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Fracht Australia Logistics News - October 2023


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" Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston S Churchill


  • VIETNAM APPROVES $1.7BN PLAN FOR NEW INLAND CONTAINER DEPOTS. Anticipating more containerized cargo imports and exports, the Vietnamese government will invest up to $1.7bn to build more inland container depots (ICD) by 2030. The plan estimates that, by 2030, ICDs in Vietnam will handle 17.1m TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) annually, up from 11.9m TEU at present. This accounts for about 25% to 35% of export and import container shipping demand.
  • INDONESIA LIFTS BAN ON LIVE CATTLE EXPORTS FROM AUSTRALIA with immediate effect. Indonesia suspended shipments from four Australian establishments and placed restrictions on a further three after livestock allegedly arrived in the country with lumpy skin disease (LSD), however the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 9 September announced the trade would resume, after the department provided Indonesian authorities with negative test results in Australian cattle and buffalo.
  • MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY INTENDS TO MAKE HAMBURG THE “CENTRAL HUB” OF ITS GLOBAL NETWORK and is committed to raising its annual throughput at the German port to one million TEU. It is part of the deal that sees MSC enter a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the city of Hamburg to acquire a 49.9% holding stake in the port terminal, transport and logistics business of HHLA Group, majority-owed by the city. “The aim of the partnership is to further develop HHLA and the entire port of Hamburg, and make it a central hub for MSC’s globally connected network of container services”, the carrier said, and added that it also intended to relocate its German headquarters from Bremen to Hamburg. 



  • GUIDELINES FOR SAFELY TRANSPORTING EVs BY SEA PUBLISHED. Classification Society ClassNK and the International Union of Marine Insurance have released sets of guidelines to help increase the safety of maritime transportation of electric vehicles. Furthermore, List of Fire Safety Measures for the Maritime Transportation of Electric Vehicles details about 40 measures for early detection, suppression, prevention of fire spread and extinguishing.
  • HOEGH TAKES MEASURES TO REDUCE FIRE RISK. “Together with a clear decarbonisation target, safety is our top priority both on our existing fleet and when designing our new Aurora class vessels, ”Hoegh Autoliners COO Sebjorn Dahl said. Hoegh said it focuses on pre-emptive measures and emergency plans to help mitigate danger. “We aim to maintain high-voltage batteries in electronic and hybrid cars charged ideally below 30% and not above 50%, effectively mitigating the risk of fire incidents. This deliberate approach curtails energy density on the vessel’s deck, thereby reducing the potential severity of fires”. The company said it does not accept transportation of second-hand electric vehicles, “as they may represent higher risk”.
  • OPERATING AMMONIA-POWERED GAS CARRIERS could be commercially viable from 2026, according to the Global Maritime Forum, whose analysis has found that the cost gap between running ships on ammonia versus conventional fuel could close by 2030 – possibly as early as 2026.
  • ZIM HAS ENTERED A NEW OPERATIONAL CO-OPERATION AGREEMENT WITH MSC on several trade routes, including services that call Australian ports. The new agreement, which includes vessel sharing, slot purchases and swap agreements, aims to enhance operational efficiencies and elevate service levels. Services connecting East Asia with Oceania are included in the scope of co-operation, along with services connecting the Indian subcontinent with the East Mediterranean and the East Mediterranean with Northern Europe.
  • OCTOBER SAILINGS FROM ASIA TO EUROPE ARE BEING CUT TO BELOW-DEMAND LEVELS in a final attempt by carriers to push up rates before the start of the slack season. Multiple blank sailings have been announced by members of the three alliances for both North Europe and the Mediterranean around the Chinese Golden Week holiday in the first week of October and through to the end of the month. The latest customer advisory said the cancelled sailings were a “consequence of the forecasted reductions in demand”.
  • CARRIERS STRUGGLE AS THEY PULL CAPACITY TO BOOST FLOUNDERING SPOT RATES. Container spot indices are showing a sea of red ink, with short-term freight rates down on all the major trade lanes. Ocean carriers are being forced to cancel sailings with little or no notice from Asia, as demand weakens dramatically ahead of China’s Golden Week holiday in the first week of October.’
  • SLOW ADOPTION OF EB/Ls. While the adoption of electronic bills of lading (eB/Ls) has increased this year, there are still big wins for world trade and for the environment to be gained from a more proactive approach, according to the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA). Although electronic air waybills (eAWBs) have seen major uptake in air cargo – adoption over 80%, say some estimates – with some carriers like Lufthansa Cargo even introducing fees to discourage paper AWBs, the same is not true for shipping’s eB/Ls. This year has seen only around 3.2% adoption, up from 2.1% in 2022.
  • MITSUI OSK LINES’ SUBSIDIARY MOL CHEMICAL TANKERS ACQUIRED FAIRFIELD CHEMICAL CARRIERS from New York headquartered Fairfield-Maxwell for US$400 Million. Fairfield Chemical Carriers’ fleet consists of 36 chemical tankers. As such, the fleet would dovetail with MOL Chemical Tankers’ fleet of 85 chemical tankers.
  • MAERSK LAUNCHES ‘A NEW AGE’ with the first green methanol ship. Maersk claimed to have inaugurated a new age of shipping today after officially launching the world’s first methanol-powered container vessel. The 2,100 Laura Maersk was christened by EC president Ursula von der Leyen at a quay beside Maersk’s HQ in Copenhagen. The ice-class vessel will formally enter service next month, joining one of the carrier’s Baltic feeder services, with an expected port rotation of Bremerhaven – Kiel Canal – Helsingborg – Halmstad – Fredericia – Kalundborg-Kiel Canal-Bremerhaven. 



  • AIR FREIGHT PEAK SEASON BOUNCE AN ENCOURAGING SIGN AMID FLAT MARKETS. E-commerce activity is still strong, though markets worry about a slowdown in China as well as in the west. Air freight rates stayed in a fairly narrow range again in August, the traditionally quiet summer period. Despite the flat-to-weakish tone overall, some sources still foresee a rise in rates, given the significant product launches coming up, starting in September and hence some sort of peak season this year.
  • GLOBAL AIR CARGO DEMAND IN JULY THIS YEAR DROPPED SLIGHTLY compared with the same month in 2022, but it has improved in recent months, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said. IATA’s most recent monthly air cargo data indicated global demand (measure in cargo tonne-kilometres) tracked at 0.8% below July 2022 levels, while capacity was up 11.2% in July 2023 compared with the same month last year. 


  • PORT OF TOWNSVILLE COMPLETES MULTIMILLION LAYDOWN AREA. Port of Townsville has completed construction of a $3.6-million laydown area ahead of a record shipment of new motor vehicles. The port is expecting three ro-ro (roll on / roll off) vessels to call from September carrying more than 1,700 cars from manufacturers in Japan and Thailand. The number of vehicles arriving over two days is more than the port would typically see in a full month, the port said. The shipments would place Port of Townsville 18% ahead of its motor vehicle import figures for the same time last year.
  • PORT OF MELBOURNE HAS COMPLETED A $475 MILLION SUSTAINABLE LINKED LOAN, financed by a syndicate of 10 banks. The loan links to two sustainability indicators covering scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction, and a mental health first aid workplace certification together with an overarching gateway target tied to engagement with port stakeholders to facilitate scope 3 emissions reduction. Port of Melbourne chief executive officer Saul Cannon said the deal reflected the port’s goal of working with stakeholders to build a sustainable port for the benefit of the Victorian economy and liveability of Melbourne.
  • TOTAL ANNUAL TRADE AT THE PORT OF MACKAY DIPPED SLIGHTLY IN 2022 / 23, but the port experienced a surge in sugar and grain exports in that period. The multi-cargo port handled 3.51 million tonnes in the 2022 / 23 financial year, which was a 2% decrease from the 3.59 million tonnes handled in the previous year. Sugar, the port’s second-largest trade, was up 8.2% at 1.06 million tonnes on last financial year and grain, the third largest export was up 14.7% at 342,581.
  • CMA CGM PELLEAS BECAME THE LONGEST SHIP TO BERTH AT PORT BOTANY at 350 metres length overall, when it arrived at the DP World terminal on 14 September. The Maltese-flagged ship is 42.87 metres wide and has a nominal container capacity of 9,658 TEU and 700 reefer points, according to its operator CMA CGM. The vessel is on the A3 Central Express service, which calls Kaohsiung – Xiamen – Shanghai – Ningbo – Sydney – Melbourne – Brisbane before heading back to Kaohsiung to start the loop again.
  • A REGULAR CONTAINER SERVICE TO NEWCASTLE COMMENCED THIS MONTH. The service, operated by Neptune Pacific Direct Lines will call Newcastle monthly along with Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Suva, Lautoka, Apia, Pago Pago and Nuku’Alofa. Port of Newcastle executive manager business development Matthew Swan said the service formally kicked off with the arrival of NPDL container vessel Capitaine Dampier on Saturday 16 September. The vessel exchanged import and export containers. 


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