Kiwi businesses looking for relief from a COVID-19 downturn are facing frustrating export delays, with some waiting more than a month to ship their products overseas.
Managing director of Morey Oil South Pacific, Shelley Free, said its oil exports bound for Brisbane typically took four days to cross the ditch, but wait times were now up to 37 days.
"Which is probably applicable to the fact that the boats have just all been fully booked," she said.
"I know COVID-19 is to blame for a lot of this but, if we've got to get our economy up and running again, it means exporting."
COVID-19 and strikes at Australian ports have caused congestion at our ports, delaying cargo ships arrival times. Some ships have been forced to anchor off the coast of Auckland for six days before they can dock.
A big part of the problem is on land.
Auckland's rail facility Metroport, that sends exports to the Port of Tauranga, is so stressed, it's told customers it can't accept all of their cargo.
"[Rail] can't cope with massive volume like we have now, so delays to and from the Port of Tauranga up to seven to 10 days is also affecting the supply chain quite significantly," Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation President Chris Edwards said.
Metroport is at full capacity, so much so it had to shut its gates last week and stop accepting all exports.
Newshub has obtained evidence of it telling some shipping lines on Thursday that it won't accept their exports until next week.
Port of Tauranga, which owns Metroport, told Newshub it has put caps on container numbers to ease the pressure, but they should lift early next week.
"We are working closely with shipping lines and KiwiRail to ensure priority cargo is transferred as quickly as possible," a POT spokeswoman said.
KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller said it was experiencing a significant increase in demand to move freight, to the point where it needed to be managed carefully.
"We are urging road transport operators and customs agents to clear their cargoes from Metroport Auckland as soon as practicable."
Customs had received no complaints, but New Zealand Trade and Enterprise said it was monitoring the situation.
"At this stage, we are making our exporters aware of potential port congestion issues and suggesting they work closely with freight forwarders to ensure they can get their goods out of New Zealand."