Posted by Geraldine Wilson

Welcome to the March 2019 Orbit Newsletter

Dear Valued Customers,

Following our FEBRUARY Newsletter – we highlighted some vessel corrections and void services from China.

Its now official, from South China there is a service drop.

No more Melbourne First Port of Call services till at least August.

The Shipping Lines react very quickly to low volume and artificially manufacture rate solidification.

ORBIT have all the news first! Therefore, so do you.

We have some interesting articles to keep you as informed as possible!

Have a great Month

Gerard Reed
General Manager – Sales & Marketing





Picking the Best Noses to Sniff Out Stinky Pests

The following Media Release has been published by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and is forwarded for your information.

Media Release

Australia’s biosecurity detector dogs now have their noses honed on one of the nation’s most unwanted exotic pests—the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

Head of Biosecurity, Lyn O’Connell, said the department was working with the University of New England to train the dogs to detect this serious pest in sea cargo.

“Detector dogs are a pivotal frontline defence against pests and diseases, intercepting around 60,000 biosecurity risk items at Australia’s international airports and mail centres in 2018,” Ms O’Connell said.

“We have strong measures in place offshore and at the border to manage the risk of this pest arriving here and we’ll soon have the best noses in the business on the job to enhance our efforts.

“In Brisbane, we are currently trialling the use of detector dogs for the screening of imported cars. This is a first for biosecurity in Australia.

“As BMSB hitchhike in sea cargo, the introduction of the dogs is another way that we can detect and stop this pest in its tracks.

“It is an example of how we can expand our existing detector dog capabilities to address current or emerging biosecurity risks.”

Further research will now be undertaken to support the training of new and existing detector dogs. This will also allow the department to conduct rapid response training for existing dogs to help manage other seasonal or emerging pest and disease risks.

BMSB is a significant threat to Australia’s $12 billion horticulture industries because of the damage it can cause to vegetable crops, fruit and ornamental trees.

Between September and April each year there is an increased risk of BMSB arriving in Australia, so enhanced seasonal measures are implemented to address the biosecurity risk.

The introduction of detector dog screening for sea cargo is another innovative step the department is taking to keep this pest out of Australia.

For more information on the detector dogs, visit

Update on the Victorian Government Inquiry into Infrastructure Charges


Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have received the following update from Freight Victoria in relation to a review into infrastructure pricing and access at the Port of Melbourne:

Dear Stakeholders

Re: Port of Melbourne infrastructure pricing and access review

The Victorian Government has asked Freight Victoria in the Department of Transport to commence a review into infrastructure charges, pricing and access to and from the Port of Melbourne.

Industry and primary producers have expressed concern regarding increases in stevedore infrastructure charges and access conditions and flow-on costs to their businesses.

While Port tenants now determine their own pricing, the review provides an opportunity to look more broadly at supply chain charges and access.

The review is currently being progressed and is expected to conclude mid-2019.

This update comes at an important time, with the most recent Patrick Stevedores increase in Melbourne (+75%) taking effect yesterday Monday 4 March 2019.

FTA / APSA will continue to be a leading voice in seeking basic protections for Australian importers, exporters and port users.

If members would like to be directly involved in this review, please email



Sealing an historic treaty with an important trade and strategic partner, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) with Indonesian Minister for Trade H.E Enggartiasto Lukita, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 4 March 2019.  This agreement launches a new chapter in economic relations between Australia and Indonesia.

Australia’s two-way trade with Indonesia was worth $16.8 billion in 2017-18, making Indonesia our 13th largest trading partner.

Media release: Australia and Indonesia sign landmark Trade Agreement

Full text: Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement


Melbourne Container Trade Solid in January

PORT of Melbourne’s January was busier than the same month last year for container throughput, but the port handled fewer containers than the last month of 2018.

According to the latest available trade statistics from the port, total container throughput was 254,665 TEU in January 2019. This was a 1% decrease on the previous month (during which the port handled 256,572 TEU), but a 7% increase on the same month last year (the port handled 237,881 TEU in January 2018).

Taking a closer look at container trade last month, Melbourne’s full overseas imports came to 115,108 TEU, and full overseas exports were 50,126 TEU.

Trade with the Apple Isle totalled 16,250 TEU of full containers, 6419 TEU of which were imports across Bass Strait, and 9831 TEU were exports.

Mainland coastal trade totalled 6236 TEU of full containers; 979 TEU were imports and 5257 TEU were exports.

What was in all these full containers? Well, I’m glad you asked. Port of Melbourne reports its top containerised commodity to cross the wharves was miscellaneous manufactures, followed by furniture, electrical equipment and metal manufactures.

Melbourne’s total trade in empty containers in January was reported to be 66,945 TEU. Over the month, the port handled 28,551 motor vehicles, which equates to 492,000 revenue tonnes.


Marine Insurance – General Average – All Risks coverage

Over the past 12 months, there appears to have been an increase in marine incidents (accidents) globally where ship owners have declared general average as a consequence of fires, groundings and equipment failures on ships.

This raises concerns that shippers and cargo owners may not understand the need to ensure their cargo carried on any voyage is suitably covered by cargo insurance, and in particular covered for the conditions of a declared general average.

Some of the declared general averages over the past year were on the affected ships…

  • Maersk Honan – Fire at sea and loss of life
  • Yantian Express – Fire at sea
  • YM Efficiency – Equipment & rigging failure and loss of containers
  • APL Los Angeles – Vessel grounding
  • Grande America – Fire and subsequent sinking.
Cargo Insurance: What is General Average?
General Average means, literally, a general loss. When General Average is declared, not only are ocean carriers not liable for loss or damage to cargo or the ship, but every cargo owner is actually responsible, in part, for the cargo of others, as well as the ship itself.General Average
A classic example of a General Average sacrifice is jettison to lighten a stranded vessel. Jettison is the throwing overboard of cargo or ship’s material, equipment or stores. Other examples include stranding, fires, and collisions. All participants (vessel and cargo owners) contribute to offset the losses incurred. General Average claims can be in the millions of dollars (and in the case of the Maersk Honan hundreds of millions of dollars).

What does this mean?

  • All cargo is seized.
  • All cargo owners are held responsible to share in the loss.
  • Such cargo is generally delivered free of lien only when the cargo owner puts up a security deposit or bond.
  • Typically the security deposit must be cash.
  • General Average computations are so complex normally a General Average adjuster is retained to determine the total General Average loss amount. The additional expenses for the General Average adjuster are billed on a shared basis to those with cargo on the vessel.
  • General Average claims can take years to resolve.

If cargo is correctly insured, the cargo owner’s insurance company will provide the guarantee (bond) and any contribution required for the loss. The potential financial loss from a General Average claim amplifies the importance of All Risks Cargo Insurance. The liability for General Average makes purchasing cargo insurance an essential business decision.

Attached you will find further information on the need for cargo insurance, and in particular the full impact of a declared general average on any cargo owner who participates in a voyage.

We strongly advise that you check with your marine underwriters to ensure your insurance is adequate to cover all the risk of shipping.


Easter Weekend
Australia / Canada / France / Germany / Hong Kong / New Zealand / Spain / United Kingdom
APR 19 – Good Friday & APR 22 – Easter Monday

APR 25 – ANZAC Day

APR 5 – Ching Ming Festival


APR 5 – Ching Ming Festival

APR 3 – Isra Mi’raj
APR 19 – Good Friday

APR 22 – Easter Monday
APR 25 – Liberation Day

MAR 21 – Vernal Equinox

APR 22 – Easter Monday
APR 27 – King’s Birthday Holiday

APR 9 – Day of Valor
APR 18 – Maundy Thursday
APR 19 – Good Friday

APR 19 – Good Friday

APR 4 – Children’s Day
APR 4 – Tomb Sweeping Day

APR 12 -16 – Songkran Festival/New Year

APR 15 – Hung Kings’ Temple Festival
APR 29 – 30 – Reunification Day