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While the Aussies prepare for Santa's arrival on a surfboard and a relaxing Christmas time, there is certainly stilll no smooth sailing for shipping lines trying to get their cargo into the Australian ports.

Here at Esgian Shipping, we analyze a lot of data in order for our clients to understand what is truly happening behind the scenes.

A few highlights:

a) Number of unique vessels around Oceania (we count them every day) increased dramatically in early 2023 vs 2022 – seeing some 30% + increase. For example May 2023 vs May 2023 – up from 65 to 91 vessels representing a whopping 40% increase (bottom part of graph);

b) Number of actual port calls, however, has declined notably in 2023 vs 2022. YTD in Australia we have seen 225 less port calls vs YTD 2022 (10th Dec) and if we look at the top 5 ports in terms of activity:

  1. Melbourne – down 23.03%
  2. Brisbane – down 14.01%
  3. Port Kembla – down 27.75%
  4. Fremantle – down 8.7%
  5. Adelaide – UP 22.86% as a viable alternative to Melbourne


c) The graphs show the monthly average waiting time per car carrier outside the main four Australian ports 2022 vs 2023. It is indeed somewhat of a mixed bag, but overall improving in 2023.

Melbourne continues to be a challenge, whereas Port Kembla has seen a significant improvement since the summer. Same goes for Brisbane which had major issues in the first 5 months of the year. Fremantle is more of a roller coaster with no clear trend, but thankfully at a much lower level.

d) As long as the Australian government imposes strict regulations on seed contamination and BMSB (stink bug), Australia will continue – to a lesser or larger extend – to be a major hurdle in the global supply chain absorbing valuable car carrier capacity. We’ll continue to monitor this into 2024 for sure!

In the next imminent release of our Shipping Suite for RoRo, we’ll allow our clients to see not only average waiting time, but also total waiting time, number of waiting events/ships and CEU capacity affected by waiting time. If this wasn’t enough, we’ll even aggregate all of these datasets from ports to country, region and global.

The Esgian Shipping Suite for RoRo – an innovative and easy to use software tool is being used by major shipping lines, ports, cargo owners and freight forwarders globally in order to understand what is really happening. With continuous updates and developments, it is truly a “product made for the industry by the industry”.

Esgian Shipping

Esgian Shipping

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