Australia enjoys boom in shipping, NZ still affected by congestion

THE volume of shipping containers arriving at Australian ports has reached a two-year high at 1.67 million TEU in August.


Statistics from logistics technology company project44 show that the increase in volume has been climbing rapidly since February this year, reflecting a 34 per cent rise in vessel capacity


John Brazil, vice president of supply chain insights at project44, said the growth in container vessel volumes calling Australian ports is evidence that business has picked up in 2022, reports The Daily Cargo News of Australia.


"However we are also seeing a slight drop of 6.5 per cent in September, so it remains to be seen if the economic bounce back will continue as strongly in Q4," he said.


Project44 said significant increase in shipping and importing activity throughout August contributed to the strong business turnover reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week.


Monthly figures published recently by the ABS found a majority of key industries grew their monthly revenue in August.


ABS head of business indicators Kate Lamb said transport and warehousing were among the industries that saw the largest percentage of rise in business turnover in August as global supply chain issues continued to ease.


"The 8.2 per cent rise in August was driven by shipping and logistics companies, as merchandise imports hit a record-high in the month," she said.


In contrast to Australia's relative "shipping boom", New Zealand is reportedly still struggling with supply chain woes and port congestion.


Project44 recently reported New Zealand had been hit by severe shipping delays this year with many shippers waiting weeks longer than their Australian counterparts.


The ongoing supply chain issues are apparently causing some shipping companies to completely exclude New Zealand from their schedules.


Project44 data suggests total vessel TEU volumes plummeted in the first quarter of 2021 in New Zealand and have since failed to make a meaningful recovery.


September data from New Zealand shows a 10 per cent decrease in total vessel TEU volumes from 2020 to 2022.


Looking ahead, project44 said ABS data indicate Australian businesses are rebounding in the post-pandemic months, but New Zealand is still struggling to regain shipping volume capacity to the country.


For time-sensitive goods such as fresh produce, some New Zealand shippers are switching to air freight to mitigate export delays.


In a market update for September, Maersk said berthing windows across New Zealand were expected to remain suspended until March next year.


At the time, wait times for Auckland remained at 4 or 5 days, according to Maersk.


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Australia enjoys boom in shipping, NZ still affected by congestion
Australia enjoys boom in shipping, NZ still affected by congestion