Since 2010-11 there have been vast improvements in the flow of cargo through Fremantle Port leading up to the peak season. This is as a result of discussions, revised working hours at the container terminals, and revised operational hours and ordering processes by importers.
Delays, demurrage and detention costs have greatly reduced due to the hard work of many and the smarter way of operating by others.
However, with staff movements, new businesses and the passing of time it is timely to remind everyone of the delays and substantial costs incurred by many back in 2010-11 during the peak season.
Over the past few years the peak period has moved from the two weeks before Christmas to October/November then to September/October. This has taken pressure off the logistics chain and ensured importers received their stocks in time for the Christmas period.
What you can do now
- If you have a new business, have new staff or just want to refresh your plans for the Christmas/New Year period you should be considering the following:
- Start your ordering process early.
- Speak to your customs broker/freight forwarder and transport operator about your shipments.
- Understand (or negotiate) your detention conditions with your shipping line.
- Plan your operating hours to accommodate after-hours receivals.
- Put in place a plan for cargo if you are closing over Christmas/New Year.
Guide for industry will be updated
The Peak Season Working Group, a subcommittee of the WA Port Operations Task Force, will be convening in the coming weeks to start its annual review and planning to address operations over the Christmas period. Industry will be advised of developments and plans that will assist.
Last year, the Peak Season Working Group developed a guide for industry, which is available here.The working group will be updating this document in the coming weeks and will distribute it to industry.
Remember what we have all achieved in the past through good planning and start now!