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Tasmanian News

Tassie imports gutted


Foreign imports vital for Tasmanian sectors including retail and heavy manufacturing are being strangled by the pandemic and global weather events.

MSC shipping's container vessels are only arriving at Bell Bay from Sydney once or twice a month, a fraction of the previous once-weekly schedule.

Looming industrial action by Patrick Terminal workers in Sydney is further complicating the issue.

Brett Charlton, the Chair of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee, says he's hearing of difficulties now hitting multiple businesses.

"Speak to a plumber, and this particular widget just isn't available at the moment, or something is on back-order," he said. 

"If you're ordering a couch from a furniture store and you're expecting that to be available before Christmas, you may be disappointed." 

Mr Charlton says importers are being forced to factor in the pandemic.   

"There's been a reduction of capacity of about 5000 containers to the eastern seaboard over that time, but the output from the exporters, particularly the Asian countries, hasn't reduced significantly." 

"We're in a position where there is less capacity and high demand, and that is feeding into higher prices and delays of up to three weeks at the origin ports." 

The Tasmanian Government was contacted for comment. 

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