Empty Container Park Congestion & Container Detention June 2022


We are operating in incredibly difficult times with the impacts of empty container park congestion and container detention charges. 

A major concern with this is that shipping lines can benefit financially from their own operational inefficiencies by levying high container detention charges on importers for late return of containers, despite a contributing factor being the lack of capacity at shipping line contracted empty container parks.

The commercial reality is that transport operators are left to deal with empty container management issues, which can develop into redirections from one facility to another, increased waiting times at some parks, the need to stage empty containers through transport operator’s depots, including additional container lifts, yard storage and additional truck kilometres.  All this significantly adds to the cost of importing as these costs are recouped and passed down the supply chain, impacting importers, manufacturers, retailers and ultimately consumers.

The onus of proof sits with the importer and their transport provider to try to show the shipping line that all reasonable attempts had been made to secure a timely de-hire slot without success.  However, any waiver of container detention fees is completely at the discretion of the shipping line and is rarely granted.

Disappointingly, such additional costs are on the rise which has resulted in increased pressure on Government by industry bodies to help intervene and provide regulatory oversight of shipping line container detention policies and practices.

We will continue to keep you updated on this emerging crisis at most Australian ports.

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