to be managed. These issues are prominently ex South East Asia and China. The Lunar New Year holiday usually marks a slow-down of imports into NZ and although there will be respite for a couple do of weeks, we are seeing that demand will pick straight back up once Asia comes back online after their holiday.
As for New Zealand itself, Auckland Port continues to be causing issues due to slow turn-around of vessels, although some possible relief will come as crane operators have been granted border exemptions. The timeline on getting back to full capacity is currently unknown. The schedule changes and delays are impacting all processes round final mile, from availability, unpack times, VBS slot bookings and de-hire of empties. The de-hire issue is compounded by capacity constraints at empty depots around Auckland.
Northport and Mt Maunganui have been used to alleviate some of the pressure into Auckland, but these options bring their own challenges and additional costs.
As for the rest of New Zealand it is more of the same, space pressure ex China and South East Asia in particular and schedule changes and omissions due to the situation in Auckland.
We are in our peak season for exports currently and having spoken to the shipping lines they are seeing healthy demand. Our advice for export bookings is to plan well to make sure that you are getting goods away when you need. Please talk to us for advice on options and timings.
Please contact your Account Manager or Client Services representative for any further detail.