Importers face ongoing delays due to congestion, strikes, covid & upcoming China holidays

By Margaret Bux
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Due to several factors which have come together in the shipping industry recently, importers have experienced significant on-going delays which have been beyond the control of their freight forwarders and their suppliers.


Congestion at international terminals have delayed vessel departures and bottle necks at Australian ports have delayed vessel arrivals into local ports.  This, combined with industrial strikes and Covid-19 cases at multiple Australian terminals which have triggered immediate terminal shutdowns, has had a catastrophic effect on the time taken for importers to receive their shipments from global suppliers.

Industrial action notice has been served by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) to Patricks terminal Melbourne for 12 hour stoppages every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the month of October, in addition to a ban on overtime and shift extensions.  For vessels arriving into Melbourne, a delay of 5-6 days on an average for October is expected.  This is in addition to the industrial action notices already served in Fremantle, Brisbane and Sydney for various bans.


It is worth noting that LCL cargo (less than a container load) is faced with compounded delays due to depots now requiring a booking to be made before cargo can be collected. Bookings are usually fully exhausted for the following day, meaning one free day of availability is often lost – further pushing out deliveries to the ultimate importer.


Logistics related business in and out of China will also be affected by the upcoming China holidays.  The Chinese Golden Week is a week-long holiday from 1-7 October to celebrate the founding of China, so in order to make any sailings before the Golden Week, importers are advised to expedite bookings.

The team at Clarke Global Logistics is constantly aware of all the latest news or developments in order to minimize impact and respond to the continually evolving situation on behalf of their clients during these challenging times.  If you require more information, please contact us for further updates on +613 9854 3000 or email

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