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Congestion at US ports flows on to NZ

Peak season-induced congestion at the United
States ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is having a knock-on effect on the
New Zealand supply chain, with containerships arriving in out-of-window
“bunches” at the Port of Auckland.

It is
understood some importers are struggling to access sufficient storage yard
capacity to manage the gluts created in inbound cargo flow, with some trucking
firms even said to be advising customers they cannot accommodate further
Ports of Auckland head of communications Matt
Ball said the issue is particularly problematic over weekends, when the freight
community traditionally does not operate to full capacity.
“If more cargo was uplifted over the weekends –
when there is spare capacity at the port – it would help ease congestion at the
start of the week,” he said.
“Trucking companies have been impacted at this
import peak time with a set number of trucks to handle the high volumes and
this together with a well-known driver shortage places the whole supply chain
under pressure.”
While acknowledging the transport industry was
under pressure from higher volumes and driver shortages, National Road Carriers
ports committee chairman Chris Carr is also calling on the port company to
provide further vehicle booking system (VBS) slots.
“We do not accept that there are sufficient VBS
slots over the weekends, as we know that VBS slots are reduced to allow ship
exchanges rather than road exchanges,” said Mr Carr.
“Ports of Auckland has always said publicly that
this does not happen, but we know that it does. As the cargo volumes grow,
Ports of Auckland needs to provide additional VBS slots to meet the demand. It
is that simple.”
Iain MacIntyre

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