Exporters advised to book shipments early

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

A number of factors, including the world-wide coronavirus pandemic, have created a huge demand for both shipping space and empty container availability in all international ports as well as having a major impact in Australia.

Internationally, the integrity of shipping line schedules has become increasingly volatile, running at around 40% as a result of the increased volume of trade, congestion in the terminals, availability of equipment (containers), the amount of time a vessel spends in port and in particular the repositioning of empty containers back into the market.  Cargo is sitting in full warehouses and distribution centres for much longer due to labour challenges caused by COVID.   To improve or maintain schedule integrity, some ports on a liner service may be skipped (a blank sailing for that port), for up to 2 weeks in order to reach a transhipment or destination port, adding to delays as goods destined to arrive or leave those ports are loaded onto the next available vessel.

How does that affect Australia?  We are finding that in all export trades, we are having to book space up to 8 weeks in advance.  Short notice is no longer viable and the earliest bookings can be made is September, in some cases. 

So, if you are planning to export over the next few months, please contact the team at Clarke Global Logistics as soon as possible to arrange the booking. Be prepared to be flexible in terms of timeframe and other requirements, as sailing schedules are subject to change.  The booking can always be changed or cancelled.  Please feel free to contact us on 9854 3000 or send an email to with any questions in relation to your export shipments and how these current delays may affect you.

Free Stock photos by Vecteezy


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