Welcome to the Australian International Movers Association

Here is the latest position regarding Sydney and Australian Port Congestion.
The AIMA Notices of 11th September 2020, 28th September 2020, 6th October 2020 and 13th October 2020 outlined the serious congestion situation existing at the Port of Sydney due to –

  1. Container Terminal Congestion.
  2. Recent and Ongoing Stevedore Industrial Action.
  3. Major Congestion at Sydney Empty Container Parks.

Whilst improving, the port congestion in Sydney has continued and empty containers tied up in the system are still said to be in the order of 50,000 TEU/equivalent and AIMA Members are regularly being confronted with shipping lines in Sydney not being able to receive back empty containers once the AIMA Mover has unloaded the containers. As a result AIMA Movers are incurring storage costs for these empty containers until such time as the shipping line involved is able to accept the empty container back at their Empty Container Park.

Meanwhile, shipping lines continue to impose Congestion Surcharges at the Port of Sydney as outlined in the attached Summary.
Where Mediterranean Shipping Corporation (MSC) imposed a Congestion Surcharge in the Ports of Melbourne and Brisbane effective 15th October 2020, the same as their Sydney Surcharge of USD300/TEU and USD600/FEU. MSC claimed the Sydney congestion has caused a flow on effect into Melbourne and Brisbane. Other shipping lines have still not as yet imposed similar surcharges for Melbourne and Brisbane.

The situation at the Port of Sydney is slowly easing however a number of lines are bypassing Sydney or not accepting bookings to Sydney and instead are diverting Sydney containers to Melbourne or Brisbane for consignees to collect their Sydney containers at those ports.

Your AIMA Mover will be able to advise you how best to deal with handling your Sydney containers should they be diverted into Melbourne or Brisbane or should you be unable to make freight bookings directly into Sydney and need to send your Sydney cargo through Melbourne or Brisbane.

The industrial relations status at the Port of Sydney is relatively stable for the moment, DP World Terminal are said to be within days of signing off a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) with the Maritime Union (MUA), Hutchison Terminal the MUA has lifted any further industrial action for the next 3 months and Patrick Terminal has an undertaking for no further action before 1st December 2020 and Patrick and MUA are in negotiation to arrive at a new Enterprise Agreement.
Hopefully, the situation will continue to ease at the Port of Sydney however it appears that it will be many weeks before things approach normality.

Kind regards
Philip Gordon
AIMA Chairman

9th November 2020

AIMA Sydney and Australian Port Congestion Summary of CGS Charges 9th November 2020


Published: December 15, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all personal effects shipments into Australia subject to mandatory quarantine inspection?

Yes – Australia is in the fortunate situation of being one of the few countries relatively free of common pests and diseases found in other countries. For this reason, the Australian Government has mandated that all unaccompanied shipments of used personal effects, motor vehicles and vessels be screened and physically inspected at approved and licenced unpacking depots by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources inspection officers.

Why is there a fee for the mandatory quarantine inspection?

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will only permit the unpacking of imported personal effects to occur within the confines of specially licenced and approved warehouses with adequate contamination containment measures, trained and accredited warehouse staff and the required electronic interface reporting systems. The fees for quarantine inspection, clearance and attendance charged by AIMA members cover the cost of annual depot licencing, use of bonded warehouse space, attendance and inspection fees for DAWR inspection officers and required interface software licencing.