CONTAINERSHIP schedules are returning to normal faster than expected following the settlement of the prolonged DP World/Maritime Union of Australia dispute.

Carriers contacted by Daily Cargo News expressed “pleasant surprise” about the speed of the recovery, with one saying “DPW have picked up quite well with anticipated delays better than initially anticipated”.

“We are expecting schedules to return to normal across next 2-4 weeks depending on the service,” another said, while a third described the situation as “spotty but vastly improved”.

Lines had reported delays of up to 15 days at East Coast DPW terminals, meaning 45 days on the Australian coast or the equivalent of a round voyage on the China run.

Cumulative hold-ups had improved now to 4-7 days, one said, although while some ships had worked straight through other were delayed for various reasons including berth unavailability.

In recent days ANL has issued advisories on behalf of the A3 consortium indicating a reversion to pro forma port rotations on its China services, and a restitution of weekly frequency on its TranzTas service to which additional NZ port calls were recently added.

Separately, foul Indian Ocean weather is playing havoc with vessels en route to Australia on the MSC AES/CMA CGM NEMO service.

In order to recover schedule delays MSC Lisbon (9178 TEU) voyage MA404R will drop its late-February westbound/northbound Port Adelaide call and MSC Joanna (also 9178 TEU) voyage MA405R will omit its planned early March westbound/northbound Fremantle call. Alternative arrangements for cargo to/from the cancelled visits are being made.