Welcome to the December edition

As we head into the Festive Season and summer months we are still seeing General rates increase further we announcements made this week by carriers to impose another GRI in January ex North East Asia prior to the Chinese New Year.

Space is still tight, and we now urge clients to place orders now with suppliers and try book space prior to the 15th January 2018 when rates are going to increase by a further US$500/20 and USD$1000/40.

As always, there are a number of interesting articles in this month’s newsletter, but I do urge in particular to take note (and action where needed) regarding advising us of your Christmas Closure and Re-opening dates, and ensure all documentation for Customs Clearance is submitted as soon as possible.

Happy reading!

Glenn Allison
Managing Director



On the 28th November, 2017 The Victorian International Container Terminal, (VICT) announced that all vessel and landslide operations had ceased work from 0600 hours on the 27th November due to unannounced and illegal picket action from members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA)

This protest had allegedly arisen due to the MUA demanding VICT employ a worker who is not eligible for a Maritime Security Identification Card due to his criminal record. On this basis, and due to company policy, VICT refused to employ him.  MUA members didn’t agree with VICT decision and formed a picket line outside the terminal, preventing workers & trucks from gaining entry.

VICT immediately commenced legal action against the MUA, and swiftly gained the support of the court in the form of an injunction against the union continuing to picket, however the picketing continued. The supreme court ordered that MUA & CFMEU members were not allowed to approach VICT terminal within 100 metres and were not to restrict access to VICT employees and trucks from entering the terminal.

VICT continued to explore their legal options to have the picketers removed, but the action resulted in other terminals being affected and vessel’s having to be re-routed.

On the 8th December, DP World announced that due to the unprotected industrial action, and to ensure all external traffic on site is handled effectively and safely, they unfortunately had to close their gates from 0800hrs (8am) until 1400hrs (2pm).  Therefore ALL bookings between these hours were cancelled.

As of the 15th December, The illegal Picket remains in place at the entrance to their gate, despite the attempts of the Victorian Police to clear the line.

VICT continue to open its gates every day in a attempt to service its customer, and remain providing free storage to containers that are affected by the dispute.

The Supreme court has issued orders against the MUA & CFMEU and its representatives, and the injunctions that are indefinitely in place will be going to trial in the New Year to seek claim on Damages.

However, gaining access to the terminal and delivering the remaining containers are still an issue and are VICT main priority.  However this can only be executed in a safely manner.

VICT have announced they pride themselves on the safety at their terminal and believe this is paramount, and will not cave into such MUA demands as a result.

Orbit will continue to provide up-dates on this situation on a regular basis as information comes to hand.

Any clients affected directly by the picketing will be informed separately by a Customer Service Representative.

Proposed amendments to Australia’s Anti-Dumping System introduced to Parliament

Recent proposed legislative amendments demonstrate that our anti-dumping system is an area that is an exception to Australia’s free trade agenda.
Broadly, dumping duties can be imposed where it is shown that the export price of goods sold to Australia is lower than the price of those goods in the home market of the exporter and that this difference is causing material harm to an Australian industry.
Dumping duties are most often applied in respect of commodes such as metals, plastics, chemicals and foods.
If dumping duties are imposed, after 12 months the exporter can seek a review of those measures.  A review will generally be sought where either the domestic price has fallen or the export price has increased.  Either, or a combination of, these factors can result in a lower dumping margin.  The proposed legislative amendments change how the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) can calculate the dumping margin in a review context.
Specifically, where during the review period (usually the previous 12 months) there has been no, or a low level of exports, the ADC can determine the export price on information completely unrelated to the current exporter’s exports to Australia.  For instance, the ADC will be able to base the export price on any of the following:

  • exports by the exporter from a previous period (such as the original investigation period);
  • exports by a unrelated company to Australia;
  • exports by the exporter to a country other than Australia; or
  • any other method the ADC considers relevant.

The concern with this approach is that the export price used to calculate the newly assessed dumping margin could have no connection with the exporter’s actual sale price.  Dumping measures are legal when based on a genuine comparison of domestic selling prices and export prices to Australia.  However, it should be of concern when legislation is being proposed under which actual export prices can be disregarded and replaced with a substitute third party sale price.
The proposed amendment highlights the mindset of the Government to perceived dumping and importers/exporters should keep in mind the following:

  • if passed, the new regime will apply to reviews already on foot, but not completed;
  • ultimately, the new regime will mean that if dumping duties are imposed, to realistically achieve a lower dumping margin on review, the exporter will have to continue to export goods to Australia, even though those goods will attract dumping duties.  Without those continued sales, the ADC is likely to find a low level of exports and use a substitute export price in any subsequent review;
  • importers should not commit to purchases from an exporter currently subject to dumping duties on a claim the dumping duties will be reduced following a foreshadowed review of measures;
  • trade compliance regarding dumping duties needs to be a priority.  With dumping duties being so high, a compliance error can bring a crippling dumping duty bill and penalties;
  • it is crucial for exporters to be involved in the original dumping duty investigation.  It can no longer be the strategy to be passive in the initial investigation and hope to obtain a low dumping margin in a subsequent review of measures

The Trans-Pacific Partner-Ship “re-imagined” No longer a mirage

Negotiations by the remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership parties at APEC have resulted in a new agreement in principle, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In this article, we look at the reservations from countries including Canada, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, which will need to be addressed before the deal is signed and adopted by all parties.

While there has been widespread positive media coverage of the CPTPP around the globe, the timeline for completion is yet to be set and it raises a few issues for industry, which we set out in the article.

More detail on PAFTA emerges

Whatever happens, the APEC meeting in Vietnam operates as a significant contrast to the recent gloom around the FTA agenda including the announcement of agreement of an FTA between Australia and Peru.

DP World Blames market as Infrastructure Levies are Increased

DP World Australia have advised that a tough market has forced a rise in Infrastructure Levies in  Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane terminals.

From 1st January 2018, container Infrastructure levies for container transport (Excluding GST) will increase by an extensive 51% on all containers arriving into MELBOURNE, SYDNEY & BRISBANE Ports.

This will also see a increase in the CFS Infrastructure Levi, which will in turn increase accordingly, also from 1st January 2018.

Its been announced that the increase in the costs is primarily due to the fact that Australia faces one of the most difficult markets in decades. arising from over-capacity in the local steverdoring market, larger vessels and the consolidation of shipping lines. In addition there has been a rising occupancy and energy costs imposts of 45% in 2017, property & rent related costs have also significantly increased over the last decade.
DP World also intend to improve their service levels, efficiencies and continue to invest in landside equipment and terminal capacity to handle greater peaks in container volumes.



NOVEMBER was a blockbuster month for containers throughput at Port Adelaide.

Adelaide saw the largest container volumes of 2017 last month, with a total of 29,213 TEU of full containers crossing the wharf.

Not only was last month’s container throughput the largest of the year, it was well above the monthly average for the year of 26,768 TEU. And, November’s throughput was a 15% increase on the previous month’s throughput (25,405 TEU).

Empty containers through the port in November totalled 5264 TEU, bringing the port’s total full and empty throughput to 34,477 TEU.

Full containerised exports from Adelaide for the month were reported to be 15,322 TEU, and imports came to 13,891 TEU.

Over the month 109 vessels called at Port Adelaide, 38 of which were cellular container ships. Additionally, there were 33 dry bulk vessel calls, 10 general cargo vessel calls, eight vehicle carriers, and five RO-RO vessel calls, among others and over the month, 3885 cars were imported through the port, while only 33 were exported.


Shipping Line sets a Benchmark in Container Detention Policy

MAERSK Line are issuing extra import and export container demurrage and detention free days in recognition of the limited working hours during the upcoming year end public holiday period – will other shipping lines follow?

This is encouraging news for the international trade sector.

It leads us to the question about what is the primary purpose of container detention fees. Up until now it has appeared to be a valuable revenue stream for shipping lines in a challenging and highly competitive market. An incredibly frustrating issue to communicate to shippers and what appears to be a generally unfair commercial practice, is that many shipping lines start the detention clock from vessel discharge, as opposed to container availability.

Shipping lines will continue to argue that penalties apply for the late return of containers to nominated empty container parks as a discipline on importers and intermediary service providers to ensure that shipping lines have timely access to all equipment.

While some empty container parks are increasingly extending opening hours, we are still to see full utilisation of week-end services. Why don’t shipping lines contract and fund empty container parks to open longer? Why do many of those empty container parks that do open week-ends resort to charging higher week-end booking fees? A cynic may argue that this would cost shipping lines more and may jeopardise the quantum of their container detention revenue if it was too easy to return containers.

The result is that transport operators are increasingly faced with the predicament of “staging” container returns to empty container parks with double-handling costs and increased truck movements. In most instances, costs are being passed on to shippers.

Now let’s throw public holidays into the mix.

It is our understanding that for most shipping lines detention policies remain hard and fast without extended time periods to return empty containers to allow for the fact that most empty container parks are closed during the upcoming Christmas and New Year period

New Australia-China international Trade Facilitation

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Minister of China Customs Yu Guangzhou, signed a landmark Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between Australia and the People’s Republic of China (China) at Parliament House.

The signing of the MRA enables the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) to formally recognise each other’s Authorized Economic Operator programmes.

“China is our largest trading partner and this arrangement is expected to bring a benefit of $440 million to Australia’s economy over 10 years,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said that MRAs reduce the regulatory burden on Australian business and promote market access for exporters. The MRA with China will provide faster and more efficient access for Australian Trusted Traders (ATT) into the market of our most important trading partner.

“This arrangement will provide Australian and Chinese businesses unprecedented access to trade facilitation benefits and will reduce costs for businesses trading between our two countries, while ensuring the integrity of our border.”

“I encourage Australian business of all sizes to participate in the ATT programme in order to make the most of this exciting opportunity.”


Infrastructure Boost for Victoria

INFRASTRUCTURE projects have helped boost the economy of Victoria, the state’s government says.

The 2017-18 Quarterly Financial Report No. 1, tabled in Parliament by Treasurer Tim Pallas, showed Victoria had a net operating surplus of $555m.

The government of Labor’s Daniel Andrews has reportedly invested $1.9bn in infrastructure for the quarter.

Major infrastructure projects include the Metro Tunnel, the Level Crossing Removal Program and Regional Rail Revival.

Other projects on the way include the Westgate Tunnel, expected to ease freight congestion near the Port of Melbourne.

“This provides the first marker of the financial year and shows our disciplined financial management is creating jobs and helping deliver the infrastructure and services Victorians need,” Mr Pallas said.

“Victoria continues to be one of the strongest economies in the country – which means more jobs, more growth and more opportunities.”

New Packing Declaration Implementation

Further to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) Import Industry Advice Notice 101-2017 – Implementation of revised Minimum Documentary and Import Declaration Requirements and Non Commodity Information Requirements Policies, we would like to remind you the department has now updated the packing declaration templates.
The department has aligned the Non Commodity Information Requirements policy and the Non Commodity BICON Case with the import conditions for bamboo packaging. Bamboo packaging is now acceptable provided it is treated by an approved method prior to export or on arrival and does not need to be declared as unacceptable packaging.

The department will continue to accept packing declarations that are in the current format for consignments shipped on or before 30 June 2018.
All consignments shipped on or after 1 July 2018, must be accompanied by a packaging declaration that meets the revised requirements.

Updated templates are now available on the Acceptable documentation templates webpage to enable you to advise your clients / suppliers to start using the new templates.

Hamburg Süd

Maersk Transport & Logistics’ proposed acquisition of Hamburg Süd has now received final approval by the competition authorities in all relevant jurisdictions globally. Hamburg Süd is an outstanding brand, with high quality products, and is a well-run company, possessing highly valuable employees who offer their customers a service that is unique in the market.

its foreseen that by combining the two businesses, it will reinforce the global positions of both companies and enhance the service they have to offer towards all customers. The carriers will continue to engage separately with their customers, therefore meaning we will deal with the same great people in both organizations moving forward.

Together, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of 4.15 million TEU and a 19.3% global fleet capacity share, according to Alphaliner’s assessment. 105 Hamburg Süd vessels will be integrated into the fleet of Maersk Line. The combined fleet will include a total of 773 owned and chartered vessels.


Intra-Asia Market:  China:  Scrap Material Import Restrictions

Please be advised that the government of China has officially announced import restrictions for scrap material/waste cargo with immediate effect.

A detailed list with commodity code for prohibited, restricted, non-restricted commodity is available on the government of China website, please refer to details as below.


Prohibited Commodities

Current list of prohibited commodities and additional commodities that will be banned effective 31 Dec 2017 – Click HERE (in Chinese only) for detailed list.

Restricted Commodities

For further details, an official announcement (in Chinese only) by the government of China is announced HERE. Click HERE (in Chinese only) for detailed list.

Non-restricted Commodities

Click HERE (in Chinese only) for detailed list.

Note: HS Code is for reference only. The first 6 digits will allow you to know if commodity will be accepted at destination. -Acceptable subject to consignee’s valid license and quota authorized by
China Government

Prior to request for a quotation, please ensure to provide Orbit Logistics with the following information:
1. Confirmation that specific commodity is not banned in China
2. Provide HS code to Orbit sales team for scrap/waste to China

Orbit Logistics Christmas & New Year Trading Hours

As the festive season approaches, we would like to take the Opportunity to advise clients of our opening and closing times over the Christmas and New Year Period.

Monday 18th – Thursday 21st December – Open Normal Business Hours
Friday 22nd December       –  Closing at 1pm
Monday 25th December     –  Closed
Tuesday 26th December    –  Closed
Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th December  –  Open Normal Business Hours
Monday 1st January 2018  –     Closed
Tuesday 2nd January 2018 onwards – Open Normal Business Hours

Many thanks to hose who have sent through their relevant dates for the Christmas/New Year period.

If you have not sent through your dates for the Holiday period, please do so As soon as Possible.

In order to arrange your shipments around the festive time, and to avoid and un-necessary storage costs, please ensure you advise us of your FINAL RECEIVAL DATE, DATE OF SHIPMENT RECEIVALS WILL COMMENCE in the New Year.

We also woulds like to remind clients to submit all documents as early as possible for Customs Clearance, such as packing lists, commercial invoices, Certificate of Origins etc, as this can also cause clearance delays and cause cargo to go into storage.


Please note that our Hong Kong office has relocated to a new address, effective immediately.

Please advise your suppliers accordingly. New address and contact details:



TEL: (852) 2559 6578
FAX: (852) 2559-6723

Please contact us
with any queries regarding the above.

Orbit Staff Changes

December brings a couple of staff changes to the Orbit family.

Heath Ayres in Customer Service leaves us on the 22nd December to be a full time dad!!….Heath will be swapping round the parenting responsibilities with his wife and partner.  We all certainly wish him the best of luck and i’m sure he would have an easier day at Orbit than being at home 🙂

With that change we see Michelle Edwards move from her current role into Customer Service. Michelle’s strong operational background and customer-centric focus will be of great benefit to her and our customers in this role.

We also now welcome Emma Angerosa to the Orbit Team!  Emma comes with 9 years experience in the Import Forwarding Industry and will be based primarily in our Import Department.

Welcome Emma!


Chinese New Year – Friday, 16 February 2018

According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, the Chinese year beginning in 2018 is the year of the Dog. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day. Dog years are believed to be the most unlucky for people born in previous years of the Dog.

Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival” in modern Mainland China, is China’s most important traditional festival, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, which consists of both Gregorian and lunar-solar calendar systems.Businesses in China will be Closed between Thursday 15th February and Friday 23rd February 2018, re-opening for business on Monday 26th February.

We therefore urge you to place all orders as soon as possible with your suppliers and make bookings with the Orbit staff 2-3 weeks prior to the Chinese holidays.