IFCBAA Update - Sydney Port Congestion Surcharges Schedule Update (NNF 2020/197)

Further to previous IFCBAA bulletins on the issues at Port Botany, Sydney stevedore terminals.

IFCBAA would like to update members on actions concerning the Port Congestion Surcharges (PCS) being imposed by a number of shipping lines in Sydney.

IFCBAA has updated a schedule of Port Congestion Surcharges and related information announced by the shipping lines, as attached.


  • MSC - PCS commencing in Melbourne and Brisbane
  • Suspended Bookings – OOCL, Cosco, ONE
  • Revised Rotations – MSC, Maersk
  • Container detention free time extended – Maersk & Hamburg Sud

We will update the schedule as further announcements are received.  

The Sydney Port issues continue to deteriorate with disrupted shipping schedules, Sydney port omissions, some lines suspending bookings and revising rotations to Australian ports.  

OOCL has suspended accepting bookings for its coastal shipping service from the East Coast to Fremantle.

The knock-on effect of vessels offloading Sydney containers in Melbourne and other ports is adding to delays, costs and disrupted supply chains across the country.  

DP World

The PIA has been suspended until 1 November and the parties will continue negotiations without the PIA slowing operations.


Industrial action continues at Sydney Terminal is currently 12-14 days behind schedule, and it is forecast that the delays will increase due to the ongoing Protected Industrial Action. It is estimated that there is a backlog 35,000 containers waiting to be loaded or discharged at Patrick Terminals – Sydney.

Patrick's terminals advise they are facing significant delays with the current waiting time for a berth for an on-time vessel is 8 days in Brisbane, 17.8 days in Sydney, 9.3 days in Melbourne and 3 days in Fremantle.

Across all four container terminals, there are approximately 100,000 containers that are waiting to be handled by Patrick Terminals.

Patricks and the MUA are currently before the Fair Work Commissioner seeking to finalise a resolution in the dispute. At the time of sending this email, media is reporting a breakthrough in the dispute. Further details to follow.


Hutchison continue to be impacted by delays during ongoing EBA negotiations with MUA.

The International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia (IFCBAA) has been proactive in raising these issues with the Prime Minister’s office, Federal and state governments, their agencies and the private sector, including initiating contact on these issues with the ACCC.

IFCBAA has continued its media campaign to highlight the impact the ports issues are having on industry and the Australian community.

Thanks to the many IFCBAA members and their customers for providing letters outlining the disastrous effect that this industrial action is causing. By request from the Attorney General, these letters have been passed on to his office for possible evidence to be taken to the Fair Work Commission.

IFCBAA urges all parties involved in the industrial action at Port Botany to resolve their differences and return the port to full operating capacity.

To read the Port Congestion Surcharges, click HERE  


Stuart McFarlane

Air and Sea Freight Forwarding Manager