Posted by Geraldine Wilson

Welcome to the January 2019 Orbit Newsletter

Dear Valued Customers,

Welcome to the New Year!

At ORBIT Logistics we welcome the New Year with enthusiasm and vigor.

Our name suggests we operate in the stratosphere, but in reality we are very much “down to earth”.

There continues to be cost pressures on your supply chain. Port Infrastructure Levies have risen. The curse of the BMSB (Stink Bug) have the nations Bio Security teams at capacity, as well as significant pressures on the limited Fumigation operators at our disposal. Some large operators have declared “no new bookings till the backlog is cleared”!

We will continue to work with the Industry to effect a smooth as possible navigation of these waters.

Who’s Who at ORBIT: Staff Updates

Rodney Gordon has started with us this month. Rod is a Licensed Customs Broker with over 20 years experience. Previously Rod has worked with some of the largest leading International Freight Forwarders.

COMPLIANCE is a major factor in your supply chain. Whether it be Bio Security / Customs / ATO (GST) correct Tariff Classification – via our Border Team, we are like your Family Doctor or Accountant – it’s vital we give the right advice, every time.

Rod will complement our Border Team and will work closely with David Browne (OL GM Operations) to ensure YOU remain compliant.

We certainly welcome Rod to ORBIT! Contact Rodney.gordon@orbitlogistics.com.au anytime!

Many of you will have met with, or had contact with Gerard Reed, who began with ORBIT in June 2018. Gerard’s role has grown from Business Development to GM – Sales & Marketing. Leadership is taken not given, as such we congratulate Gerard on his promotion.

Gerard is ably supported by Vicki Surgeoner (Inside Sales) and Karen Marks (Sales Support).

Gerard.reed@orbitlogistics.com.au or 0432 085 266 is committed to providing you with the tools necessary to grow your business.

Gerard and I will be travelling to Hong Kong and China in February to continue to negotiate face to face with the Key International Shipping Lines – and to provide you with pertinent market information.
As always, please contact our office with any inquiries on the Newsletter topics.

Happy Reading!

Glenn Allison
Managing Director



FTA Escalates Media Campaign on BMSB


Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) is ramping up its campaign to increase public awareness of costs and delays associated with BMSB by moving to mainstream media. We kicked off this approach on Sydney prime time radio last night, interviewed by Ross Greenwood on Money Matters, 2GB – recording available below:



FTA has submitted a formal request to the Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources for the Federal Government to immediately commission an independent review on BMSB measures.

Preliminary feedback from the Minister’s office is that they well and truly understand the importance of the issues raised and are conscious of the need to introduce long term sustainable solutions. We are hopeful of receiving a positive response to our request and will keep members up to date with developments.


First Prosecution for Illegal Timber Imports

A QUEENSLAND importer has been hit with a $12,600 fine for “ongoing non-compliance” with Australia’s illegal logging laws.  According to the Department of Agriculture, the company is the first to be penalised under the legislation.

Assistant agriculture minister Richard Colbeck said the penalty was a reminder to importers and processors about obligations under Australia’s illegal logging laws. “The company had been directed to provide information on its due diligence for sourcing timber, and failed to comply,” Mr Colbeck said.

“My department issues directions for a reason and they must be complied with. The Government has worked very closely with industry during the implementation of these laws including a period of soft commencement to make sure businesses had the opportunity to ensure their systems were adequate to demonstrate compliance.”

Mr Colbeck said illegal logging had significant global economic, environmental, and social impacts and undercut legal and legitimate timber producers in Australia. “Estimates of the global cost of illegal logging are between $71bn and $212bn each year,” the minister said.

“Under Australia’s illegal logging laws, any business or individual that fails to effectively undertake due diligence to assess and manage the risk that the wood or paper in their imported products is from illegally harvested timber can face significant financial penalties. “Now we have our first prosecution for a failure to comply with this requirement.”

Mr Colbeck said Australians could be confident the timber produced locally came from reputable and sustainable sources. “This year my department will continue to undertake audits to assess compliance with the illegal logging laws, to help ensure that illegally logged imported timber does not enter the Australian market,” he said.

“We will continue to support businesses and individuals in understanding their responsibilities under the illegal logging laws, but there will be consequences for those not complying.”

A review of the first five years of the operation of Australia’s Illegal logging Prohibition Act 2012 has recently been completed and is available at the departmental website.


Berthing Capacity in Melbourne

A series of trials and simulations have increased the ability of post-panamax vessels to berth at Swanson Dock in Melbourne.


In the past, post-panamax vessels on either side of Swanson Dock have been at times a constraint on vessel movements.


Tug company Svitzer has been working with Port Phillip Sea Pilots, the Victorian Ports Corporation and Port of Melbourne to determine how such vessels can be best maneuvered into port.


Svitzer is using its fleet to full capacity in Melbourne, with a view to minimising customer delays, and allowing for safe and efficient vessel movement.


The end result is a lot of the users of Swanson Dock are now in a better position to accommodate larger vessels.For more information about the trials click HERE.

DP World unveils “intelligent storing system” for containers

A “HIGH bay” container storage system is to be employed at DP World’s Jebel Ali Terminal 4 in a joint project with industrial engineering specialist company SMS group.

The system will be up and running in time for the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair.

The high bay storage system was originally developed by SMS group subsidiary AMOVA for 24-hour handling of metal coils that weigh as much as 50 tonnes each in racks as high as 50 metres.

Instead of stacking containers directly on top of each other, which has been global standard practice for decades, the system places each container in an individual rack compartment. Containers are stored in an eleven-story rack, creating 200% more capacity than a conventional container terminal, or creating the same capacity in less than a third of the space, according to a joint press release from DP World and SMS group.

Each container can be accessed without having to move another one, enabling 100% utilisation in a terminal yard.

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said the company’s experience and expertise in moving cargo, coupled with the technology of AMOVA would ensure the system’s efficiency.

“As a world first in our industry we are tremendously excited by its potential and groundbreaking features,” he said.

“Our engagement in new technologies is a major priority and we have become known for seeking ways that transform the way goods are moved across the world.”

SMS Group CEO Burkhard Dahmen, said the company’s subsidiary AMOVA optimised the technology in industrial applications for the metals industry over several decades.

“The application for container terminals is a direct result of our ‘New Horizon’ strategy, in which SMS transfers technology from the metallurgical sector to other industries.”

Joint venture CEO Mathias Dobner, said the new technology would allow cities to use their expensive and sensitive land and waterfront areas more effectively.

“Our system will significantly increase the productivity of handling ships on the quay. This means that quay walls can be shortened by a third,” he said.

“This disruptive innovation will greatly improve the financial performance of container ports, and well as their overall appearance.”


CHINESE/LUNAR NEW YEAR 2019 – Be prepared

Dear Clients,

The 2019 Lunar New Year period is Monday February 4th to Sunday February 10th

Including the weekend of February 2nd & 3rd, the last working day for dealings with HK/China offices is February 1st.

It is wise to be prepared well in advance of that date.

For import Customs Clearances, to avoid cargo delays and costs, importers are strongly advised to ensure that their suppliers have supplied all necessary documentation for clearance purposes, well in advance of the LNY holiday period.

Typically this will include, but not be limited to:

Supplier’s Invoice
Packing List
Packing Declaration (if not covered by an annual PD)
Certificate of Origin, where required.
Original bills of lading, where required.
Any import permits or other statutory documents, as required.
Fumigation or other treatment certificates, where required.

Release of Original bills can involve payments to be made to suppliers, to release original bills or to confirm express releases.

Please ensure such actions are done well in advance of the LNY holiday period.

Should any clients have questions re the above documentation issues , or any other issues associated with the LNY Holiday period, please contact our office at customerservice@orbitlogistics.com.au. 

Hapag-Lloyd Announces Fuel Surcharge for Low-Sulphur Fuel


HAPAG-Lloyd announced a “marine fuel recovery” (MFR) mechanism to help defray the cost of compliance with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap. The line said the new sulphur limits were estimated to cost up to US$60bn for the entire shipping industry, with Hapag-Lloyd estimating additional costs being “around US$1bn in the first years”.

The MFR mechanism is to be gradually implemented from 1 January 2019, and will replace all existing fuel-related charges. An announcement from the line said, “using low-sulphur fuel will be the key solution for the shipping industry and Hapag-Lloyd to remain compliant. Furthermore, it is the most environmentally friendly solution in the short term.”

Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said while the company embraced the level playing field and environmental improvements that result from stricter regulation, it was obvious that it would create additional costs.

“This will be mainly reflected in the fuel bills for low-sulphur fuel oil, as there is no realistic alternative for the industry remaining compliant by 2020,” he said. “With our MFR, we have developed a system for our customers that we think is fair, as it allows for a causal, transparent an easy-to-understand calculation of fuel costs.”

The MFR is based on a formula that combines consumption with market prices for fuel oils, taking into account parameters such as the vessel consumption per day; fuel type and price; sea and port days; and carried TEU. Hapag-Lloyd noted that it was “thoroughly analysing” other options for reducing emissions, including LNG and exhaust gas cleaning systems.

Hapag-Lloyd is not the first line to announce charges to cover the cost of switching to low-sulphur fuel; Maersk last month said it would begin charging a bunker-adjustment factor surcharge on 1 January 2019.


BMSB UPDATE 43 – Containers Treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride / Italian Treatment Providers


Containers Treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride.

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has engaged with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources again today in terms of the management of inspections for containers treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride.

The department is working with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on identifying measures to safeguard the health and safety of officers.

In the interim, the department is assessing the management of affected containers on a case-by-case basis.

We are hopeful of early resolution to this matter.

Italian Treatment Providers

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has engaged with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and received detailed information from members in providing the below update:
• We understand that the department has made detections of BMSB in Australia from containers treated by 3 Italian providers leading to their suspension late last year;
• Based on member feedback, we estimate that these 3 treatment providers were completing approximately 70% of treatments prior to suspension;
• The department has not received any treatment certificates from any Italian provider since 21 December 2018 in what appears to be a strong show of solidarity protest by all businesses that are members of the International Fumigation Association (ITA);
• We understand that an executive from one of the suspended companies is the president of the ITA;
• Departmental representatives met with the ITA on 14 January 2019 in what has been described by the department as a “positive engagement”;
• Departmental representatives will meet with all 3 treatment providers to assess remedial action and the ongoing need for suspension; and
• We understand that ITA members will meet next week, independently of the department, to determine their ongoing course of action.
We again thank and encourage members to keep sharing information from suppliers that we can include in ongoing updates.

Australia Day Public Holiday

Just a reminder that Orbit Logistics Office will be closed on Monday 28th January, & will re-open for business as usual on the Tuesday 29th January in celebration for the Australia Day Public Holiday on Saturday 26th January.

If you have any urgent matters, please email our Sales Department at sales@orbitlogistics.com.au

We wish our clients, their families and friends a safe and happy long weekend!