A RUN of rough weather has caused delays to both containerised and bulk shipping in New South Wales over the weekend and the start of the new week.
A spokesperson for the Port Authority of New South Wales confirmed “pretty strong winds and waves”.
“Pilotage has been suspended in Sydney, Botany, Port Kembla and Newcastle since late Friday,” the spokesman said.
“The weather look set to continue so it is expected pilotage won’t resume until [Tuesday] morning.
“We will continue to monitor and if weather does improve [we will] conduct another assessment.”
Port of Newcastle senior manager corporate communications Sam Collyer said there was “currently no movement in or out due to unfavourable weather conditions”, a decision made by the harbour master.
“Port of Newcastle is monitoring conditions and scheduling vessels in close communication with Port Authority NSW,” Mr Collyer said.
“This type of temporary weather event is quite common at this time of the year and does not have any lasting impact.
The port continues to operate and is monitoring conditions closely. The shipping schedule is being adapted in light of the unfavourable weather,” he said.
“As conditions ease, we expect the schedule to return to normal relatively quickly.”
Container Transport Alliance Australia chief executive Neil Chambers said vessel schedules in Australia were “widely out of whack”, due not only to the weather but changed vessel rotations due to the pandemic.
The weather is also understood to have been a factor in the incident involving APL England south of Sydney, where 40 containers toppled into the ocean and another 74 were damaged.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Singapore-flagged ship experienced “a temporary loss of propulsion during heavy seas”.
“With the vessel rolling heavily, some container stacks collapsed,” the bureau reported.
Storms are also impacting Perth, with ex-Tropical Cyclone Mangga bringing wild weather across parts of Western Australia.
Fremantle Ports manager corporate and community relations Neil Stanbury said there had been no significant impacts, albeit “some delays with loading, due to wind conditions but normal shipping [was] proceeding”.
Mr Stanbury said shore-tension devices were deployed at required berths.
“Some ships due to leave [Sunday] held off overnight waiting for better departure conditions, but the port [is] working as normal,” Mr Stanbury said.