Welcome to this month’s edition of the Orbit Logistics Newsletter.

Dear Valued Partner

Supply chain costs and changes to sailing schedules continue to present challenges to all us.

The industrial disputes in NSW have played a significant part in the imposition of a SYDNEY CONGESTION LEVY applying to LCL and FCL arrivals from Mid September.

Currently three shipping lines have introduced this fee and we suspect that more will follow.

The broadcast we have sent to the month highlights not only the impact COVID-19 has had on available space by air or sea but the combination of weather and industrial matters adding significant costs to the Supply Chain.

I can personally assure you that Orbit Logistics is always looking at ways to reduce costs to our customers whilst ensuring minimal delays to your cargo arriving.

Rates ex China, South East & North East Asia continue to rise as we lead into Golden week and then the rush to Xmas.

The lack of airfreight space has meant a significant increase of e-commerce business utilising Seafreight as an alternative to higher costs via airfreight

In this months article we have included several recent broadcast updates around Sydney Congestion and the increasing levels of Ocean Freight.

Be assured the team is working at all levels of the Supply Chain and will continue to keep you informed during these challenging times.

Orbit Logistics is ready and able to assist with any concerns you may have.

Please review your daily WEBtrack report to capture any changes to your shipment arrivals as the Port rotations of incoming vessels is changing daily.

If you would like to discuss any matters please don’t hesitate to reach out personally via my mobile or email.

Thanks again for your great support, its appreciated by everyone at Orbit Logistics.


Glenn Allison

Managing Director


NOTICE – Port Congestion Surcharge – Sydney


Further to the announcement from MSC regarding the imposition of a PORT CONGESTION SURCHARGE in Sydney I can announce that ANL/CMA have followed with an increase. The increase from ANL/CMA will apply from September 17th arrivals into Australia (USA originating vessels will apply from vessels arriving October 10th 2020).

Our industry body(FTA/APSA) has made representation to the Shipping Lines, Australian Government and the ACCC, please read below; 

  • FTA / APSA have made initial contact with ANL CMA CGM this morning expressing disappointment in following the MSC lead (formal correspondence to follow) – like MSC, the introduction of the surcharge has been made without any industry engagement and with totally inadequate lead times; 
  • FTA / APSA have escalated the situation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate any breach of competition law;
  • FTA / APSA will seek a ‘fast-tracking’ of the Proposed Class Exemption for Ocean Liner Shipping – as outlined in the FTA / APSA submission, a need exists for the ACCC to oversee shipping competition reform recognising its track record of strong compliance enforcement (particularly noting last year’s criminal cartel prosecution against a major shipping line for price fixing in relation to an unregistered agreement, resulting in an order by the Federal Court to pay a fine of $34.5 million).

Any developments we will keep you informed, however like Port Infrastructure and associated increases we would not hold hope this “unjust” cost wont be applied. This cost imposition will flow down to LCL shipments at a rate of USD$13.50/M3/T. Its highly likely that other shipping lines will follow. The situation in NSW is becoming unworkable with FULL EMPTY CONTAINER parks compounded by constant changes to the port rotation upon entering Australian waters.

 The weather, industrial action and lack of inbound vessels has contributed significantly to this cost. The unfairness of this surcharge is it applies from vessel arrival and not vessel departure.

The only opportunity to minimise/avoid this cost was upon vessel loading and the choice of different shipping lines. Our invoice will reflect any additional costs due to the surcharge and the cost is double for a 40GP/HQ i.e. USD$300/TEU equals USD$600/40GP(HQ)

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly either via phone or email. We will inform you immediately If other shipping lines follow ANL/CMA and MSC.

The surcharge will continue until the shipping lines remove it as a cost.


Shipping Delays / Disruptions / Rate Increases – IMPORTANT Information

Recently you would have seen a number of updates and alerts regarding Shipping Delay, Disruption and Rate increases.

The schedules are changing hourly throughout the many Ports of Loading and Ports of Discharge.


 In many instances vessels are changing rotation within Australia as the shipping lines attempt to get scheduling back on track.

The impact is then felt around the globe as delays are then experienced at the return load ports.

Shipping lines are making decisions(without notice) to omit ports or delay loading as they wait for the vessel to arrive in port. In China some ports are 7 – 9 days behind original schedule as a result of ongoing delays.

WHY? – The combination of safety concerns into Australia Ports, reduced vessels/consortium’s, smaller vessel capacity, vessel port omissions to try to maintain schedule on the balance of a round trip voyage, vessel bunching based on missed berthing windows, industrial action at some Australian Ports, lack of space at the container parks to redeliver empties which is also effecting Equipment availability for Export and recent weather issues in China/NSW has created this situation and resultant strain on the supply chain.

Its important during this time you review your daily WEBTRACK report for any changes to the ETD/ETA, including the UPDATE LOG TAB that shows the “BEFORE” and “AFTER”. Any changes to the ETA you can inform your sales, end customer and/or manufacturing team with reasons as outlined in the above paragraph

Our team is working to ensure minimal impact on your supply chain and keeping you informed of these changes, however the report should be monitored.

I do suggest that you look at your lead times until the situation improves and let our team know of any orders that have a “MUST BE IN STORE DATE”. These orders we can look to inform you prior to shipping of any likely impact that sailing schedule may have on your normal expectations.

Its important that you talk to your suppliers to book cargo at their earliest time so we can plan around cargo availability dates. However the supplier must ensure they have the cargo ready as planned, as any cancellations could impact on future bookings with a shipping line. They must keep us informed of delays so we can then inform the shipping line and ensure we don’t have any “NO SHOW” cargo situations.

The aim of bookings in this current environment ex China/Asia should be 3 weeks in advance of cargo being ready. This then will give our team the opportunity to plan around the volatile shipping sailing schedule. Please be assured Orbit Logistics is monitoring the situation and working on solutions to minimise any delays to the supply chain as we work through the impact of this Global pandemic.


Unfortunately the rates are continuing to increase due to a lack of capacity, increase in e-commerce shipping from air to sea, PPE requirements in Australia and lack of container equipment(40HC) in some China Load ports.

This has been compounded with no YOYO/Panda service this year as Maersk and Hamburg-SUD bought slots on the A3S service instead of putting it back on.

Rather than bring a whole service back this year , they are buying slots(600TEU) off of COSCO on the A3S Service.

The shipping lines have taken this approach to keep upwards pressure on rates by providing an incentive(cheap rates) to Maersk and Hamburg-SUD so they don’t enter the market this year. This increased volume would have resulted in reduced rates because of the reintroduction of the YOYO/Panda services.

The Oceanfreight rate’s will have further rises in the upcoming fortnights/months for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 ex China/South & North East Asia. Unfortunately the shipping lines will ONLY provide rates on a fortnightly basis as they monitor the market trends i.e. as bookings rise/fall they will adjust accordingly. The shipping lines are playing the market and increasing their bottom line results through these actions.

Due to equipment shortage(40HC) in Ningbo and other areas the lines are adding an additional cost freight rate. We have separated the 40GP from the 40HC where there is a difference in rates. Some time ago the 40HC always had a surcharge but market forces enabled us to negotiate the rate the same as the 40GP. The reason for the shortage is the increased volume ex China into the USA.

It would appear that many importers are shipping earlier in the advert that Trump stays in power and has a harder stance on Chinese Tariffs, and like Australia the increase in e-commerce shipping from air to sea and PPE requirements in the USA market.. FYI – The 40HC rate to USA is USD$4000/Container ex China.

Yesterday MSC announced a container congestion surcharge for shipments into and out of Sydney. This is a cost of USD$300/20 and USD$600/40GP(HC) for vessels arriving September 14th and applies to shipments on an ex-works, FOB , CIF , CFR etc basis. We are monitoring the situation to see if any other shipping lines look to add a similar cost and will keep you informed.

Our team will monitor the situation to ensure we minimise any impact of increased rates to your business. Please be assured we are negotiating the rates everyday for the benefit of you and your customers. BUT to get a container on a vessel the negotiation power is not with any of us. Its about negotiating the best cost effective rate to move your container/shipment.


  • Please monitor our daily report for changes to ETD / ETA
  • Let your end customer know of current delays
  • Try to review your pricing to your end customer and detail the reasons for the increase


  • Keep you informed
  • Monitor the changes to ETD/ETA
  • Move your shipments at lowest possible price
  • When the market changes ensure that your pricing moves accordingly
  • Treat your spend as if its Orbit spend
  • Provide assistance and help

I personally can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support and I felt it was important that I provide you with details around the challenges we all face. Please be assured we are ready to assist and the team is capable to minimise any delays and keep your costs to a minimum. Attached for your reference is a small sample of the daily notifications we are receiving.


UPDATE – Victorian State of Disaster – Roadmap update Supporting Victorian Businesses On Our Road to COVID Normal

As members would be aware, the Victorian Premier last week (Sunday, 6 September 2020) announced an update to the COVID-19 Stage 4 restrictions and a ‘roadmap to reopening via safe, steady and sustainable steps’.

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association have since received the latest Victorian Freight and Logistics Industry Update dated September 11 2020 which provides further information about the announcement.

Yesterday (Sunday, 13 September 2020) a further announcement was made by the Victorian Premier in relation to industry support.

This component of the package may be of added interest to exporting members  “Exports are vital to Victoria’s economy – contributing 12 per cent to Victoria’s GSP and 330,000 Victorian jobs. That’s why we’re launching a $15.7 million export recovery package to address logistics and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, and establish new export channels. Businesses will be connected to international markets through virtual trade missions as well as assistance to adapt their export strategies to respond to the rapidly changing global market.”

For further information:


Khapra Beetle Pest Bulletin


Urgent Actions for Khapra Beetle


Who does this notice affect?

Travellers, online shoppers, recipients of international mail and other stakeholders including importers of plant products, freight forwarders, customs brokers and high-volume specialist operators specialising in moving personal effects.

What has changed?

Within the next two months the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) will implement urgent actions to address the risk of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) on high-risk plant products that are hosts of this pest.

The urgent actions will be applied to the following plant products (in various raw and physically processed forms for any end use), which have been identified as high-risk:

The urgent actions will be applied to the following plant products (in various raw and physically processed forms for any end use), which have been identified as high-risk:

  • Rice (Oryza sativa)
  • Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)
  • Cucurbit seed (Cucurbita spp; Cucumis spp. and Citrullus spp.)
  • Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum)
  • Safflower seed (Carthamus tinctorius)
  • Bean seed (Phaseolus spp.)
  • Soybean (Glycine max)
  • Mung beans, cowpeas (Vigna spp.)
  • Lentils (Lens culinaris)
  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
  • Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Celery seed (Apium graveolens)
  • Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea)
  • Dried chillies/capsicum (Capsicum spp.)
  • Faba bean (Vicia faba)
  • Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan)
  • Pea seed (Pisum sativum)
  • Fennel seed (Foeniculum spp.).

The following exclusions apply: goods that are thermally processed that are commercially manufactured and packaged such as retorted, blanched, roasted, fried, boiled, puffed, malted or pasteurised goods, and commercially manufactured frozen food and frozen plant products or oils derived from vegetables or seed.

The urgent actions for high-risk plant products will be implemented through several measures and include (but are not limited to):

  1. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia from all countries as unaccompanied personal effects (UPEs) and within low value air and sea freight (lodged through self-assessed clearance (SAC)), but excluding goods imported as commercial trade samples and for research purposes.
  2. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia from all countries in accompanied baggage and in mail.
  3. Extending phytosanitary certification verifying freedom from Trogoderma species to all high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from all countries – this will require government officials of the exporting country to certify that consignments are free from all Trogoderma species, including T. granarium (khapra beetle).
  4. Introducing mandatory offshore treatment of high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from countries determined to pose an unacceptable khapra beetle risk (these measures will not apply for seeds for planting).

When will the changes commence?

The measures will be implemented in several phases. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia as unaccompanied personal effects and within low value air and sea freight lodged through SAC (Phase 1) (excluding goods imported as commercial trade samples and for research purposes) is expected to be implemented in August 2020. Additional IAN alerts will be published to notify stakeholders of the specific details of the actions and implementation dates for each phase.

The department will vary any existing permits, where required. Affected import permit holders will be contacted by the department to discuss this prior to the variation.

Will anything else change?

Additional actions for lower risk plant products (e.g. other seeds and flours not listed as high risk, dried fruits and vegetables) are also being considered and may include extending phytosanitary certification to include verification of freedom from khapra beetle. Additional actions to manage the hitchhiking risk of khapra beetle in containers are being considered for the longer term, which may include treatments of containers prior to loading of goods, and treatment of empty containers. Further consultation on the proposed container changes will occur with impacted industries prior to any change.

Why are these changes being implemented?

These urgent actions are considered necessary because:

  • The global spread of khapra beetle is increasing and it is being detected on a wide range of plant products and as a hitchhiker pest on containers, from places where khapra is not known to occur.
  • Khapra beetle is a significant threat to Australian plant industries, including the grain export industry. Khapra beetle destroys grain quality making it unfit for human or animal consumption. Stored products also become contaminated with beetles, cast skins and hairs from larvae, which can be a human health risk.
  • If khapra beetle enters Australia it would have significant economic consequences. An outbreak could cost Australia $15.5 billion over 20 years through revenue losses arising from reduction in production and exports.

Australia currently has biosecurity requirements for many plant products that could be infested with khapra beetle. However, the department believes that the biosecurity requirements need to be expanded and strengthened to prevent a khapra beetle incursion.

Further information

  • Further details on these urgent actions will be published via the department’s Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) alert page and the department’s IAN webpage before they are implemented.
  • The department will also notify existing import permit holders that are affected by the changes, where required.
  • Trading partners have been notified of the urgent actions by the department through official channels.
  • The department will liaise with key stakeholders on the proposed actions.

Please contact our team if you need any assistance.

Amendment of Profile for Tariff 0904:  Pepper of the genus Piper – crushed or ground or whole and Dried or crushed or ground fruits of the genus Capsicum or Pimenta

Due to an increased risk associated with stored product pests including khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium); the community protection profile for goods in tariff 0904, will be amended. 

Tariff 0904.1 will have associated community protection (CP) profile questions updated to clearly define the level of processing required for release on documentation. The associated BICON case will also detail an Information note for Brokers or Importers to assist in determining what the Department defines as ‘appropriate documentation’, which is referred to in an existing CP question.

Tariff 0904.2 will be amended so that 100% of consignments are referred to the department for assessment. Options for reduced intervention under the Compliance Based Intervention Scheme (CBIS) will still apply.

These changes will come into effect 31 August 2020.

Restrictions on the exportation of goods during COVID-19 human biosecurity period – extended

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) members will be aware that during the COVID-19 pandemic the Australian Border Force (ABF) has put in place prohibitions on the export of certain ppe goods.

The prohibition period was to apply during the time that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020 was in force and included any period where it was extended.
The above referenced declaration was due to expire on 17 September 2020 however the ABF has advised FTA in correspondence today that the Health Minister has extended the declaration period to 17 December 2020.

Parties wishing to seek exemption from the restrictions, and where they meet the exemptions listed, can apply via email to

Update:  Goods Manufactured in Hong Kong


Further to our notification on August 19, 2020 regarding the marking of goods made in Hong Kong, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced an extension of an additional 45 days, through November 9, 2020.  Goods manufactured in Hong Kong that are entered into the U.S. on or after November 9th will need to be physically marked as originating in Chin

JOC Global Port Rankings:  Asian ports grew faster in 2019

Continued growth in global trade volumes in 2019 pushed the total container throughput of the 50 busiest cargo ports in the world up 3.5 percent year over year to more than half a billion TEU, according to the JOC Top 50 Global Container Ports 2019 rankings.

On a regional level, ports in Asia — including the Middle East and Indian subcontinent — continued to increase their already dominant share of the global market, accounting for nearly 79.3 percent of the combined 517 million TEU handled by the top 50 container ports last year, up from just shy of 78 percent in 2018. By comparison, European and North American ports represented 12.7 percent and 6.4 percent of the total, respectively.

The Port of Shanghai maintained its top spot on the list, reporting a 3.1 percent increase in container volume to 43.3 million TEU, more than four times the 9.7 million TEU handled by the busiest North American port, Los Angeles.

Thanks to an acceleration in sourcing shifts toward Southeast Asia and away from China spurred in part by the US-China trade war, Vietnam’s Port of Ho Chi Minh City reported the highest growth rate of any port in the top 50 by a wide margin, increasing throughput 72.5 percent to 10.9 million TEU for the year and surging 13 spots to move into 15th place in the process. Volume growth at the Mediterranean hub port of Tangier, Morocco, also vastly outpaced the market, albeit from a slightly smaller base, with container throughput rising 38.4 percent to 4.8 million TEU.

The Port of Rotterdam, the largest non-Asian container gateway, was able to crack the top 10 thanks in part to a 2.1 percent increase in container throughput to 14.8 million TEU.

Only 12 of the top 50 ports showed negative growth from 2017. The flagging Port of Hong Kong, which held the distinction of the world’s busiest container port until it was dethroned by Singapore in 2004, continued to slide down the list, dropping one spot to No. 8 as its throughput dipped 6.3 percent to 18.4 million TEU. The largest declines, however, took place at Yingkou, China, which saw throughput drop 15.8 percent to just under 5.5 million TEU, and Tanjung Priok, Indonesia, down 12.7 percent to 6.8 million TEU.’s annual Top 50 Global Container Ports ranking is assembled using throughput data from port authorities, IHS Markit, and maritime industry analyst Alphaliner. IHS Markit is the parent company of The figures are expressed in millions of TEU, the most common measurement of containerized ocean shipping. One standard 40-foot ocean container equals two TEU. Non-containerized cargoes — i.e. dry bulk, liquid bulk, roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro), and oversized/heavy-lift project freight — are not included. 

Full Ships see Carriers Push Up Freight Rates

HIGH slot utilisation on virtually all inbound Australian container trades has encouraged carriers to apply a raft of freight rate increases. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd is the latest line to advise of imminent increases, applying to imports from the Middle East & Indian Sub-Continent, South East Asia, and North & East Asia and from 1 October.

For the ME & ISC, which HLL defines as United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen; and Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, there will be increases of US$150/20’ and $300/40’ for all equipment types.

For SEA cargoes, which HLL classifies as those from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, rates will rise by the same amounts for all equipment types. From the N&EA scope – Korea, China, China/Hong Kong, China/Macau and China/Taiwan – the increase will be double, at US$300/20’ and $600/40’.

HLL has also announced revised terminal handling charges for Australia and New Zealand. The latest rises are amongst a spate of notifications from carriers. From North Europe (excluding France) CMA CGM is applying a peak season surcharge (PSS) on dry cargo to Australia (US$200/20’, $400/40’) and NZ (US100/20’, $200/40’), from this Saturday (5 September). From 15 September Hapag-Lloyd is upping rates ex North Europe and the Mediterranean by up to US$300/20’ and $600/40’ for dry, reefer and specialised containers.

Qantas Records Thumping Loss  

QANTAS has recorded a $1.96bn loss, with COVID-19 hitting its full-year revenue by 21%. Qantas said the result was reduced by a $1.4bn write-down in the value of assets, such as its Airbus A380 aircraft fleet, and $642 million in one-off costs associated with its pandemic restructuring program, such as staff redundancy payments.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said just the first few months of the pandemic, to June 30, caused a $4bn slump in revenue and a $3 billion-plus turnaround in the airline’s fortunes. “We were on track for another profit above $1 billion when this crisis struck,” he told the media.

Mr Joyce said the continued halt to international travel alone guaranteed another big loss in the current financial year. “International [flights] typically would generate $8 billion of revenue,” he said.

Solid Waste – China

From September 1st 2020, the Government of the People’s Republic of China will enforce the recently published legislation on “the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution & Solid Waste”.

In order to comply with the new regulations, shipping lines will cease to accept any new shipments of Solid Waste Cargo to the People’s Republic of China & therefore will reject new bookings of all types of solid waste cargoes bound for China (such as but not limited to waste paper, waste plastics, waste metals, waste chemicals) effect immediately.

We thank you for your ongoing support and co-operation as any violation of the legislation will lead to Customs Fines & Customs Order to return offending shipments to their origin port will all associated costs to the clients account.

First dumping, now Australian wine exporters face a countervailing duty investigation by the Chinese Government


Following on from the recently announced Chinese dumping duty investigation into Australian wine, the Chinese Government on 31 August hit the industry with a countervailing duty investigation.  Below we briefly set out the claims that will be investigated by the Chinese government, the difference between a dumping and countervailing investigation and what further actions needs to be take by Australian wine exporters.

What is a countervailing investigation?

Countervailing investigations are aimed at removing the effect of subsidies provided by the target country that hurt producers in a foreign country.  Under WTO rules, a Government can impose countervailing duties against imports from another country to offset the effect of government subsidies provided to producers in that country.  Subsidies take many forms such as grants, tax relief, Government supplying inputs to production a low price and expense rebates.
Not all benefits give rise to countervailing duties.  The subsidies must be tied specifically to exports or provided to specific businesses or businesses in a specific industry or region.

How does a countervailing investigation differ from a dumping investigation?

The main difference between dumping and countervailing investigations is activity that duties are aimed to address. In dumping investigations the activity is the selling of goods to an export market at a price less than its “normal” value.  In a countervailing investigation, the activity is the providing of benefits by Government to producers in the target country.

However, there are similarities.  In each investigation there will be an investigation into whether the domestic industry has suffered loss and whether imports from the target country caused that loss.  There is also an overlap in that the same activity that gives rise to a claim of subsidisation may also lead to finding of a particular market situation in the target country.  Such a finding impacts on how the dumping margin is calculated – normally resulting in high dumping margins.
Importantly, the same activity cannot be used to impose dumping and countervailing duties.  This does not mean that both duties will not be imposed, just that one will be decreased to avoid double counting.

What has been alleged against Australian wine exporters?

The Chinese Government will investigate a claim that the Australian federal and state Governments have provided 40 different types of subsidies to the Australian wine industry.  A key example of a benefit is the wine equalisation tax system and WET producer rebate.  The amount of this rebate is currently $350,000 per manufacturer.  Since its inception, the WET producer rebate has always placed Australian at risk of a countervailing investigation.
Another example is the Export and Regional Wine Support Package.  Parts of this package include wine export grants which have the specific aim of increasing wine exports to China.

A third example is the export markets development grant.  Under this grant, 50% of the costs of export related marketing expenses can be offset by Government payments.  Being export specific, these payments are likely to be closely reviewed by the Chinese government.

Any program available only to certain sectors, such as wine producers, or certain regions, will also be closely reviewed.

It is alleged that the subsidised goods are causing harm to Chinese manufactures of wine.  These claims are very similar to those made in the dumping investigation.  Again, we urge Australian exporters to make submissions as to the non-price reasons why Australian wine is succeeding in China and the factors other than Australian wine that are causing Chinese wine manufacturers to suffer loss.

A specific countervailing rate has not been alleged.  Much will depend on which companies are investigated.  The benefits offered by the Australian government may be significant for a small business.  However, for Australia’s largest exporters the benefits may be immaterial.

What should Australian wine exporters do?

As with the dumping investigation, the initial key step is to register with the Chinese government.   Failure to do so will result in the exporter being treated as an uncooperative exporter and may be subject to the highest possible duty rate.  If you have already registered for the dumping investigation you will need to register again for the countervailing investigation.

Following registration, the Chinese government will select certain exporters to review in detail.  Those exporters will need to complete a detailed questionnaire regarding their costs of manufacturer and the value of any benefits received from State and Federal Governments.



The Future of Australia Post’s Service Delivery

s the secretariat to the E-Commerce Reference Group (ECRG), comprising major marketplaces Alibaba, e-Bay and Amazon, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) made a formal submission to the Senate Inquiry The Future of Australia Post’s Service Delivery – refer HERE.

The ECRG acknowledged that the future of Australia Post’s service delivery is critical in terms of impacts on its workforce, businesses customers and support to the Australian community and sees merit in the Federal Government change made in April 2020 (to be reviewed in June 2021) allowing Australia Post to focus on parcel deliveries.

In a time of extreme need, this approach is seen as a pragmatic solution and an appropriate policy outcome. The need for an extended arrangement is highlighted by the COVID-19 Stage 4 Restrictions currently being experienced in Victoria and must be maintained.

In the event of future shutdowns, an efficient parcel delivery service will be crucial to maintaining retail business, delivery of essential goods, and to the extent possible, a normal way of life.

Committee’s Response

The Environment and Communications Legislation Committee put forward their position (with a dissenting report by Labor senators and the Australian Greens) outlining three recommendations relating to 1) training – accountability and privilege of Australia Post (and extended to other Australian Government entities); 2) support for the MoU between Australia Post and union; and 3) extension on public consultation for the future of Australia posts service delivery.

In reaching its findings, the committee noted:

2.107: Online retail platform, eBay Australia & New Zealand, submitted that recent border closures and lockdowns resulting from the ‘second wave’ of infections in Victoria provide ‘further evidence of the critical need for’ the regulations: The shift to online demands our postal service be able to operate flexibly and respond to the rapid changes brought about by COVID 19 by re-focusing on parcel services. Both business and consumer expectations on delivery of goods is clear. Delivery needs to be fast, affordable, safe and trackable from point-to-point.
3.57: Alongside large retailers, and the National Retail Association, freight and transport organisations highlighted Australia Post’s role as a key pillar in Australian e-commerce during COVID and beyond. The Freight & Trade Alliance’s E-Commerce Reference Group proposed that, going forward, Australia Post could play a role in educating small and medium businesses ‘to understand freight and logistics when exporting in addition to the services and education provided by marketplaces and industry’.

Auckland Shipping Channel Deepening Gets The Green Light


PORTS of Auckland has been granted consent to deepen Auckland’s shipping channel. The consent allows the channel to be deepened from 12.5 metres to between 14 metres and 14.2 metres. According to POAL, the project safeguards Auckland’s “vital international supply line” by allowing bigger box ships to enter Auckland’s port, such as 366metre new Panamax vessels with a top draft of 15.2 metres. Tidal windows are to be used to make best use of the natural water depth and minimise dredging.

Ports of Auckland’s chief executive Tony Gibson said the COVID-19 lockdown highlighted the essential role Auckland’s port plays in the economy.

“A deeper channel will ensure Auckland’s port can continue that essential role for decades,” Mr Gibson said. “By allowing larger ships to reach the port, it will also reduce carbon emissions and the cost of transporting Auckland’s freight.”

According to POAL, the consent process was unusual because Ports of Auckland asked for the application to be publicly notified even though it was not required, so people could have their say. More than 200 submissions were received with the main concern raised being the disposal of dredged material.

“Ports of Auckland acknowledges that this is a genuine concern and is committed to working with key submitters to look for ways to reduce or even eliminate the need for sea disposal,” Mr Gibson said. A debate is occurring within New Zealand about the future of the Port of Auckland, with a report issued last year making the case for Northport at Marsden Point


Adelaide’s July Container Trade Hits 2020 High

CONTAINER throughput at the Port of Adelaide experienced a significant bump in July, according to the latest trade statistics available from Flinders Ports. The port’s throughput of full containers for July 2020 came to 30,452 TEU, up from June’s figures of 26,510 TEU. Throughput was also up on July 2019 by 19%, or 4933 TEU.

Imports for July rose by 43% (to 15,477 TEU), whereas exports dipped by 4% (to 14,975 TEU). Looking at the empties trade last month, 6574 TEU of empty containers crossed the Adelaide wharf, of which 5064 TEU was imported, and 1510 TEU was exported. Looking at export containers, Malaysia was the destination for most empties, accounting for 51% of all exported empties (768 TEU). Singapore was a distant second (260 TEU), followed by New Zealand (167 TEU).

Of all the port’s imported empties, four out of every five (80%) came from Australian ports (4068 TEU). Turning to break-bulk, Flinders Ports reported 1601 cars imported into Adelaide over the month, a decrease of 880 units on June. The total break-bulk tonnage (including cars, general cargo, scrap metal, iron and steel) came to 23,866 tonnes, an increase of 17067 tonnes from June. A major part of this increase was the exporting of almost 16,500 tonnes of scrap metal.

Turning to bulk commodities, the largest imports were limestone (178,415 tonnes), closely followed by petroleum and gas (174,534), and fertilisers (60,922 tonnes). Iron ore was the leading exported bulk commodity (146,329 tonnes). Following were cement/clinker (98,782 tonnes) and grain (72,856 tonnes).

There were 29 cellular container vessel calls over the month at Adelaide, up three from June and the highest number of vessels calls to date for 2020.


More Freight on Trains in Melbourne’s Southeast  

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments are making rail freight cheaper for businesses and taking trucks off suburban roads, thanks to a $28 million investment in direct rail freight between the Port of Melbourne and Dandenong South.

A new track connecting the main rail line with Dandenong South-based Salta Properties freight hub will bust congestion in Melbourne’s growing south east region. The upgrade will connect to the Port of Melbourne’s $125 million on-dock rail project, allowing shuttles to run from Dandenong South directly into the port.

The Australian Government has invested $18.3 million in the project, and the Victorian Government is investing $9.7 million. The work is being delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project as part of the $1 billion Cranbourne Line Upgrade. The new connection is the next step in delivering the Port Rail Shuttle Network, which will remove congestion around the Port of Melbourne, cut transport costs for freight by as much as 10 per cent and reduce truck trips on the suburban Melbourne roads by up to 100,000 annually.

The improved rail connection will further unlock private sector co-investment, with Salta Properties to construct the freight terminal and build on the strengths of south east Melbourne as a freight and logistics hub. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new freight rail link will help Melbournians get home sooner and safer while supporting hundreds of jobs when and where they are needed most.

“We are backing this vital freight rail connection to support Melbournians through the pandemic and unlock private sector investment and economic growth into the long-term,” Mr McCormack said. “The new spur line will connect the intermodal freight terminal at Dandenong South to the Cranbourne Line. As part of the Port Rail Shuttle Network it will help cut the number of trucks on inner Melbourne roads by up to 100,000 each year and support hundreds of jobs during construction and as part of the terminals ongoing operations.”

“The focus of our government is getting people in jobs and our industries open and ready for business as we continue to deliver our record 10 year, $100 billion land transport infrastructure pipeline to lay the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of COVID-19.”

Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said the Port Rail Shuttle Network will help modernise Melbourne’s existing transport networks.  “This is a massive win for both motorists and industry, as we continue to reduce congestion and make it easier and cheaper for businesses to use rail freight,” Ms Horne said. “We’re making rail freight a more attractive option for businesses, and this investment means containers can be transported by rail the entire way from the Port of Melbourne to Dandenong South.”

“It will reduce congestion at the port gate and cut the high cost of the last mile that so often disadvantages containers moved by rail.”

The project is part of the Victorian Government’s work to continue supporting the Port of Melbourne, which contributes $6 billion to the Victorian economy each year and is a crucial part of the State’s supply chain.

State Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams said the new rail connection would be welcomed by the local community.

“Construction and ongoing operation of the new terminal will create hundreds of jobs that are needed in the South East,” Ms Williams said.  “It will build on the strengths of Dandenong South as one of the largest manufacturing and employment hubs in Victoria.”

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Melbourne Container Trade Takes a Dip

AFTER achieving its highest throughput levels in seven months during June, the Port of Melbourne’s container throughput suffered a drop in the month of July due to full overseas imports and exports being down almost 18,000 TEU on June’s figures.

According to the latest available trade statistics from the port, total container throughput was 241,595 TEU in July 2020. This was a decrease of 6% on the June’s throughput (257,186 TEU), but was an increase of 2% on the same month last year with the port handling a total of 236,614 TEU in July 2019.

Taking a closer look at container trade last month, Melbourne’s full overseas imports came to 104,217 TEU, and full overseas exports were 56,482 TEU.

Total trade in empty containers in June was reported to be 54,271 TEU.

The Bass Strait trade totalled 20,729 TEU of full containers during July, 8762 TEU of which originated from the Apple Isle, and 11,967 TEU making its way south across the Strait.

Mainland coastal trade totalled 5896 TEU of full containers; 545 TEU were imports and 5351 TEU were exports.

Taking a look at the port’s top commodities, Port of Melbourne reports the top containerised commodity to cross the wharves was miscellaneous manufactures. This was followed by electrical equipment, furniture and timber.

Over the month, the port handled 18,089 motor vehicles (302,804 revenue tonnes). This was an increase of 2699 units on June but down 15,830 units on July 2019.

Trade volumes for the remainder of the port’s non containerised trade in revenue tonnes were:

  • Break bulk – 85,335
  • Liquid bulk – 469,947
  • Dry bulk – 344,393
  • Other – 239,746

Patrick Agrees to Another Half Century at East Swanson

PATRICK Terminals has extended its lease at East Swanson Dock, securing its position at Port of Melbourne until 2066. The announcement came in a statement from Qube Holdings which owns 50% of Patrick.

According to the statement, the arrangements secure Patrick’s long-term strategic footprint at East Swanson Dock and an adjoining Coode Road logistics site. The Coode Road logistics site is to be developed to deliver rail capacity and to interface with Patrick’s container terminal.

No financial details of the arrangement were released in the statement. Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said the lease agreement was significant. “Certainty of tenure and targeted investment will be really important to ensure that Patrick East Swanson Dock provides the necessary landside and quayside productivity required into the future,” Mr Chambers said. “CTAA looks forward to continuing our dialogue with Patrick to assist with that success.”

Patrick has entered into a development deed with Port of Melbourne to co-fund and build the rail terminal with Patrick’s share of the cost is expected to be bankrolled from its operating cash flow and available, undrawn debt facilities.

The development is expected to support Patrick’s landside efficiency focus and is expected to facilitate the development of metro-based rail shuttle services over the medium term. Port of Melbourne chief executive Brendan Bourke said the Port Rail Transformation Project would have long term benefits.

“The PRTP is a key project of our Port Development Strategy and Our Plan for Rail and is vital to successfully accommodating future growth at the port,” Mr Bourke said. “This new on dock rail terminal supports the introduction of the governments Port Rail Shuttle Network, which will reduce truck trips on the Melbourne road network,” he said.

“We stand ready to accommodate increased freight from the regions now, and future port rail shuttles from metropolitan intermodal terminals.”


“Crisis Point” For Empty Container Management in Sydney

EMPTY container management in Sydney has reached “crisis point”, Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers says. Mr Chambers said many empty container parks were at capacity and several closed their doors on Tuesday of this week to import de-hires of certain equipment types due to safety concerns. He noted other factors including weather, berth and container terminal congestion and stevedore industrial disputes.

“The shipping lines want and need to reposition empty containers out of Port Botany. There is a reported shortage of empty containers in Asia to fill export needs,” Mr Chambers said. “However, the shipping lines haven’t been able to evacuate the number of empties necessary to alleviate the severe congestion.”

Mr Chambers said the flow-on impact in the logistics chain was huge, with import empties unable to be de-hired, empties being staged through transport yards and held until they could be dealt with, and a massive increase in the redirection notices for empty containers.

“Shipping lines need to schedule larger empty stack-runs out of empty container parks to alleviate the congestion as a matter of urgency,” he said. “We understand that there will be some vessel calls dedicated to empty container evacuations out of Port Botany over the coming weeks … these can’t come soon enough.”

Mr Chambers said the delays and congestion brought into question the container detention policies of major shipping lines.

“Importers should be talking to their shipping lines about container detention relief,” he said. “If you can’t de-hire the container in a timely manner because empty parks are at capacity, how can shipping lines morally charge high container detention fees for late de-hire?”

Congestion at Sydney ECPs – What NSW is proposing as a fix / solution

A REDUCTION in the number of full export and empty export containers repositioned by shipping lines has been cited as a reason for congestion at Sydney empty container parks of late.
In a statement, Container Transport Alliance Australia said several factors contributed, including weather, berth congestion due to vessel bunching, vessel rotation changes with some vessels bypassing Sydney, congested stevedore direct return of empties pools and stevedore industrial disputes.

“The lack of ECP capacity has led to a marked increase in empty container redirections ordered by shipping lines,” CTAA reported. CTAA reported that overall ECP capacity constraints weren’t being experienced in the other major capital city ports to the same extent as Sydney.

“However, where congestion and delays can and do occur, in Melbourne and Brisbane particularly, is when shipping lines insist that empty import containers must be de-hired to only one facility, without providing any viable alternative to importers and their transport providers,” it stated.

A spokesperson for NSW Ports said efforts were underway to overcome any difficulties.

“We are aware that NSW is currently experiencing empty container storage constraints,” the spokesperson said. “We are working with the container stevedores and are also collaborating with industry to bring online new capacity to increase empty container storage supply in NSW.”

The spokesperson said this included creation of an additional 4500 TEU at ACFS in Port Botany which commenced operations on 17 August, and the opening of a new empty container park on Simblist Road, operated by Tyne Container Services, in June which delivered an additional 5,000 TEU empty container capacity.

Botany’s container growth comes to an end

PORT Botany saw a quieter month in July with container throughput down from the previous month as well as the same period last year. Total container trade through Port Botany over July came to 205,099 TEU – a decrease of 6% on June (217,308 TEU), and down 1% on July 2019’s total container throughput (207,665 TEU).

The month’s volumes of full imports were up 6% on the previous year to 111,650 TEU and, according to NSW Ports, the largest increases by TEU were experienced by machinery (up 3070 TEU), chemicals (up 2503 TEU) and plastic and rubber (up 1250 TEU).

Export full volumes, however, were down on last year’s figures, dropping 13% to 36,093 TEU. Commodities with the largest decreases by TEU were iron, steel, aluminium and other metals (down 1560 TEU), miscellaneous manufactured articles (down 1202 TEU), and vegetable products (down 788 TEU).

A total of 56,800 TEU empties left the port in June. This was down on June by 6150 TEU and 2816 TEU less than July 2019. Empty imports came to a total of 556 TEU.

There were 81 container vessel visits during the month of July (17 less than July 2019), with those being in the 5001-6000 TEU and 4001-5000 TEU and ranges accounting for almost half of all vessels calling at the port (17 visits and 20 visits, respectively).

At 418,941 revenue tonnes, July’s non-containerised trade through Port Botany was down 19% on the previous month, but up 5% on July 2019. Bulk gas was the largest export, with 8315 revenue tonnes leaving the port in June 2020. Bulk liquid was the largest import, with its 397,227 revenue tonnes making up 98% of the port’s total non-containerised import trade.

Holiday for Hong Kong & China Office In October – Preparation

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 Mid-Autumn Festival 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 holiday periods.

Should any clients have questions regarding the above documentation issues, or any other issues associated with the Holiday period, please contact our office at



Worldwide Public Holidays in September 2020