“Collision of unprecedented variables” hits Australian shipping industry

“Collision of unprecedented variables” hits Australian shipping industry

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Global shipping delays, shortage of building materials and empty shelves – it seems like every aspect of people’s lives is being impacted by problems with supply chains.

But according to Global Forwarding‘s Enrica Centorame, it is a “collision of unprecedented variables”.

“It has really created the perfect storm for what is now a national emergency (in Australia),” Centorame exclusively told Ticker Insight. “We’ve had two years of shutdown.”

“Australia has been shut down for two years – exporters are now starting to export – and people are still getting sick with COVID-19.

“All of this, combined, is causing less manpower at the at the ports, less and less people to work around depots, and to compound this, it is all causing serious issues of lack of stock.”

Centorame points out there is more to this “lack of stock” – especially noted on supermarket shelves – getting container clearance from docks.

“There’s a hidden issue happening behind the scenes here, which is quite quite serious,” Centorame explains. “Generally, clearance is between 7-14 days.

“But we’re seeing containers take between 3-5 weeks at the moment.

“And the problem with that is that the foreign-owned shipping lines – which are all of them – are living with a detention fee of $200/day per container.

That’s the part that we’re not seeing, and many people would not know is actually happening. And that’s why costs are going through the roof.

“If a small business is bringing in a container, and it is taking five weeks, at $200 a day, that equates to $7,000. If companies are bringing in multiple containers, that can equate to $50-60,000, not budgeted and unplanned.

“Ultimately, the consumer is going to pay for it.”

So, how can this situation be rectified?

Centorame is calling on the Australian Federal Government to step in, especially Minister for Trade, Senator Don Farrell.

She would like to see Farrell copy what Energy Minister Christopher Bowen did in relation to the energy crisis in the country, saying it “worked well”.

“Don Farrell needs to sit with the all the stakeholders in the shipping industry and broker a deal,” Centorame contends. “We are not expecting container detention to be free.

“We understand there’s a cost in doing business.”

Centorame’s suggestionis to have a moratorium of 6-12 months, with container fees capped at 50 percent, giving the community, and importers/exporters something it needs – certainty.

“This will help Australia get back on its feet, and let the economy do what it needs to do,” Centorame concludes.

For more information, head to Global Forwarding’s website.

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