Welcome to the September 2018 Orbit Newsletter

Spring is coming, and with it comes the usual Spring fare; changing weather, footy finals, hayfever, and shipping peak season.Recent news has advised the power of changing weather where just last week Hong Kong were hit by a Typhoon & Tropical Storm which is a strong reminder of the power of mother nature. Services were disrupted for air and ocean freight, but the recovery action has been fairly swift.

In local discussions in Hong Kong and from the recent feedback from Shipping lines, the peak season for exports ex China/HK should be a strong season, which has the potential to bring space and rate pressures. The shipping landscape continues to change, especially through mergers and takeovers. This flows into the structure of trading lanes and services, with shipping consortium’s changing members and services.

Pressure will come on freight rates, with most shipping lines broadcasting plans to implement freight rate increases around US$300/20’ FCL, for cargo out of Korea, Taiwan, HK & China. This is the typical ambit claim that precedes the peak season. It’s now called a rate restoration program, but in reality it is a peak season surcharge.

We can assure you that Orbit Logistics are, and will continue to be in robust negotiations with shipping lines at origin and destination, ensuring the best outcomes for our clients.

September has historically always been a quiet month for Industry news, but please take note and action where needed regarding the Up-Coming China & Hong Kong Holiday, the submission and receival of all documentation is very crucial to ensure there are no delivery and/or storage issues over that period.  This year it of course coincides with the Melbourne AFL Grand Final Public holiday on the 28th September, therefore our office will be officially closed.

Other interesting articles are the Melbourne Trade Growth and the current up-date regarding the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs for the 2018-2019 Season.

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

Happy Reading!

Glenn Allison
Managing Director



China & Hong Kong Up-Coming National Holiday Week

Origin From To Resume work on
Hong Kong 29 Sep (Sat) 01 Oct (Mon) 02 Oct (Tue)
Shenzhen 01 Oct (Mon) 07 Oct (Sun) 08 Oct (Mon)
Shanghai 01 Oct (Mon) 07 Oct (Sun) 08 Oct (Mon)
Ningbo 01 Oct (Mon) 07 Oct (Sun) 08 Oct (Mon)
Tianjin 01 Oct (Mon) 07 Oct (Sun) 08 Oct (Mon)
Qingdao 01 Oct (Mon) 07 Oct (Sun) 08 Oct (Mon)

All China offices will be work on 29 & 30 Sep (Excluded Hong Kong office)

For those import clients with cargo arriving from current date through to Monday 8th October, it is vitally important that you follow up with your Chinese suppliers regarding all required documents to enable clearance and delivery of import consignments in this period.

As a reference list, please check with your suppliers regarding the following typically required documents:

Commercial documents:

  • Supplier’s invoice
  • Packing list
  • Chinese Free Trade Certificate of Origin (if required).
  • Note that if this document is not available during this holiday period, we can arrange for shipments to be cleared at general duty rates, with refund applications to be submitted once Cert of Origin is received (application costs apply).
  • Packing Declaration (if not already covered by an Annual Packing Declaration.)
  • Fumigation or treatment certificates (if required)
  • Import permit details (if required)

Shipping Documents:

  • Original Bill of Lading, or notification that shipment is covered by a Waybill or a telex release (which may need shipper’s approval).

Our Customer Service team here in Australia  is proactively following up with clients locally and back to Orbit Logistics China & Hong Kong for any required documents or releases; however it is important that all customers also get involved in the process, as once the holiday period commences, it is very difficult to get responses from Chinese companies during this holiday period.

Note also the upcoming Public Holidays in Australia, which are regional rather than national:

  • Friday September 28th is a Public Holiday in Melbourne.
    • Orbit Logistics Australia will have skeleton crew staff on site in our Melbourne Headquarters on that day.
    • No other cities are affected on that day.
  • Monday October 1st is a Public Holiday in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
    • Orbit Logistics will have full staff on site in our Melbourne Headquarters on that day, to handle shipments nationally.


Further to the recent changes as advised by Dep’t of Agriculture, the final measures have now been published by the Dept of Ag on their BMSB webpage.

Included is an additional page, Preparing to import during the BMSB, to assist industry on the requirements to manage the seasonal measures prior to exporting goods to Australia. The treatment rates have also been published on the main BMSB webpage. As noted in the recent update, listed is the approved offshore treatment providers for the Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme. Please note this list will be updated as the department add more approved treatment providers.

We understand that more updates to the BMSB webpage will be made later this week, including details for onshore management of goods and scenarios from queries that the department has been receiving from industry to assist importers and customs brokers before the season commences.

The department will continue to make updates to the BMSB webpage and Orbit Logistics will advise as these changes are made. Our Industry Body group, Freight & Trade Alliance,  is meeting departmental representatives in Canberra this week to discuss operational impacts in the lead up to the industry sessions (either face-to-face or webinars or a combination of both) anticipated for the week commencing 13 August 2018.

For further information regarding the above, please contact our Customs Department

Delays in Biosecurity Entry Processing

Our Industry advocates, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) met this morning with representatives from the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources.

Confirmation was received that there is currently a high volumes of entries in queue for processing, primarily caused by the workload associated with the commencement of BMSB Season together with the new measures in place regarding ‘Swine Flu’.

The department has temporarily suspended training and associated activities to maximise officer availability and advised that they will be allocating additional staff this weekend to bring the processing times back to levels within their service charter.

Additionally, FTA members are providing feedback to assist the department with concepts on how to reduce the amount of entries being profiled/lodged in COLS to reduce the department’s workload.

We expect to see that Industry Advice Notices be sent out to industry, as required, providing additional information with reference to any ongoing delay times measured in days/hours. Orbit Logistics will continue to keep members up to date on further developments.

Importer to pay $2m after ABF Investigation

A MELBOURNE import business is to pay almost $2m in penalties, recovered duty and GST after an investigation into the undervaluation of imported pre-galvanised steel products from several different countries.

The investigation by the Australian Border Force’s Compliance Audits Unit started in March and, according to an ABF statement, uncovered “a complex and systemic process” to falsify documents to conceal the nature of the goods and avoid the payment of Duty and GST between 2014 and 2017.

The investigation culminated with ABF officers issuing 49 infringement notices. The total value of the infringement penalties was $353,250. The importer was also required to repay $397,726 in short-paid duty and $1,200,404 in short-paid GST. The total amount to be paid is $1,951,380. ABF acting Assistant Commissioner for Port Operations Command, Claire Rees, said the penalties reflected the severity of the evasions.

“At the end of the day importers who don’t pay the correct amount of duty and GST are depriving the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers,” acting Assistant Commissioner Rees said.

“This result is a testament to the professionalism of ABF officers who work diligently to ensure importers comply with Australia’s trade reporting and revenue collection requirements. It is about providing a level playing field for both industry and consumers.

“Failure to comply can result in severe penalties, as occurred in this case, or the suspension or cancellation of Department issued licences and potentially prosecution.”

Australian Border Force [ABF]– Goods Compliance Update

Twice per year ABF releases details of their goods compliance update. Similar to what the Aust Tax Office does close to the end of the Financial Year, ABF announces what their target focus areas are going to be in the upcoming months. It’s pre-advice that allows all parties to check and adjust as needed voluntarily for any matters of potential risk.

The lead article refers to Transfer pricing & Customs valuations; in particular re the setting of prices for goods sold between related entities in multi-national enterprises. Also of note is commentary re the ABF’s commitment to stopping asbestos at the border.

It’s worth a read, and can be found at

North East Asia to Australia

As carriers slowly start to look at imposing a General Rate Increase on FCL’s ex North East Asia, LCL Carriers are also now looking at increasing their rates.  These are of course only indicative costs at this stage.

A rate increase as outlined below (If Imposed) will be effective from the 16th October 2018, and includes not only cargo from North East Asia but also all LCL cargo transshipping through these ports.

As we have done previously, Orbit will continue to monitor the market situation closely, and negotiate with carriers to minimize/mitigate the GRI Increases and keep you informed of the outcome.

Imposed Effective Date: 16th October, 2018

Origin: Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong & Taiwan  (North East Asia)
Destination: Australia


USD$ 14.00 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.



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.



A new service starting middle of August with carrier members: HMM/EMC/APL with an estimated capacity of the vessels would be around 4500 – 5000 Teu , and the estimated ETD would be around the 33rd week.

The main purpose of this lane is to alleviate the existed transport capacity problem in Northern China, the routine of this service is: Ningbo – Shanghai – Yantian – SYD – MEL – BNE. This service would not call Hong Kong , so they might not consider receiving the goods from PRD areas, there would be total 10 services from China to Australia by then.
The significance of this new service is very important , this new service might restrain the price surging during the 2nd half of the year due to the big capacity-compare with other vessels from China to Australia  of each VSL they put in. Besides it is said that the devaluation of AUD is coming by the latter half of the year, which would affect the consumer activity by the end of this year and the beginning of 2019.

So they believe that cost for the next half year would grow relatively mild than that of last year, would probably almost the same level like last year rather than 10% higher like what they predicted by the beginning of this year.

Australian exports hit record in 2017-18

THE value of goods and services exports from Australia has reached a record high of $401bn over the 2017-18 financial year – the first time exports were worth more than $400bn. Recently published data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also showed Australia’s annual trade surplus was $6.3bn over the period.

A statement from trade minister Steven Ciobo said the record exports were fuelled by increased resources exports, including LNG, coal and iron ore, while meat and wool exports also rose.

“Importantly the data reveals Australian exports to China, our largest trading partner, grew by 11% in 2017-18, exceeding the $100bn mark for the first time to reach $105bn, reflecting the benefits provided by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Australia’s exports to Japan rose by 16.4% to $48.2bn over 2017-18; exports to ASEAN countries grew by 16.1% to $32.7bn and exports to India grew 7% to $16.1bn.”

Melbourne trade grows during July

TRADE through the Port of Melbourne for July 2018 saw a 9% increase (8.46m revenue tonnes) on July 2017. According to Port management, all cargo types recorded rises, with the exception of dry bulk.

Dry bulk falls described as a direct result of lower grain exports with the financial year 2018 harvest seen as being closer to average volumes compared with the 2017 bumper crop. Total container throughput for July rose 9.1% over July 2017 to a total of 255,153 TEU, with total imports for the month up 6.9% and total exports rising 11.4%.

Full container imports for July were 7.3% up on the same month last year. At a sector level, overseas imports gained 6.8% for the month; imports from Tasmania were up 18%.

Commodities most responsible for the monthly increase in containerised imports included:

  • electrical machinery 31%
  • miscellaneous manufactures 13%
  • timber 37%
  • furniture 12%
  • aluminium 52%
  • miscellaneous food preparations 12%
  • ceramic goods 22%

Full import containers for July 2018 came to 115,690, up 7.3% on July 2017 while full export containers were 79,693, down – 3.7%.

The number of empties was up 38% to 59,770.

These three figures contributed to a grand total of 255,153, or up 9.1%.

After two consecutive months of decline in May and June, liquid bulk trade were reported to have returned to positive territory in July with a 7.7% increase from July 2017.

Motor vehicle trade in total for July recorded a 5.5% increase over the equivalent month last year. Transport equipment imports (commercial vehicles) were the main contributor to the monthly result; increasing 44.5% (+2,371 units) while imports of new passenger vehicles were up 6.7% (+841 units).



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. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact our sales department.

Container trade through 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 more than June 2018, according to the latest trade statistics published by the Port.

June saw a total of 118,173 TEU move through the port, which is a 16% increase on the same month last year, and a 5% increase on the previous month. June’s throughput was well above the average for the first half of 2018 (109,539 TEU), and above the average for the past 12 months (112,436 TEU).

Total containerised imports through the Port in June were reported at 57,160 TEU, with “import other” (24,269 TEU), household items (5811 TEU) and freight all kind (5212 TEU) as the largest cargo categories.
Turning to exports, 60,217 TEU left the port in June. It comes as no surprise, the largest export category was fresh air, with 22,550 TEU of empty containers shipped out during the month. Other major export categories include “export other” (11,761 TEU), cotton (7015 TEU) and freight all kind (5113 TEU).

Total trade through the Port, including non-containerised and containerised freight totalled 3.287m tonnes this past June – a 24% increase on the same month last year.

This increase was largely driven by a large uptick in coal exports, which increased 130%, from 439,927 tonnes in June 2017 to 1.014m tonnes this past June.

Many other export commodities saw decreases over the period, with agricultural seeds decreasing 41% to 77,793 tonnes and iron and steel decreasing 48% to 38,839 tonnes.

Total imports remained relatively steady, showing a 3% increase in June 2018 over the same month last year.

Crude oil imports saw a drop of 7% to 364,012 tonnes this past June, while over the same period imports of refined oil increased 19% to 344,741 tonnes.

Cement imports through the Port decreased 10% to 152,909 tonnes, and fertiliser and chemicals (rural) imports decreased 51% to 30,709 tonnes.

Motor vehicle imports increased 6% in June over the previous June to 26,368 units.

COSCO completes OOIL Acquisition

COSCO Shipping announced this week it had completed the acquisition of Orient Overseas International Limited OOIL), the parent company of OOCL. In a letter to customers, COSCO said the two liner companies would continue to operate independently as two brands, maintaining existing operational models and management channels.

The company said there would be no changes to shipping schedules and slot arrangements due to the finalisation of the transaction. The two companies jointly operate 409 shipping routes in the major markets, with a total of 22,000 employees in 46 countries.

According to COSCO Group, it and OOIL have 19 vessels on order, which would add capacity of about 330,000 TEU, edging its total capacity to 2.93m TEU by the end of 2018.

National and Public Holidays

Around the world in the next month:

Monday                                3rd September                Canada & USA                                   Labour Day
Monday                                3rd September                Vietnam                                               Independence Day
Monday                                24th September                 China                                                  Mid Autumn Festival
Monday                                24th-26th September         Korea                                                 Chuseok Holiday
Tuesday                               25th September                 Hong Kong                                        Mid Autumn Festival
Monday                                1st October                      Hong Kong                                        National Day of the People
Monday                                1st – 7th October             China                                                  National Day Golden Week
Wednesday                          3rd October                       Korea                                                 National Foundation Day
Tuesday                                9th October                      Korea                                                  Hangeul Proclamation Day
Wednesday                          17th October                    Hong Kong                                         Chung Yeung Festival
Wednesday                          17th October                     Hong Kong                                        Chung Yeung Festival