Welcome to this month’s edition of the Orbit Logistics Newsletter.

Dear Valued Customer

I would like to thank you for your ongoing support during (what at this point of time seems never ending) this global crisis.

The situation in Victoria presents it challenges as Stage 4 is enforced for a six week period in the Melbourne area.

I hope our updates have provided some valuable information on what is happening and what requirements are in front of all of us.

Whilst this creates challenges for all us, I can assure you that our team is working diligently to ensure minimal disruptions to your supply chain.

Ocean freight costs are continuing to increase ex China and their appears no “slack” season period to reduce rates and provide a buffer to the high rates that we are all experiencing.

The industry feedback is larger ships coming to the market and if there is any downwards trend we will update your rates accordingly.

The airlines are continuing to utilise “freighter” planes whilst global travel is restricted. There has been  an increase in shipments ex China as mask’s and other safety equipment is becoming the new norm with an increase in rates to earlier levels and a premium on space.

Please be assured that we continue to negotiate the best possible options for you, our valued partners.

If you need to call me to discuss any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on +61 404 444 447.

Thanks again for your continued support, its appreciated by the everyone at Orbit Logistics.

Please keep safe and we will all get through this together.


Glenn Allison

Managing Director


2020 – 2021 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Seasonal Measures – Update

The 2020-21 BMSB season will be in effect for goods shipped from September 1, 2020 that arrive in Australian territory prior 31 May 2021(inclusive).

In order to avoid any confusion that occurred, in some cases, at the end of the 19/20 season  it is important to note that Goods must be treated if exported between 1 September 2020 and 30 April 2021 inclusive.

In general the measures remain consistent with the 2019-2020 BMSB risk season other than the addition of Portugal, Ukraine and Moldova to the target risk countries list.

One factor to come out of the review of the 19/20 season was that there are still a high percentage of containers arriving without having been fumigated offshore.

It should be noted that it is the preference of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department)  for goods to be treated offshore.

Where containers arrive in Australia requiring BMSB treatment and a treatment provider advises  goods cannot be treated at container level due to space / packing material issues, the container MAY be able to be treated at a Class 4.7 facility. However as we witnessed last year these facilities were congested, still only one approved in WA, and delays cost money.

To minimise delays to cargo stemming from BMSB measures we suggest;

  • Ensure importers and their suppliers are aware of the packaging guidelines
  • Treat offshore wherever possible Offshore BMSB treatment providers scheme
  • Have an arrangement with a local 4.7 AA facility in place should one be needed

NB: Automatically referring containers to a 4.7 AA facility is NOT an option. The goods need to be directed to a treatment provider for treatment in the first instance – if onshore treatment is refused by the provider due to the packing/packaging not acceptable for satisfactory treatment a request can be submitted to direct to a 4.7 ( Note this is again subject to approval and is not automatic – the Department still has the option to refuse the request and direct for re-export.)

We will keep you informed of any updates regarding BMSB as we receive notifications.


2020 – 2021 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Safeguarding Arrangements Scheme

Applications can be made to the Department of Agriculture to help streamline the import process during the next BMSB season

Alternate clearance pathway for goods imported into Australia as sea cargo during the 2020-21 BMSB risk season.

Click the below link to read the full article and find the application form


DOA Changes to the Treatment of Khapra Beetle


















Biosecurity Bite Videos

If you, or someone you know, want to learn more about how the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment manages plant biosecurity, check out our new Biosecurity Bite video series!

This series includes seven bite-sized videos on how we manage plant pest and disease risks offshore, at the border and onshore in Australia.

The series covers the following topics:

  1. Biosecurity and Trade
  2. Market Access Requests
  3. Import risk analysis
  4. At the border
  5. Exotic plant pests
  6. Export processes
  7. Now, it’s your turn (how you can help).

We encourage you to watch the videos and share the content with your friends, family and associates who are interested in taking a ‘bite’ into plant biosecurity. For more information, please visit our website.

Service Update – Panama Direct Line (PAD)

US to/From Oceania and Latin America – Effective August 3, 2020

Please be advised the CMA CGM Panama Direct Line Service (PAD) will be reverting to a fortnight schedule as of August 2020. This will provide a fixed day, biweekly service between the US East Coast, Oceania and Latin America.

The last weekly sailings will be the following:

FAA Clears Airlines to Remove Passenger Seats for Cargo

The Federal Aviation Administration late Friday gave U.S. airlines permission to remove passenger seats and transport cargo on the floor of the cabin in aircraft being deployed on cargo-only flights.

The exemption to existing regulations governing aircraft operations lasts for one year. The FAA also extended until July 10, 2021, its prior ruling that airlines could fly with cargo strapped into the seats through the end of this year.

The FAA’s response may be too late to benefit passenger airlines because the market for air transport has cooled considerably since March, when cargo customers were first offered the chance to charter empty airplanes to help counter a severe shortage of transportation space. It is unclear how many airlines still consider reengineering airplane interiors a viable business opportunity.

“Rates have popped. I don’t think they’ll do it at this point,” an executive for an air services company that loads and unloads aircraft for airlines said on condition of anonymity.

The decision comes two months after an airline trade group petitioned for an exemption from normal aircraft operating rules and three months after some international carriers began reconfiguring passenger cabins to create more room for boxes of goods.

At the height of the coronavirus medical crisis airlines grounded most of their passenger flights. That eliminated more than half of the global cargo capacity. Shippers were paying up to $1.5 million to lease pure freighter aircraft for one-way trips, with passenger airlines also commanding top dollar for auxiliary freighters and implementing scheduled cargo routes for customers leasing blocks of space. Since then, rates have fallen 50% to 70%, depending on the travel lane. In addition, fuel prices have increased.

In recent weeks, demand for emergency air shipments of personal protective equipment has waned with the buildup of sufficient inventories in many areas and airlines’ reintroduction of many passenger flights. And market watchers have observed that airlines are decreasing the number of passenger freighters in operation.

“We remain focused on cargo in cabin operations, specifically overhead bins and closets. We have not removed seats from the cabin,” United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) spokeswoman Rachael Rivas said in an email.

Delta Air Lines’ officials previously expressed interest in pulling seats from airplanes to increase cargo efficiency. Spokeswoman Debbie Sheehan confirmed Monday that Delta (NYSE: DAL) is “currently evaluating the use and opportunity of removing seats in aircraft for cargo purposes.”

International carriers such as Air Canada, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Emirates were able to get emergency exemptions for seat removal much faster from their respective civil aviation authorities. Some airlines began deploying aircraft without seats in April.

Modification conditions

The FAA action builds on earlier approval for cargo to be transported on seats, in overhead bins and in storage closets.

Industry officials say utilizing the main deck on these “mini-freighters” can double the cubic space available for shipments and is ideal for boxes of lightweight medical supplies.

U.S. airlines had requested FAA approval for two years to temporarily modify aircraft for cargo efficiency. They argued that the industry is expected to experience a slow recovery from the devastating loss of business caused by the coronavirus and that extra time is needed to offset the investments required to safely implement the changes.

The FAA said the one-year exemption supports the movement of critical medical, food and other supplies while passenger demand remains depressed.

“The stability of the U.S. transportation infrastructure is particularly critical at this time because of the increased and immediate demand for medical supplies and other essential cargo prompted by the COVID-19 public health emergency,” the ruling said.

The exemption comes with conditions to ensure safety, because passenger cabins aren’t designed for heavy loads and lack fire suppression systems found in cargo compartments. The airlines were seeking to place 200 cubic feet of cargo in passenger compartments, but the FAA limited the volume to 125 cubic feet, citing the need for extra room for on-board personnel to fight any potential fire.

The FAA’s conditions and limitations for operating aircraft without passenger seats include:

  • Deactivating in-flight entertainment and passenger oxygen systems
  • Using straps, nets, pallets or other restraints to secure cargo to the seat tracks
  • Cargo cannot exceed 50 inches in height
  • Cargo must be loaded in a way that allows sufficient access in aisles for firefighting
  • At least four fire extinguishers available on the main deck
  • At least two trained persons on the main deck whose job is to detect and fight a fire, and relay information to the flight crew

Seat removal calculation

“Personal protective equipment is a very good product to hand stack on the upper deck of a passenger airplane. It is a non-dangerous good, it’s lightweight and it’s volumetric,” Neel Jones Shah, head of global airfreight at San Francisco-based logistics company Flexport, told FreightWaves. Airlines will now have to assess whether there’s enough volumetric cargo since shipments of protective gear are shifting to slower ocean transportation, he said.

Nonetheless, airfreight specialists say many airplanes still arrive loaded with hospital supplies to combat COVID-19. Airlines also have to assess whether the recent spike in cases across southern and western states, plus the possibility of a second wave of infections in the fall, could create supply shortages and spur demand again for express air deliveries.

Another consideration is the fact that putting cargo in the passenger cabin creates extensive operational challenges. Twin-aisle planes used in international service and pure freighters can be loaded with full pallets and have specialized loading systems to pull the pallets. Cargo in the cabin has to be manually loaded through narrow cabin doors.

“I will tell you executing on these flights has been quite challenging for the carriers. You need 15 to 16 people to load these airplanes, you need the cargo to be tendered hours in advance of the flight and there are destination-side delays in unloading the planes,” said Jones Shah, a former cargo chief at Delta Air Lines.

Some ground handlers say they use about 10 to 12 workers to load and unload cabins, but whatever the number the job is manpower-intensive and more expensive than working a pure freighter. Airlines have gotten creative at speeding up the process, using bucket bridges to pass along boxes, off-the-shelf conveyor belts that can be quickly folded into an airplane’s aisle, and catering equipment to lift loads to the plane doors.

The extra work involved with unloading planes with cabin cargo is one of the reasons contributing to long delays getting import shipments picked up at Chicago O’Hare and other major U.S. airports.

In the early days of the pandemic Flexport chartered several flights with international airlines that had seats removed, “but I’m not personally jumping at the chance to lease a bunch of these flights,” or cargo-only passenger planes of any stripe, Jones Shah said.

“We are pretty adequately covered with the right profile of pre-procured space and spot buying opportunities” and will charter a full freighter when necessary for incremental business, he explained.


Air Cargo Continues Recovery in July  

ACCORDING to analysis by CLIVE Data Services, the volume of global air cargo continues to show a gradual but consistent month-on-month recovery in the month of July.

The growth in chargeable weight last month – normalised for the fact that July has one more day than June – also helped to further narrow the year-on-year decline in international freight volumes.

July 2020’s performance was -20% versus the same month a year ago but still reflected an improving monthly trend in the level of air cargo traffic compared to the -26%, -31% and -37% year-on-year gaps in April, May and June 2020 respectively.

CLIVE’s regional year-on-year ‘dynamic loadfactor’ analyses, for example, for week 31 (Jul 27-Aug 2) shows:

  • +21% points increase on the North America to Europe lane versus July 2019.
  • +19% points on the Europe-North America lane.
  • +10% points on the Asia-Europe & Middle East lane.
  • Closing of the gap on the Europe& Middle East-Asia lane, -5% points year-on-year but continually getting closer to the market level of 2019 after a seismic fall earlier in the year.

CLIVE’s ‘dynamic loadfactor’ of 70% in July – based on both the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available -represented a minimal decline of 0.6% versus June 2020 but was still 8% higher year-on-year.

Managing director, Niall van de Wouw, said, “To put the 70% dynamic loadfactor into perspective, during the Christmas 2018 proper peak season it stood at 68%, and now we are in July, normally the doldrums summer period for the air cargo industry.”

Beneath this global average are, however, regional differences. The load factors to and from Asia shows a different pattern than the ones across the Atlantic but this decline in load factor is mainly caused by increasing capacity.

For example, eastbound Atlantic capacity in the week of July 27-August 2 was 10% higher than in the last week of June, while the cargo volumes rose by just 4% over that same timeframe.

ICTSI Reports Drop in Container Volumes

WATERFRONT giant ICTSI has reported a 5% drop in international container volumes for the first half of the 2020 calendar year, with the global pandemic being given the blame. According to figures just released, ICTSI handled consolidated volume of 4,799,765TEU for the first six months of 2020, 5% less than the 5,041,916 TEU handled in the same period in 2019.

The decrease in volume was said to be “primarily due to the decline in trade activities which resulted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global trade and lockdown restrictions. Excluding the contribution of the new terminal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ICTSI Rio, consolidated organic volume would have decreased 6% in the first half of 2020,” the company stated. “For the quarter ended June 30, 2020, total consolidated throughput was 11% lower at 2,290,779 TEUs compared to 2,563,244 TEUs in 2019.”

Chairman and president Enrique K. Razon Jr said their primary focus had been, and remains, “the safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and our stakeholders”.

“We took immediate action to preserve cash and reduced our capital expenditure in what has been a period of significantly reduced economic and international trade activity, brought about by protracted lockdown periods for many countries around the world,” Mr Razon said. “These prudent measures taken early on, our diversified portfolio and maintaining a very high level of service to our clients has helped cushion the impact from the pandemic.”

The company also reported revenue from port operations of US$724.3m for the half year, a decrease of 4% from the US$751.8m reported for the same period last year. ICTSI is active in Oceania via Victoria International Container Terminal in Melbourne and in Papua New Guinea with the Motukea International Container Terminal near Port Moresby and a container terminal at Lae on the north coast.

Ships orders collapse; will rate boom follow?

Pre-COVID, the bull case for shipping rates was all about plunging newbuild orders. A drop in orders in 2019 pointed to rising freight rates in 2021, given the lag between contract signing and delivery. Mid-COVID, the bull case for rates is even more about plunging newbuild orders than before. There will be a lot fewer vessels on the water in 2021, 2022 and beyond than previously thought. New data provided to FreightWaves by U.K.-based VesselsValue confirms that 2020 is shaping up to be an exceptionally weak year for tanker, bulker and container-ship orders.

New data from Alphaliner shows that container-ship newbuild capacity is down to just 9.4% of capacity on the water. “For the first time in more than 20 years, the global newbuilding pipeline fell below the 10% threshold,” reported Alphaliner on Wednesday, calling it a “historic low.”

Tanker and bulker orderbooks

According to VesselsValue, the tanker orderbook has fallen to 9% of the operating fleet in terms of capacity (measured in deadweight tons or DWT) as of July. This is down sharply from a high of 23% in January 2016.  The dry bulk orderbook is only 7% of the on-the-water fleet. This is down from 24% in January 2015 and an even higher peak — 27% — in January 2010.

Clarksons Platou Securities has released data for specific tanker and bulker segments. For very large crude carriers (VLCCs, 200,000-plus DWT), the orderbook is only 7.4% of the on-the-water fleet. For Suezmaxes (120,000-199,999 DWT), it’s 11.3%.In the products sector, the ratio is just 6.5% for medium-range (MR) tankers (30,000-59,999 DWT). It is 0.8% for long-range 1 (LR1) tankers (60,000-79,999 DWT) and 9.6% for LR2s (80,000-119,999 DWT). In the dry bulk sector, Clarksons puts the orderbook-to-fleet ratio at 10% for Capesizes (120,000-plus DWT). It is 8% for Post-Panamaxes (85,000-119,999 DWT) and 6.8% for Panamaxes/Kamsarmaxes (65,000-84,999 DWT).

Container-ship orderbook

According to Alphaliner, the container-ship orderbook is down to just 2.21 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This contrasts to a high of around 7 million TEUs in 2008. In that year, orderbook capacity was more than 60% of on-the-water capacity. Of ships on order, virtually all are in the 10,000-plus TEU category or the 3,999-TEU-or-less category. There are effectively no orders in the midsized 4,000-9,999 TEU category.

Fear of premature obsolescence

Orderbooks are evaporating for two main reasons. The first is regulation. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has vowed to create rules to compel shipping to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2050, a regulatory target known as IMO 2050.

Owners don’t want to order until they know the rules, lest their assets suffer premature obsolescence.

As Star Bulk (NASDAQ: SBLK) President Hamish Norton explained during a Marine Money virtual forum in June, “What may be legal today may not be legal in five years. In the old days, ships were grandfathered in until the end of their useful life. Given the political situation, people are afraid — I think with good reason — that a ship they order today will not be grandfathered in, and will become obsolete.”

Coronavirus effects

The second reason for the orderbook shortfall is COVID-19. Travel restrictions in the first half of the year made newbuild contracting extremely impractical. Furthermore, current and future economic fallout make it much tougher to pull the trigger on orders and get financing.

“If economic uncertainty can be measured by ship-ordering activity, then shipowners must be feeling completely lost at the moment,” wrote Stifel analyst Ben Nolan in a recent research note. The pricing of secondhand ships is also undercutting the case for newbuilds. Newbuild prices are at too high a premium to secondhand prices for most orders to make sense.

Stamatis Tsantanis, CEO of Seanergy (NASDAQ: SHIP), explained during a Capital Link webinar last week that a secondhand 5-year-old Capesize costs around $30 million, whereas a newbuild costs $50 million. “The price differential is not justified by the incremental earnings [of the newbuild],” he pointed out.

Risks to rate upside

The IMO 2050-coronavirus one-two punch sounds like a guaranteed recipe for future freight-rate strength. But there are no guarantees in ocean shipping. Following is a devil’s advocate list of things that could go wrong:

Cargo demand could slump — A multiyear virus-induced recession or depression could cut cargo demand as much or more than vessel capacity. This would erase owners’ future rate-negotiation advantage.

Another demand risk relates to GHG emissions. If the world’s governments are serious about forcing GHG cuts by shipowners, wouldn’t they also force cuts of fossil-fuel consumption? And if so, wouldn’t this reduce future demand for tankers, bulkers and gas carriers?

Shipping regulations are not a sure thing — The IMO has no power to enforce regulations. Only IMO member nations do. GHG regulations for shipping can only move forward if they’re supported by countries with the most to gain from ocean trade, and by the world’s largest charterers.

The coronavirus changes the equation. One theory is that the cleaner post-lockdown skies and waters will drive momentum for environmentalism and GHG regulation. In this scenario, shipping decarbonization is more likely.

Another theory is that the outbreak will spur an extended period of economic pain and geopolitical unrest. In this scenario, countries would focus on rescuing economies and keeping transport costs cheap, making shipping decarbonization less likely.

If owners believe GHG regulations face significant delays, or may not happen at all, they could lose their fear of ordering.

Orders may go forward regardless of IMO 2050 and COVID headwinds — If rates jump in 2021-22 due to lower vessel supply, owners could decide to order regardless of the premature-obsolescence risk, on the belief that they’ll earn sufficient returns before obsolescence strikes. This would limit the duration of the upcycle.

Alternatively, if there is a deep economic slump due to the coronavirus and owners do not order ships, there could still be newbuilds — a lot of newbuilds.

Commercial shipbuilding is almost entirely based in China, South Korea and Japan. Asian governments could fill yard slots with orders by state-controlled shipowners tapping state-backed financing.

This would not only preserve Asian shipbuilding jobs, it would also depress freight rates — a plus for economies that benefit from cheap transport of raw-material imports and finished-goods exports. Economies like China’s.

Talk to a shipping veteran who has been around since the 1980s and the conversation will often turn to the infamous Sanko orders. In 1983, Japan’s Sanko Steamship Co. placed a $1.25 billion order at Japanese yards for 103 dry bulk newbuilds totaling 4 million DWT. The order helped Japanese yards but crippled rates for years.


Solid Waste – China


Fom September 1st 2020, the Government of the People’s Republic of China will enforce the recently published legislation on “the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution & Solid Waste”.

In order to comply with the new regulations, shipping lines will cease to accept any new shipments of Solid Waste Cargo to the People’s Republic of China & therefore will reject new bookings of all types of solid waste cargoes bound for China (such as but not limited to waste paper, waste plastics, waste metals, waste chemicals) effect immediately.

We thank you for your ongoing support and co-operation as any violation of the legislation will lead to Customs Fines & Customs Order to return offending shipments to their origin port will all associated costs to the clients account.

Container Trade Up Slightly in Adelaide

CONTAINER throughput at the Port of Adelaide experienced a slight increase in June, according to the latest trade statistics available from Flinders Ports.

The port’s throughput of full containers for June 2020 came to 26,510 TEU, just pipping April’s figures (26,489 TEU).

This figure, however, was down 9% on June 2019’s total TEU throughput.

Imports for June rose by 4% (to 10,861 TEU), whereas exports dipped by 2% (to 15,649 TEU).

Looking at the empties trade last month, 6807 TEU of empty containers crossed the Adelaide wharf, of which 6047 TEU was imported, and 760 TEU was exported.

Malaysia accounted for 58% of all exported empties (441 TEU). Australian ports were a distant second (121 TEU), closely followed by Singapore (98 TEU).

A massive 87% of the port’s imported empties came from Australian ports (5255 TEU).

Turning to break-bulk, Flinders Ports reported 2481 cars imported into Adelaide over the month, an increase of 642 units on May. The total break-bulk tonnage (including cars, general cargo, iron and steel) came to 6799 tonnes, an increase of 1117 tonnes from May.

The major bulk commodities imported were limestone (184,115 tonnes), petroleum and gas (140,637), and fertilisers (50,535 tonnes).

Grain was the leading exported good (206,009 tonnes). Following were cement/clinker (120,803 tonnes) and iron ore (75,396 tonnes).

There were 26 cellular container vessel calls over the month at Adelaide, up one from May but down on the year to date high of 28, seen in January, March and April.

Container Throughput At Brisbane Up In June

CONTAINER throughput through the Port of Brisbane saw an uptick in June, with more TEUs crossing the wharf than May and June 2019, according to the latest trade statistics published by the port.

June saw a total of 110,745 TEU move through the port, an increase of 4% on the same month last year, and a 1% increase on the previous month.

Total containerised imports through the port in June were reported at 54,219 TEU, with “import other” (24,442 TEU), building products (5928 TEU) and household items (5544 TEU) as the largest cargo categories. The port also received 6044 TEU of empties.

Turning to exports, 49,988 TEU left the port in June. It comes as no surprise, the largest export category was fresh air, with 27,654 TEU of empty containers shipped out during the month. Other major export categories include “export other” (12,171 TEU), timber (6289 TEU) and meat products (5371 TEU).

Total trade through the port, including non-containerised and containerised freight totalled 2.165m tonnes last month. While this was up on May (5%), it was a 27% decrease on the same month last year.

This decrease was largely driven by a huge drop in coal exports, down from 457,074 tonnes in June 2019 to 221,774 tonnes, a massive 51% drop.

A number of other export commodities saw significant decreases over the period, with refined oil decreasing 88% to 9554 tonnes and iron and steel decreasing 56% to 38,496 tonnes.

Total imports decreased significantly with a 24% increase in June 2020 over the same month last year.

This was on the back of decreases of crude oil, cement and ‘other’ imports, with crude oil accounting for zero tonnage this past June, cement down 40% to 86,691 tonnes and other down 15% to 382,988 tonnes.

One of the few shining lights for June’s imports were fertiliser and chemicals, up 120% to 77,814 tonnes for the month. Other imports to experience increases were building products with 67,892 tonnes for an increase of 27% and iron and steel, up 14% to 54,223 tonnes.

Motor vehicle imports were also down on June 2020, with 9794 units coming through the port, a decrease of 10,555 units from June 2019.


Melbourne Container Trade Hits 2020 High in June                                             

PORT of Melbourne container throughput was one of the largest of the past 12 months, trailing only October and November 2019. According to the latest available trade statistics from the port, total container throughput was 257,186 TEU in June 2020. This was a 14% increase on the May’s throughput (224,672 TEU), and up 6% on the same month last year (the port handled 241,985 TEU in June 2019).

Taking a closer look at container trade last month, Melbourne’s full overseas imports came to 113,187 TEU, and full overseas exports were 65,279 TEU.

Total trade in empty containers in June was reported to be 54,793 TEU.

Trade with the Apple Isle totalled 17,529 TEU of full containers, 7568 TEU of which were imports across Bass Strait, and 9961 TEU were exports.

Mainland coastal trade totalled 6398 TEU of full containers; 1150 TEU were imports and 5248 TEU were exports.

Port of Melbourne reported the top containerised commodity to cross the wharves was miscellaneous manufactures. This was followed by electrical equipment, furniture and timber.

Over the month, the port handled 15,390 motor vehicles (262,987 revenue tonnes). This was an increase of 1045 units on June but down a staggering 19,135 units on June 2019.

The trade volumes for the remainder of the port’s non containerised trade were break bulk – 66,288 (revenue tonnes); liquid bulk – 576,686 (revenue tonnes); dry bulk – 373,150 (revenue tonnes); and other –          232,895 (revenue tonnes)

Victorian Freight Rail Developments

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have received correspondence from the Hon Melissa Horne PM (Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight) announcing a $126.5 million regional rail network upgrade, as part of its economic response to COVID-19. A total of $83 million will be invested directly into Victoria’s freight-only network to deliver critical upgrades and support the ongoing modal shift from road to rail, reducing costs and ensuring producers have access to key domestic and international markets.


VICT Waterfront Workers Reject EA Proposal

WHARFIES at Victoria International Container Terminal have voted to reject an enterprise agreement proposed by the company. While the numbers have not been publicly released, the outcome was confirmed in correspondence from the company and the union provided to Daily Cargo News.

In a statement to staff, VICT labour and learning manager Paul Cudmore said it was “with some regret” the VICT Operations Agreement 2020 “has failed to be agreed upon”.

“We have listened. The business will now take some time to reflect on this outcome,” Mr Cudmore said. In a statement to Daily Cargo News, VICT said it “regrets that agreement was not found”.

We thought that the proposal was fair, especially during these challenging times,” the company told DCN. “It provided new jobs and offered salary increases of 10% for casuals, and at least 2.5% for permanents. VICT will continue to work with our team to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”

In an email to union members, MUA organiser Aarin Moon said the “massive ‘no’ vote” was a great display of solidarity and “sends a really strong message to VICT”.

“You all deserve an EA that reflects your hard work and the job you do in difficult circumstances,” Mr Moon said. The union has emailed VICT management requesting fresh talks.

Container Trade at Fremantle Bounces Back

CONTAINER throughput at the Port of Fremantle bounced back in June after four months of continuous decline, according to the latest trade statistics available from Fremantle Ports. Total throughput for June 2020 was reported to be 62,847 TEU, an 11% increase on May’s figures, but 198 TEU (less than 1%) lower than June 2019’s throughput. Of June’s total throughput, 29,508 TEU was exported; of that, 3% was coastal trade, the rest headed for overseas. Containers from the coastal trade, however, made up a larger portion of import throughput. Of the total 33,339 TEU imported, 21% was coastal, the remaining bring imported from overseas.

Botany’s Container Numbers Continue Surge

PORT Botany saw a busy month in June with container throughput increasing from the previous month as well as the same period last year.

Total container trade through Port Botany over June came to 217,308 TEU – an increase of 11% on the May (196,432 TEU), and 7% on June 2018’s total container throughput (202,293 TEU). In FY 20 YTD, total container throughput is down 6% on FY 19 YTD figures to 2,494,852 TEU.

The month’s volumes of full imports were up 13% on the previous year to 113,523 TEU and, according to NSW Ports, the largest increases by TEU were experienced by chemicals (up 4663 TEU), machinery (up 2644 TEU) and foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (up 2038 TEU).

Export full volumes were down on last year’s figures, dropping 7% to 39,763 TEU. Commodities with the largest decreases by TEU were vegetable products (down 975 TEU), iron, steel, aluminium and other metals (down 821 TEU), and miscellaneous manufactured articles (down 763 TEU).

A total of 58,506 TEU empties left the port in June. This was down slightly on May (58 TEU) but up 8% on June 2019 (4,444 TEU). Empty imports came to a total of 1072 TEU.

There were 86 container vessel visits during the month of June (13 less than June 2019), with those being in the 4000-5000 TEU and 5000-6000 TEU ranges accounting for almost half of all vessels calling at the port (18 visits and 22 visits, respectively).

At 515,157 revenue tonnes, June’s non-containerised trade through Port Botany was up 25% on the previous month, but down 4% on June 2019. Bulk gas was the standout export performer, with 41,763 revenue tonnes leaving the port in June 2020. This was an 84% increase on May and an massive 398% increase on June 2019.