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Shipping container shortages and port delays still problematic for Australian growers

A shortage of shipping containers, combined with delays at ports and a reduced number of ships stopping in Australia are causing problems for exporters. Importers are feeling shipping pressures as well, with containers that cost $600 pre-Covid now worth $2,000 or more.

Importers and exporters are concerned the issues will remain after COVID, as shipping companies are internationally owned.

Mildura Fruit Company's general manager Perry Hill states that shipping had not been great for the past couple of years. "It just creates so many problems because suddenly you've got a build-up of stock, you're paying for cool store for that stock, so you're trying to slow the harvest down, so it's not a great position to be in," he told

Hill said some of the big ports in China have had issues along with Singapore, which was a key port for transshipping fruit to other markets. "At this stage, we haven't had great hold-ups in those ports but when you have big loads you can get some serious delays."

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