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Port Of Brisbane – Update

Shipping at the Port of Brisbane is at a standstill as severe flooding hampers navigation. Days of intense rainfall across the region had washed debris into the Brisbane River, causing the regional harbour master to suspend the movement of vessels at the port.

A Queensland Transport and Main Roads spokesperson has advised that the river conditions had deteriorated rapidly on Sunday and water flows into the Brisbane River increased exceptionally.  “The actual water flow conditions considerably exceeded the forecast conditions,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson confirmed the high water flows had caused oil tanker MT CSC Friendship to break away from the Ampol Products wharf on the Brisbane River at Lytton early on Monday morning. “It is the responsibility of individual companies to ensure commercial vessels are safely berthed and secured,” they said. “The vessel was refloated successfully in an operation overseen by the MSQ regional harbour master with the assistance of a marine pilot and tugs.The spokesperson said there were no injuries or pollution, and the matter is being investigated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Maritime Safety Queensland closed the Brisbane River to all ships and watercraft last night to safeguard lives and infrastructure. “The Brisbane River is in flood and simply not a safe place to be at the moment,” MSQ general manager Kell Dillon said in a statement. “A vast amount of water is coming downstream from the upper reaches and carrying all manner of debris, from logs and branches to dislodged infrastructure like pontoons.

In terms of port operations, Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers advises that the Brisbane container transport operators are doing their best to continue normal operations between their yards and the Port of Brisbane container terminals and empty container parks.

Some labour shortages continue to exist with drivers and some staff unable to attend work due to the floods but industry is hopeful conditions around the area will improve in the coming days to allow functions to return to some normality.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Triggers Further Supply Chain Disruption

Less than 24 hours after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, the conflict has triggered a wave of international sanctions and has crippled freight services in the region.

The Russian government instigated a so-called “special military operation” against Ukraine on Thursday 24 February, prompting a mass evacuation of the nation’s capital, Kyiv.

A report from Reuters said Ukraine has suspended commercial shipping through its ports, which has sparked fear of supply disruptions. The Azov Sea has reportedly been closed to commercial vessels under an order from Russia, however Russian ports in the Black Sea remain open for navigation.

Logistics and freight forwarding company GAC, which operates in Russia, said all navigation in the north-western part of the Black Sea has been prohibited until further notice. According to a statement from the company, ports along the Crimean Peninsula have closed, and inward/outbound formalities at the Russian port of Kavkaz have been temporarily suspended.

Flights to and from twelve airports in southern Russia have also been impacted, with temporary flight restrictions now in place.

Several shipping lines have issued updates on services in the region, having largely suspended operations. Companies impacted by the conflict said they were prioritising the safety of staff and their families and expressed a shared commitment to keep supplies moving as they monitor the situation.

Maersk and Hamburg Süd have announced services in Ukraine have been suspended until further notice, including port calls and the acceptance of orders to and from the country. The companies’ services in Russia remain available for now but are subject to change as the situation develops.

“Maersk will be closely following how events unfold to gain a better insight into the situation, with teams across the company working with the intense focus of keeping global logistics moving,” the company said in an advisory statement. It said cargo currently en route to Ukraine is being planned for discharge in Port Said, Egypt; and Port of Körfez, Turkey.

CMA CGM also announced the suspension of all vessel calls to Ukraine until further notice, its BEX and BSMAR services omitting Odessa, Ukraine. CMA CGM cargo en route to Ukraine will be redirected to ports of Constanza, Romania; Tripoli, Lebanon; and Piraeus, Greece. 

Hapag-Lloyd has announced changes to its operational outlook for services in the region. Bookings for Ukraine have stopped, and bookings for Russia have been temporarily suspended. The company’s office in Odessa, Ukraine has closed, and terminal operations and inland transportation services have stopped.

Cargo vessels en route to Ukraine will be redirected. Flight restrictions are in place for Ukraine and Russia.

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