Softer container volumes last month
August 2021 saw a comparatively lower total container throughput (full and empty) than August 2020, down 7.9% with a total of 259,875 TEU. However year to date volumes were up by 2.2%.
This biggest influence on this comparative result was the arrival of rescheduled July 2020 visits in August 2020 which elevated the August 2020 trade volumes. Weather delays, industrial action and East Coast Port congestion were the cause of July 2020 delays.
Imports of furniture, domestic appliances, miscellaneous manufacturers, electrical machinery and textiles were all down on August 2020 volumes and year to date comparisons.
Exports of fresh fruit, hay and chaff, dairy products and wine were also below August 2020 volumes and year to date comparisons.
Overall August 2021 container trade results compared with year to date and August 2020 were as follows.
- Year to date container volumes (full and empty) were up by 2.2% but down by 7.9%, comparatively with August 2020.
- Year to date full overseas container imports were down by 1.0% and down 9.5% comparatively with August 2020.
- Year to date full overseas container exports were down by 7.7% and down 17.3% comparatively with August 2020.
- Full container trade between Melbourne and Tasmania excluding transhipments was up 1.1% for the year to date but decreased 1.9% on August 2020 to total 18,784 TEU.
- Empty container movements year to date volumes were up by 13.2% but were 3.1% below August
- Full transhipments were up by 33.0% on year to date volumes and3% above August 2020.
- Motor vehicle imports were up 44.7% year to date and up 14.3% (+4,174 units) on August
- Dry bulk trade is up 46.8% for the year to date and up 78.2% over August The monthly comparative increase is due to:
- no grain exports in August 2020 compared to 181,634 tonnes in August 2021; and
- import volumes of cement, fly ash, slag, gypsum and raw sugar were up 17.5% on August 2020 levels.
- Break bulk trade is up 61.9% for the year to date and increased 60.0% over August Imports of iron and steels, and exports of non-electrical machinery were the main commodities responsible for the monthly gain.
- Liquid bulk trade is down 2.5% for the year to date and declined 1.4% over August
Container trade for September 2021 is currently tracking above the comparative month in 2020.
Global shipping congestion continues to place pressure on capacity with a second COVID-19 outbreak in China resulting in Ningbo’s busy Meishan terminal being locked down for two weeks. Subsequent ship diversions to Shanghai and Hong Kong further affected congestion for shipments to and from Australia.
While shipping lines are advising of port omissions across several Australian ports in an attempt to regain some time in their schedules, the local port freight supply chain continues to adapt with no reports of significant disruptions or freight movement challenges.
Patrick Terminals, Melbourne:
- Eight hours of work stoppage between 11 am Monday 2 August 2021 and Wednesday 4 August 2021.
- Four hours of work stoppage between 3 am Monday 2 August 2021 and Wednesday 4 August 2021.
- A ban on working overtime and shift extensions between 7 am Saturday 31 July 2021 and 7 am Saturday 7 August 2021
Please call your Port of Melbourne contact or email us at email@example.com if you have any queries.
Chief Executive Officer