Welcome to the November 2018 Orbit Newsletter

Spring is now upon us, and with it comes the usual Melbourne Spring Carnival and of course Shipping Peak Season…

Orbit Logistics Management are off to China & Hong Kong next week to obtain a clear picture of how the market will react this year and what increases we are likely to see over the coming months.

We have already seen some carriers increase rates for October by USD$250-USD$350 per TEU, with other carriers holding off until later in October / Early November. But we can continue to reassure our clients we will be continuing to negotiate these levels, ensuring the best outcome for our clients.

For Industry news, please take note of the current  up-date regarding the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs for the 2018-2019 Season, and other interesting articles such as the DP World Infrastructure Increases to start in January 2019, and how it will affect consumers and farmers and Adelaide Trade Growth for September.

As always, please contact our office with any inquiries on the Newsletter topics.

Happy Reading!

Glenn Allison
Managing Director

General Rate Increase ex North East Asia to Australia

Orbit Logistics has received “preliminary”  notifications from LCL Carriers, that due to Peak Season now upon us, and thus, Shipping Lines increasing their freight rates on FCL Containers.  They also are intending on imposing a rate restoration program (GRI) on their Northeast Asia – Australia trade lane, in order to maintain a high standard service level and a comprehensive liner network. This will affect countries such as China, Hong Kong, Korea & Taiwan.

As we have done previously, Orbit will continue to monitor the market situation closely, and negotiate with LCL carriers to minimize/mitigate the GRI Increases and keep you informed.  As per previous such announcements, first indications are generally not the final outcome.

Proposed Effective Date: 1st November 2018
Origin: North East Asian Ports  (China, Hong Kong, Korea & Taiwan).
Destination: Australia

LCL USD$ 12.00 Per W/M or Minimum


  1. The Effective date is based on the Shipped on Board Date.
  2. The GRI above applies to tariff and customer specific arrangements.

General Rate Increase ex South East Asia to Australia

Orbit Logistics has received “preliminary”  notifications from LCL Carriers, that due to Ocean Freight rates continuing to be below the required level to cover basic operating / transportation costs on their Southeast Asia-Australia trade lanes. They are announcing a rate restoration program (GRI) on this trade lane, in order to maintain a high standard service level and a comprehensive liner network.

This will affect countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh & Myanmar.

As we have done previously, Orbit will continue to monitor the market situation closely, and negotiate with LCL carriers to minimize/mitigate the GRI Increases and keep you informed.  As per previous such announcements, first indications are generally not the final outcome.

Proposed Effective Date: 1st November 2018
Origin: South East Asian Ports  (Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh & Myanmar).
Destination: Australia

LCL USD$ 6.00 Per W/M or Minimum


  1. The Effective date is based on the Shipped on Board Date.
  2. The GRI above applies to tariff and customer specific arrangements.
  3. Affects any cargo transshipping through the above mentioned ports.

Update #16  – (BMSB) Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

1.   In addition to the measures of mandatory treatment for target high risk goods and  increased onshore intervention of target risk goods from the nine target risk countries.

2.   The undertaking a lower rate of random onshore inspections from identified emerging risk countries.

3.   Identified emerging risk countries include all other countries in Europe. All other non-European countries are also targeted for random inspections to monitor the presence of BMSB.

Processing and Inspection times

1.   Based on feedback, importers have raised concerns regarding delays and lack of transparency.

Emerging BMSB Risk Countries

Greater clarity, guidance and up to date information will be discussed on the following points:-

Further to our previous notices around BMSB, it has been announced that the Department of Agriculture Cargo Consultative Committee (DCCC) will be meeting tomorrow representing our members interest.

Cargo Hold Reports
1.   From the department’s website: All LCL/FAK containers shipped from France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, and the United States of America will be held by the department under bio-security control at the wharf. This is regardless of whether they contain target high risk, target risk or all other goods.

The outcome of all the above will be provided as soon as details are announced. Meanwhile, for further information regarding the above or details of the BMSB clearance process, please contact our Customs Department at

BMSB infestation detected in cargo from China and South Korea

The brown marmorated stink bug is at the gates, with “a large number” of live insects detected on cargo coming in to the country recently, according to a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources official.Speaking at the CBFCA National Conference 2018 in Sydney, DAWR assistant secretary, compliance controls, Dean Merrilees said BMSB was definitely on the move and the department was monitoring it closely.

He was responding to a question from a delegate, asking if there was an expansion of target countries on the cards.

“I’m very conscious that last season we had four changes in policy around BMSB in short order,” Mr Merrilees said. He said the department was particularly sensitive about the disruption such changes causes industry and trade generally.

“I can share with you that we are looking very very closely at the moment at a couple of very major trading partners, which are China, and Korea,” he said. “We are dealing with some cargo at the moment that has come from those two countries in the last day or two, and it has a large number of live BMSB on it.”

Mr Merrilees said the infested cargo didn’t necessarily mean a shift in policy.

“But, the level of infestation that cargo means we are going to have a very hard look at certain parcels of cargo from those countries.”

Currently, target-risk countries include: the US, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Japan.


 DP World Infrastructure Charges Set To Increase  –  1 January 2019

Customers are advised that from 1 January 2019, DP World  Australia will be increasing the infrastructure Access Charge at West Swanston Terminal for all road and rail operators, and will also be adjusting a number of ancillary charges.These levies are in part a response to Port rent increases, by the new overseas based operators, and as a response to Vic Government privatising the Ports and gaining a windfall of 50 Billion.  We understand both Patrick and VICT Terminal will also make announcements to adopt a likewise Increase.

Closer to the Implementation date, exact costs are expected to be announced, and therefore will be advised accordingly. Meanwhile please note further information regarding impacts on the Infrastructure rate rise:

For more information, please contact


New Service Announcements For Southeast Asia

Improvements on Southeast Asiaq/Australia trade lane announced to commence from 30th July With Cosco Shipping joining OOCL and PIL as a third vessel-operating partner restoring the Operation to a twin-loop product resulting in faster transit times. The new AAA1 loop port rotation will be Laem Chabang-Singapore-Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne-Fremantle improving the current transit times from Laem Chabang.

The new AAA2 loop port rotations will be Singapore-Port Kelang-Fremantle-Melbourne-Adelaide and will result in the fastest transit time in the market from Singapore and Port Kelang to Fremantle.

The current ASAL port rotations remain unchanged service Jakarta-Port Kelang-Singapore-Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne-Adelaide maintaining direct service from Jakarta to Australia. All in all, an improved service for both imports and exports.

New airport to “remove handbrake” on Sydney’s west

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison says a new airport will “remove the handbrake from the Western Sydny economy”.Construction has just started on the Badgerys Creek terminal and the PM said a Western Sydney Airport would provide a gateway to the world, not just for people but freight.

“For half a century Sydneysiders have talked about a second airport. By tomorrow, bulldozers will be moving and work on the Western Sydney Airport will be underway,” Mr Morrison said.

“This airport will remove the handbrake from the Western Sydney economy. This is job generating infrastructure. Most times when infrastructure is built, there is job creation in the short-term and then it tails off when the project is completed. But with this project, job creation will accelerate when the airport is completed.”

Finance minister Mathias Cormann said the federal government investment of up to $5.3bn in equity in Western Sydney Airport would have long-term economic returns.

“The airport will be at the centre of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, which will be a global hub of innovation for sectors including defence and aerospace, freight and logistics, agribusiness, pharmaceutical and biotech industries,” Senator Cormann said. “We have already seen industry leaders Qantas and Virgin commit to being at the airport from the day of opening and significant investment from the defence and science sectors already committed.”

Major earthworks are due to start in 2019 and are to involve moving 22m m3 of spoil on the site. The location of a second Sydney airport has long been controversial and even today the concept still has its opponents, notably Blue Mountains Council.

Implementation of a Low Sulphur Surcharge to/from China

Carriers are slowly starting to announce, the implementation of a Low Sulphur Surcharge (LSS), On All Trade Routes to/from Shanghai & Ningbo. This of course may extend to other ports in due course.Low Sulphur Surcharge is a cost implemented to ensure the sustainability & reliability of a carriers service in today’s challenging environment.

ANL Lines have this week advised that effective from the 15th NOVEMBER 2018, they will be implementing the below.

  • Ex Shanghai & Ningbo (Including Yangtze river inland via Shanghai & Ningbo), to/from all origins/destinations worldwide
     20ft Containers:                   USD$ 7.50 Per Container
40ft GP/HC Containers:          USD$ 15.00 Per Container

OOCL enhances its Australia / Asia Service Network 

AAA / Southeast Asia 

In August we saw the first sailings of our expanded Southeast Asia network with the AAA service replaced by 2 loops, AAA1 and AAA2. Amongst the many service improvements, OOCL now has an AAA1 with a direct Brisbane call and a faster southbound transit time into Melbourne on AAA2.

A3 / Far East Asia 

The A3 service network upgrade commenced in August providing improved port coverage & capacity on our Far East Asia network. The changes included the deployment of vessels with 8000-teu capacity onto the A3C service loop.  OOCL is proud to promote the good news of the vessel OOCL Seoul being the first 8000-teu vessel deployed onto our A3C service making it the largest vessel to ever call the Port of Melbourne.

NSW Releases Its Grand Plan For Freight

THE NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 was released today, outlining plans for the state government to invest more than $5bn in an effort to support the growing freight task and address growth and congestion on the state’s road and rail networks.

The plan builds on the NSW government’s Freight and Ports Strategy, released in 2013, and lays out the state government’s long-term vision for freight transport. It includes 73 initiatives the state says it would deliver by 2023, focused on five key objectives:

  • economic growth;
  • efficiency, connectivity and access;
  • capacity
  • safety; and
  • sustainability.

Minister for roads, maritime and freight Melinda Pavey said more than 2m households and businesses across the state tap into the freight network every day, relying on the timely and efficient movement of goods to markets nationally and globally.  read more…

“The amount of freight moved through NSW is set to grow by 28% to more than 618m tonnes by 2036. To support this, the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 provides more than 70 initiatives for increasing capacity on the existing network, including building new infrastructure,” she said. “From big businesses to farmers, retailers to consumers, we all rely on our goods getting to us in a safe and efficient manner. For this reason the NSW government has set firm targets to achieve faster, more efficient and higher capacity networks to remain competitive, support jobs and deliver economic growth across NSW.”

Ms Pavey said freight and logistics contributes more than $180m to the NSW economy every day, and with increasing population and changing consumer preferences, the freight network will face increased demand. This, compounded by a desire to have same-day delivery for online goods, requires government and industry to have the freight network capable of working at full throttle,” she said.

“The NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 highlights the government and industry plans for road, rail, air, shipping and pipelines and builds on investment from the 2013 NSW Freight and Ports Strategy.”

The report clearly points to coastal shipping as an opportunity to improve freight efficiency.

“Coastal shipping can be a viable alternative to road or rail for certain types of freight. The Glebe Island and White Bay precinct is uniquely placed to enable shipping of sand and aggregate to Sydney to service the needs of Greater Sydney’s construction boom,” the report states. “This removes the need for trucks to travel into central Sydney with sand and aggregate from outside the area. Coastal shipping is also increasingly being looked at as an attractive alternative to rail for moving less time sensitive freight from NSW to other states.”

One goal of the report is to “simplify and harmonise regulation”, and, as part of this goal, the NSW government said it would advocate “for Australian legislative amendments to facilitate the greater use of coastal shipping”.

The report also aims to increase the share of rail freight at Port Botany to 28% by 2021. The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said the NSW Freight & Ports Plan would help to improve the safety and efficiency of freight movement in NSW, and represented progress on policy reforms that the freight and logistics industry has long called for. ALC interim CEO Lachlan Benson said the council was pleased that the plan touched on many of the issues ALC and industry had long advocated as priority actions.

“The plan also recognises the need to give freight more prominent consideration in planning policy, and in particular, to protect remaining industrial lands in order to meet a growing freight task,” he said. “As part of this, ALC encourages the NSW government to specifically zone areas as logistics lands, so that they can be afforded the 24/7 operational flexibility the industry requires.”

Mr Benson also said the plan’s commitment to develop a heavy vehicle safety strategy in partnership with industry that would encourage uptake of safety technology was positive.

“The Plan clearly accounts for the increasingly important role data will play in enhanced supply chain efficiency and the need to encourage data sharing in the industry,” he said. “ALC hopes NSW will support efforts to establish a consistent national data standard, so that different systems in the supply chain are able to communicate with each other efficiently.”

Mr Benson also said ALC welcomed the plans focus on enhanced connectivity between Port Botany and the surrounding motorway network.

“We urge the NSW Government prioritise the completion of a business case that ensures the Sydney Gateway planning incorporates direct heavy vehicle access for the adjacent Cooks River Intermodal Terminal while not impeding its current and future critical port rail operations,” he said.

A draft plan was open for industry comment in the first part of this year.

The NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 can be found on Transport for NSW’s website.


Singapore Airlines Launches World’s Longest Flight

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched the world’s longest commercial flight, between Singapore and New York.

The first new non-stop flight between Singapore and New York departed Changi International Airport on 11 October 2018 at 2337hrs (SIN time) and arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport a day later, at 0529hrs (US Eastern time). The flight duration was 17 hours 52 minutes. Operated by the all-new Airbus A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range), the route will initially be served thrice-weekly, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily operations will commence from 18 October after an additional A350-900ULR aircraft enters service.

To commemorate the inaugural flight, customers departing from Singapore were treated to an evening of performances and an assortment of food and beverages at a special boarding gate event. Customers also received an exclusive goodie bag containing a commemorative certificate and a pair of SIA-branded Bodum glasses.

Customers on the world’s longest flight were treated with a comfortable and relaxing travelling experience with special Wellness Cuisines curated by chefs and nutritionists from Canyon Ranch, a leader in healthy living and wellness, in addition to SIA’s own meal selections and creations by its International Culinary Panel of chefs.

Designed with the customers’ well-being in mind, sleep strategies and specific cabin lighting settings to enhance cabin ambience for rest and relaxation were also introduced. The aircraft is designed with higher ceilings, larger windows and an extra wide body to help reduce jetlag and ensure that customers feel well rested and relaxed upon arrival.

Customers also have greater control over their in-flight entertainment (IFE) experience with myKrisWorld – a world-first IFE personalisation offering that provides content recommendations based on customer preferences and viewing history. KrisFlyer members are able to save and resume content, create playlists, and customise their preferences on myKrisWorld for subsequent flights. In addition, KrisFlyer members will have access to 200 additional hours of in-flight entertainment content. This is on top of the more than 1,000 hours of existing in-flight entertainment offerings.

Customers can also experience high-speed in-flight WiFi service on Singapore Airlines’ new A350-900ULR aircraft. Equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ new satellite modem that operates with its third generation satellite network, the service is capable of delivering higher-speed Internet to customers. Currently available on A350-900ULR aircraft in Singapore Airlines’ fleet, this service will be progressively introduced on other aircraft that are equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ Internet and mobile in-flight connectivity.

“Singapore Airlines is proud to introduce the world’s longest commercial flights with the new A350-900ULR and we are even more excited to be providing customers with improved connectivity between Singapore and the United States. This demonstrates our commitment to putting our customers’ needs at the forefront of all that we do,” said Singapore Airlines’ CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.

SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven firm orders with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The aircraft will also be used for new non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles, which are to be launched on 2 November 2018, as well as to increase services on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route. By the end of the year, SIA will have 27 non-stop flights per week between Singapore and the United States.


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.


Shipping lines introduce widespread surcharges for new IMO regulations


As many members would be aware, major shipping lines are rolling out an unprecedented cost recovery campaign to compensate for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) commitment to reduce sulphur emissions from shipping lines by 85% by 1 January 2020.

This is a significant development. Maersk and MSC have each calculated the impact of the regulations to be $2BN USD each per year, an amount that they will be seeking to recover from the world’s shippers and freight forwarders via a new surcharge. The CMA CGM announcement suggested that the average cost based on current conditions will be $160 USD / TEU.Despite the 2020 effective date of the regulation, Maersk, MSC and others, are introducing their new fuel surcharge mechanisms from 1 January 2019- a year before the regulation kicks in.
A summary of the shipping line announcements is included below for your reference:Maersk Line- IMO Regulations 2020: New BAF to replace SBF
MSC- IMO Sulphur Cap Surcharges
CMA CGM- Low Sulphur Regulation 2020
Hapag Lloyd- Marine Fuel Recovery Mechanism
OOCL Fleet moves to meet IMO 2020 Regulation

OOCL exhorts shippers to prepare for costs to rise in 2020

IN the lead-up to the implementation of the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap for marine fuel, OOCL became the latest company to announce its plans.

The company estimates the cost of burning low-sulphur fuel to power its fleet would fall “well above half a billion [US] dollars”, and that shippers and consumers will need to “prepare to shoulder this burden”.

The company announced it would introduce a bunker “recovery approach” based on a “floating bunker formula” that is intended to reflect changes in the industry environment.

In a statement, the company said: “This approach will take various factors into account, including the different fuel types being used, fuel price fluctuations, ship size and capacity and vessel utilisation levels.”

“As a responsible and committed member of the international community, OOCL will continue to work closely with our customers and business partners to strive for further improvements in all aspects of our businesses for a greener future in the generations to come.”

OOCL said it would begin the transition to low-sulphur fuel in mid-2019.


ONE and Hapag-Lloyd join forces in feeder network

HAPAG-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE) announced they had concluded a bilateral strategic feeder network co-operation agreement. Under the agreement, the two liner companies are to share space on their feeder services, with a first step covering the intra-Europe and intra-Asia trades, with collaboration to be further expanded “in due course”.

ONE CEO Jeremy Nixon said the co-operation was a strong footnote to the existing bilateral partnership.

“We are convinced that together with Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express will continue to enrich our feeder network portfolio and provide more premium feeder service to our respective customers. Looking ahead, we are confident that the scope of this cooperation will be further broadened,” he said.

Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said through the new co-operation the company would be able to offer a better and consistent feeder network.

“This new co-operation strengthens Hapag-Lloyd’s and Ocean Network Express’s footprints in Europe as well as expands both companies’ service portfolios in Asia,” he said. ONE and Hapag-Lloyd also operate together in THE Alliance, and also co-operate on Latin America, Africa and Indian Subcontinent trades.

Port of Melbourne container charge increase could have flow-on  effects for consumers and farmers

VICTORIANS could be forced to pay more on everyday goods from January 1 when surging new container charges at the Port of Melbourne are passed to suppliers. Businesses across the state have lashed out at DP World Australia after the major stevedore said it would raise access fees at the port from January 1.




The same charge at Swanson Dock was just $3.50 per container in April 2017. The stevedore has played down concerns about flow-on costs but industry figures have warned the costs will be passed on to customers and damage the livelihoods of struggling farmers.

A DP World Australia spokeswoman said the increase would add 15c to the delivered cost of a flat screen TV and 10c to the cost of a microwave oven.“To ensure a sustainable future in an increasingly competitive market, DP World Australia is continuing the journey to a rebalanced revenue recovery from waterside to landside,” she said. “We understand that stevedoring is a closely monitored and scrutinised industry and that, for some, this presents an easy target.
“The ACCC will be able to comment on this round of charges in its next report, if it so chooses.”

But Victorian Farmer’s Federation vice-president Brett Hosking said the change would have a major flow-on effect and came as the cost of living was increasing across the state.

“To add another cost on to the supply chain is pretty frustrating as it impacts every Victorian,” he said. “We all know how far our disposable income doesn’t get these days. Assuming a cappuccino costs $5, it is like showing up the next day and being told the charge is now $8,” he said.

Brett Hosking fears for the flow-on effect for Victorian farmers. “It is a massive charge when you put it into perspective … Anything that impacts the supply chain until it meets a dead end (at farmers or customers).”

Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said companies were asking the government to investigate the matter.
“Everybody is horrified but they can’t do anything about it,” he said. “It seems like DP World has taken a position to gouge while they can and at some stage somebody is going to be up in arms. These poor carriers … When do they come back with their own increases and how will they pass that on?”

Ports Minister Luke Donnellan said he was disappointed the surcharges had been increased.
“While these charges are a matter for the stevedores and their individual customers, it is reasonable for industry to expect an improved level of service in return,” he said. “This is exactly why we’ve announced, as part of the Victorian Freight Plan, that the we’ll investigate options for the future role of government in regulating pricing/charges, and access to and from the port.”

The Port of Melbourne is now one of the most expensive sites for DP World customers in Australia. In July this year the port imported the equivalent of 115,690 full containers. Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said there would be a wider impact on the state’s economy.
“You can selectively pick statistics but that doesn’t ’t show the whole picture,” he said.  ‘From an import point of view it certainly gets passed on … This could cause some pretty big stress. Transport companies have got to stump up these costs and try to recover that revenue from their customers.”

Container Trade through Port Botany Increases

CONTAINER trade through Port Botany in September saw an uptick on the same month last year, but the numbers showed a slight decline on August.

NSW Ports reported a total container throughput of 228,444 TEU (including empties) at Port Botany for September, representing an increase of 3.9% on the same month last year (which saw a throughput of 219,865 TEU).

However, this past September’s throughput numbers were a decrease of 1% on August 2018, whereas last year, September’s throughput was a 2% increase on the previous month in 2017.

Import full volumes drove the growth, with an uptick of 6.34% on September 2017, with notable increases in wooden articles; textiles, fabrics and articles; and plastic and plastic articles.

However, export full volumes were down by 7.38% on September last year, with increases in many commodities but food preparations saw a decrease of 14.34% and miscellaneous manufactured articles were down by 10.62%.

For September 2018, exports totalled 110,050 TEU (a 5% decrease on August’s exports), and imports totalled 118,934 TEU (a 3% increase on August’s imports). Of last month’s totals, 71,239 TEU were empty, while 157,205 TEU were full.

Non-containerised trade through Port Botany saw a marked increase in September, over both the previous month and the same month last year. September 2018 saw 548,400 revenue tonnes come through the port, an increase of 47% on August (373,497 revenue tonnes) and a 47% increase on September 2017 (332,619 revenue tonnes). However, July also was also a big month for non-containerised trade through Port Botany, with a throughput of 590,116 revenue tonnes (41,716 more revenue tonnes than September 2018).



Melbourne Container Growth during September,  Now the Nation’s Largest Container Terminal

TRADE through the Port of Melbourne for September 2018 saw a 9.4% rise (8.34m revenue tonnes) on September 2017. The increase was attributed to full and empty containers, wheeled unitised cargoes and dry bulk.

Total container throughput increased 10.6% to a record total of 265,690 containers, surpassing the previous monthly best set in May this year. Containerised import commodities most responsible for the monthly increase included, miscellaneous manufactures (up 24%), electrical machinery (39%), timber (53%), miscellaneous food preparation (15%), plastic ware (24%), furniture (9%), and essential oils (31%).

Full container exports reversed three consecutive months of decline to be up 2.4% on September 2017. Dry bulk trade returned its first positive result in six months with September throughput 19.2 per cent above the comparable period last year.

This has now returned Melbourne to its place as the nation’s largest container terminal the ACCC’s container stevedoring report shows. Two years ago the ACCC announced Port Botany (Sydney) had leapfrogged Melbourne in the container stakes, prompting debate about methodology, calculation means etc.

According to the latest report. Melbourne was marginally Australia’s largest container stevedoring port in 2017–18 after the port handled 34.2% of total international container trade. All of the monitored ports posted record high container volumes. During the year, Melbourne handled 2.74m TEU, closely followed by Sydney with 2.73m TEU, while Brisbane handled 1.3m TEU, Fremantle 0.8m TEU and Adelaide 0.4m TEU,

In 2017–18, the total number of ‘TEUs handled’ at monitored Australian ports increased by 11.6% to 8m TEU. Melbourne’s 14.2% improvement on 2016-17 was reported to have been boosted by strong growth in imports.

This was driven by an increase in the imports of timber, furniture, metal manufactures, ceramic goods, aluminium and plastic ware. “TEUs also increased significantly in Fremantle (12.2%) and Sydney (11.3%), while volumes increased by a lesser amount in Brisbane (9.6%) and Adelaide (2.9%).

TPP-11 Passes Parliament

THE Australian Parliament has passed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), bringing the agreement a step closer to coming into force. In a joint media statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and trade minister Simon Birmingham said the agreement would get rid of 98% of tariffs for the 11 countries, which have a combined GDP of more than $13 trillion and nearly 500m consumers.

“The TPP-11 offers significant advantages for Australian exporters including accelerated reductions in Japan’s tariffs on Australian beef, greater quota volumes for wheat and barley, new access for dairy products and clear investment regimes for mining and resources,” they said.

However, not all are happy about the pact’s ratification in Australia. The Maritime Union has registered its opposition to the deal, with its national council passing a resolution opposing the deal, stating: “The MUA sees the TPP-11 as being a vehicle for the destruction of Australian coastal shipping and jobs.”

TPP-11 is a free-trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The deal was signed by the 11 countries on 8 March in Chile, but when the pact will be implemented is still unclear, as it can only come into force 60 days after six of the countries ratify it. Australia is to be the fourth country to do so after Japan, Mexico and Singapore. An earlier version of the TPP was scuttled after US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the deal shortly after he took the reins of the presidency.


New Shanghai Office Aimed At Boosting South Australia’s China Ties

SOUTH Australian trade minister David Ridgway has announced the opening of the state’s new trade and investment office in Shanghai. The announcement occurred as part of Mr Ridgway’s tour of China.

“The Shanghai office complements a range of initiatives by the South Australian Government to take South Australia to the world and has been specifically located within the existing Australian Trade and Investment Commission at the Consulate-General Shanghai to support collaboration with the federal government,” Mr Ridgway said.

“South Australia values its relationship with China – our largest two-way trading partner, our highest source of international students and one of our most valuable tourism visitor markets. Like many parts of the world, China and South Australia are continually adapting to a fast-changing global environment and building on our successful relationship to grow exports.”

The announcement of the new office comes soon after the Victorian government found itself in a political pickle, having struck a deal with China albeit without consulting Canberra. But Mr Ridgway was this week feeling bullish.

“Together, South Australia and China have already built a remarkable trade and investment partnership based on complementary interests, vision and entrepreneurship and we are genuinely excited about the creation of our new Shanghai office, to continue to build upon the momentum,” he said.

Mr Ridgway said the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement also was opening new doors for companies to deepen their relationships.

Stevedores Don’t Have a Free Pass

AUSTRALIAN Competition and Consumer Commission general manager, infrastructure and transport, Matthew Schroder discussed the commission’s recently released stevedore report at the CBFCA National Conference 2018. Mr Schroder gave an overview of the ACCC’s findings in the report, which have been covered exhaustively in these pages in recent days.

However, he gave some in-depth comment on what he called the “most controversial thing” in the report: the stevedores’ recent increases in infrastructure charges.

“Charges have increased significantly, and, with Flinders now having added charges, infrastructure charges now occur at all terminals and stevedores [monitored in the report],” he said. “We have been keeping a very close eye on this, and the CBFCA has been talking to the ACCC continually on this. This is a really important transformation of a very, very important supply chain for the nation, and so, it does really need to be looked at carefully.”

He said the the stevedores’ justification for the charges included increased rents, increased rates, land taxes and a rebalancing from the quayside to the land-side in their charging.

“The pressures that the stevedores are facing in terms of the consolidation of shipping lines and the power of the shipping lines increasing, and the competition that they’re facing amongst the new stevedores,” Mr Schroder said. “With those sorts of pressures, you can see why stevedores would be considering new strategies to try and consolidate or increase their revenues; that’s not giving them a free pass, but you can see the position they’re in and why they’re doing that.”

Mr Schroder said the ACCC considered that the impact of the charges should be subject to “strict scrutiny” from policy makers.

“A key issue that landside operators don’t have the ability to choose the stevedores. There are imbalances of power here, you could say there are imbalances of power between the shipping lines and the stevedores, there’re imbalances of power between the stevedores and the landside operators,” he said. “The cargo operator has the choice of the landside operator and the shipping line, but they don’t have choice of stevedore, if you choose a shipping line and they change stevedore, there’s not much you can do about that.

“Certainly it’s the case that the landside operators don’t have any choice over the stevedores, so the stevedores, you can say, have this sitting duck that they can try and pluck.”

Mr Schroder said the ACCC was looking at this issue in terms of the market power, and as the charges increase, so too does the impact they have. He pointed out that stevedore profitability is going down. We would be more concerned if this were simply about making more money. Mr Schroder said the ACCC doesn’t have the ability to set or restrict these charges, as they clearly aren’t cartel conduct, but the commission does remain concerned about them.

“We think the state governments should be looking at these things in the broader context we can’t through our stevedoring report. If they find there is a major issue there, then undertake a regulatory response.”



National and Public Holidays   

Around the world in the next month:

20th November                                         Indonesia / Egypt                                                                   Prophet Birthday
22nd November                                         USA                                                                                           Thanksgiving Day
6th December                                            Spain                                                                                         Constitution Day
24th December                                          North Korea                                                                            Birth Day of Kim Jong Suk
24th December                                          USA (Some States Only)                                                       Christmas Eve
25th December                                           Australia / New Zealand / China / HKG                          Christmas Day
26th December                                          Canada/Australia//N.Z./Hong Kong/China                    Boxing Day
30th December                                           China                                                                                        New Years Eve
31st December                                           China, Japan & USA (Some States Only)                          New Years Eve

Note: 25th December is a public holiday also in other Countries as follows:
Indonesia  /  Japan  /  Malaysia  /  South Korea  /  Belgium / Netherlands  /  Denmark  /  France  /  Germany  /  Greece  /  Italy  /  Poland  /  Spain  /  U.K.  USA  /  Canada

Note: 26th December is a public holiday also in other Countries as follows:
Denmark  /  Germany  /  Italy  /  Netherlands  /  Poland  /  U.K. / Canada / USA (Some States)