Recent industrial action
has caused a massive backlog of empty containers in Sydney and to a lesser
extent in other capital city ports in Australia, according to Shipping
Australia Limited (SAL).
one way to tackle the backlog is the use of “sweeper” vessels
Ocean shipping companies
lose money and revenue-earning opportunities if empty boxes are uselessly
hanging about in the country and SAL said in its announcement that one way to
tackle the backlog is the use of “sweeper” vessels, boxships to pick up and
take away empty boxes.
But the ongoing
container disruption in Sydney due to industrial action has resulted in
availability issues on additional berth slots, which shipping companies need to
bring in the sweeper ships.
are aware that some terminals are providing scheduled vessels with some limited
extra time alongside to embark additional empty containers," said SAL.
There are some signs that this may change in the next month at one
terminal at least
There is no point
demanding sweeper vessels call in Sydney in the current environment, according
to SAL, which explained, "Because it is next to impossible to berth
sweepers at Sydney because of congestion. Congestion will have to be worked
through before sweepers can call. It’s just as simple as that. On a positive note,
there are some signs that this may change in the next month at one terminal at