Pacific – Shipping operations


Pacific – Shipping operations

Category: News

This weekly bulletin is compiled to give all stakeholders an overview of the current impact of COVID19 on Pacific shipping activities. It draws on sources from government, commercial and humanitarian sectors. The bulletin is circulated each Tuesday.


Protected industrial action and rolling strikes in Australian ports is causing port congestion and shipping delays. This is exacerbating the regional imbalance of empty containers. Asian load ports, particularly in Vietnam are facing a shortage of empty containers.

Due to the costs associated with COVID-19 Nauru Maritime and Port Authority (NMPA) will introduce a Temporary COVID-19 Levy (TCL) on all cargo vessels discharging in Nauru.

Neptune Pacific announced a new General Rate Increase for cargo on the Australia to and from Fiji service. Pacific Direct Line (PDL) announced a rate restoration programme on cargo from Asia to all Pacific Islands Swire Shipping have also recently announced a rate restoration programme on cargo from Australia to Fiji.

Solomon Island Government issued an advisory on cargo vessels and marine tankers travelling from PNG ports to Solomon Islands. The advisory outlines increased restrictions due to increased COVID19 cases in PNG, particularly in Port Moresby.

Difficulties in facilitating crew change continue to be one of the most pressing issues facing the global shipping industry. This has generated additional complications and costs for shipping companies. Limited crew changes are being conducted in Fiji and New Zealand. Globally there is a huge back-log of ships’ crew who have either completed their contracts on board or are onshore waiting to join ships. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requests raising the issue of seafarers and the crew change crisis during the upcoming high-level week of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly beginning on 22 September 2020. ILO, IMO and the UN Global Compact are organizing a side event during that week, to raise the visibility of the crew change crisis, most likely to take place on the World Maritime Day on 24 September.

No PICTs are currently reporting food security issues, or fuel shortages due to interrupted shipping supply, as far as we are aware.