Shipping lines critiqued on electronic messaging shortfall


Social distancing means paper delivery orders ‘hobble container supply chain’

Shipping lines critiqued on electronic messaging shortfall
Container shipping lines are urged to modernise container park messaging

 

Container shipping line landside neglect is adding to coronavirus Covid-19 concerns, Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) charges.

CTAA states that a longstanding lack of cooperation by shipping lines in providing electronic messaging to empty container parks in Australia on import de-hire instructions is now a major cause for concern as the container logistics sector implements measures against the spread of coronavirus Covid-19.

Empty container parks have introduced procedures to limit direct interaction with truck drivers at their operational windows.

In some cases, for hygiene reasons, the parks are not accepting paper copies of delivery orders (DO), and will not handle the personal devices of truck drivers with the necessary electronic copy of the valid DO.

Instead, where no electronic information has been passed to the empty container park by the shipping lines to verify de-hire instructions, transport operators are having to email copies of the DO to the park to be matched manually in the Containerchain system.

"This causes a significant administrative burden on transport operators and empty container park operators alike, and slows down the task," CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"If all shipping lines provided the necessary electronic information on import container de-hire instructions all of the time, we wouldn’t have this problem.

"CTAA has advised before that this unfathomable lack of cooperation by shipping lines has held back the landside container logistics sector from improving information visibility.

"Also, it has held back the sector from implementing measures to increase the operational velocity of the empty container transport task, improve truck turnaround times at empty container parks, and to reduce supply chain costs."


Read about CTAA welcoming Containerchain payment flexibility, here


 

To indicate the size of the problem, CTAA provides the following analysis of empty import container de-hires, sourced from Containerchain, relating to the east coast ports of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for the three-month period from August 1 2019 to the end of October 2019:

Sydney

• 138,971 empty import containers de-hired in the three-month period

• 29 per cent of these de-hires had no corresponding electronic information provided by shipping lines

• equals 40,302 times that data was required to be manually entered and proof of de-hire instructions provided by transport operators to empty container parks.

Melbourne

• 170,505 empty import containers de-hired in the three-month period

• 34 per cent of these de-hires had no corresponding electronic information provided by shipping lines

• equals 57,972 times that data was required to be manually entered and proof of de-hire instructions provided by transport operators to empty container parks.

Brisbane

• 79,145 empty import containers de-hired in the three-month period

• 51 per cent of these de-hires had no corresponding electronic information provided by shipping lines

• equals 40,364 times that data was required to be manually entered and proof of de-hire instructions provided by transport operators to empty container parks.

"In other words, in only three months of empty container logistics chain operations across the three major east coast container ports in Australia, manual intervention in data entry and physical interaction between park operators and truck drivers was necessary over 138,000 times," Chambers says.

"Project that out to a 12 month period, that’s over 550,000 times that manual intervention is required, in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane combined, to ensure that truck arrival notifications can be made, and that de-hire instruction verification was physically required.

"What an absolute waste of time and money, just because shipping lines can’t or won’t cooperate with the landside logistics sector to provide simple de-hire instruction electronic data."

"In contrast, in the Port of Fremantle, over 90 per cent of the empty import container de-hires are undertaken using automated gate processing of trucks through the Containerchain eGate app.

"Why do some shipping lines provide the data in Fremantle, but don’t in the larger east coast ports? The lack of cooperation is as staggering as it is unfathomable.

"The two major lines responsible for most of this lack of cooperation are OOCL and Evergreen.

"However, almost all shipping lines don’t provide the electronic data on all occasions for whatever reason."

"And now, it’s impacting on how the container logistics chain is attempting to address the real concerns of possible infection caused by Covid-19.

"It’s time for either the federal or state governments to regulate the provision of this electronic information by shipping lines."

"You want to trade to ports in Australia? … well, we have some minimum requirements that you will need to satisfy, including the provision of electronic data on empty container de-hire instructions, in addition to the current regulatory mandates such as border declarations to Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Department of Agriculture, etc."

Responses have been sought from OOCL and Evergreen.

 

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