GIFTS bought online and shipped from overseas now are unlikely to make it into the country before Christmas warns Jackson Meyer, CEO of international freight forwarder Verus Global.

A backlog of imports waiting to enter Port Botany in Sydney is contributing to ongoing delays as industrial action continues in ports, with “go-slow” demonstrations continuing and roadworks impacting container storage capacity.

“Consumers hoping to purchase overseas products online should be prepared for deliveries to arrive after Christmas Day due to chaotic shipping processes domestically and internationally,” Mr Meyer said.

“Consumers can expect that some Christmas items will be very low on stock and updated product models will not be available in Australia.”

He also predicts that a backlog of shipping delays caused by industrial action in September at Port Botany will continue through to March 2021. Cargo bound for Sydney is now being redistributed to Melbourne or Brisbane because of congestion caused by these delays however this is also causing an overload at these alternative ports.

“We are now hearing that with the increased rates, suppliers providing raw materials for Australian manufactures are increasing their costs.

“Retailers are also facing increased purchase fees. These costs will likely have to be incorporated into their prices – that is going to affect consumers,” Mr Meyer said.

In response to the delays, Verus is encouraging clients to plan their shipments as far in advance as they can to mitigate the prolonged shipping period.

Port Botany is responsible for receiving imported goods such as auto parts, medical equipment, clothing, animal products and infrastructure materials.

Currently, Meyer flags that delays are still around 4-6 days for inbound vessels carrying consumer goods and consumables, however there are still cases of vessels waiting more than ten days to berth.