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Fracht Australia News - August 2019


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“Challenges is what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

                                   Joshua J Marine 


  • BANGLADESH: In accordance with World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) Bangladesh has implemented electronic Pre-Arrival Processing from 1 July 2019. Shipping Lines must submit the complete Electronic Cargo Manifest before the vessel sailing from the last port of call.
  • GERMANY: After 11 years of legal hurdles the Elbe channel deepening project in the port of Hamburg finally got under way on 23 July. The two year project involves dredging the lower and outer section of the river to a tide-independent depth of 13.5 metres which will allow large container vessels calling Hamburg to exchange an extra 1,800 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) per visit. This comes as a welcome boost to the port which has lost considerable market share to Rotterdam and Antwerp because of the draught restrictions. Some of today’s largest ULCVs (ultra large container vessels) have a maximum draught of up to 16 metres.
  • ITALY: In addition to the usual summer holiday traffic restrictions for trucks the Autostrada SpA commenced maintenance works along a number of important North West Italian routes involving the ports of Genoa, Savona, La Spezia and Livorno. This can result in delays and additional costs for permits especially for heavy loads.
  • JAPAN: The general consumption tax (Shouhizei) will be increased from 8% to 10% on 1 October 2019. The reduced tax rate for food and drink for human consumption (excluding alcohol) will be 8%.
  • USA: Congratulations to Fracht USA! The company was nominated as a finalist in the Airfreight Solution of the Year category at the Heavy Lift Awards 2019. The nomination follows the successful completion of a very challenging double Antonov 124 move from the Czech Republic and Poland to Georgia in late 2018. The Award Ceremony will take place in Antwerp on 15 October 2019. 


  • SINGAPORE AIRLINES WILL INCREASE ITS SINGAPORE – MELBOURNE – WELLINGTON flights from four times weekly to five times weekly on 1 January 2020.
  • ETIHAD AIRWAYS WILL OFFER INCREASED CAPACITY FROM MELBOURNE TO ABU DHABI between 2 July until 1 October.  There will be two daily flights operated by B777 and B789 aircraft. Etihad also increased its freighter capacity from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam. In addition to daily B777 passenger services there are three B777F freighters per week. Etihad also commenced new daily A330 services between Abu Dhabi and Nairobi.
  • QATAR AIRWAYS ANNOUNCED THE ADDITION OF SINGAPORE as a new destination on its trans-Pacific freighter route. The new rotation of the bi-weekly B777F with 100 tonnes capacity will be Doha – Chicago – Singapore – Macau – Los Angeles – Mexico City – Guadalajara – Liege – Doha.
  • DUE TO DECLINING DEMAND FOR AIRFREIGHT CATHAY PACIFIC REDUCES ITS FREIGHTER CAPACITY.  The US based National Air Cargo is set to take three ex-Cathay Pacific B747-400FCFs currently stored at Marana air base. The first freighter is due to enter the National Air Cargo fleet in August. Cathay also announced the completion of the acquisition of Hong Kong Express in a deal worth HKS 4.93 billion. While Hong Kong Express is a low-cost passenger carrier, it has freight ambitions. The carrier transported more than 10,000 tonnes of international airfreight in 2018. 


  • AAL HAS FORMALLY LAUNCHED A REGULAR EUROPE – FAR EAST SERVICE deploying its highly flexible 19,000 dwt S-Class vessels with lift capacity of up to 700T. These vessels can accommodate a variety of cargo types from large and heavy project cargo to breakbulk, steel or dry bulk commodities. The aim is to establish monthly calls from Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg with additional loading ports in the Mediterranean as required. When called upon AAL will also draw upon other vessels in its fleet including the 31,000 dwt A-class or 33,000 dwt W-Class. Cargo to Australia will be serviced via Singapore.
  • HAPAG LLOYD EXPANDS ITS NEW AFRICA SERVICE IN OCTOBER to include direct connections via its MIAX (Middle East – India – Africa Express). The new rotation will be Jebel Ali – Mundra – Nhava Sheva – Colombo – La Reunion – Durban – Cape Town – Tema – Lagos (Tincan & Apapa) – Cape Town – Durban – Jebel Ali.
  • OOCL IS UPGRADING ITS AUSTRALIA – ASIA ALLIANCE SERVICE 1 & 2 (AAA1 & AAA2) to provide better transit times and port connections. Commencing in early August the new port rotations are: AAA1 Laem Chabang – Singapore - Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Singapore – Laem Chabang. AAA2 Singapore – Port Kelang – Fremantle – Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide – Fremantle – Singapore.
  • DUE TO THE ESCALATING TENSIONS IN THE STRAITS OF HORMUZ OOCL INTRO-DUCED AN EMERGENCY RISK SURCHARGE (EMC) of USD 50.00 per TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit). This applies to all shipments to / from UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (except Jeddah), Kuwait and Iraq. MSC’s War Risk Surcharge for the Arabian Gulf is USD 40.00 per TEU.
  • BLANK SAILINGS HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED by some shipping lines in July and August due to declining volumes between Asia and Australia. 


  • UNFORTUNATELY JULY WASN’T A VERY GOOD MONTH FOR AUSTRALIAN PORTS. The DP World Terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle experienced several strikes by the Maritime Union of Australia ranging from 24 hours to 96 hours.  An estimated 40 vessels and up to 110,000 containers were delayed and it appears that this unfortunate situation will continue into August. According to DPWA’s CEO Andrew Adam the company reduced their claims from 29 down to five since April and the “CFMMEU commenced the three-month negotiation period in April with 59 claims and ended in June still having 53 claims”. On 22 July DPWA announced it would proceed with redundancies for 200 wharfies nationwide, 100 in Sydney and 100 in Melbourne. Andrew Adam said in the absence of significant negotiation progress during the past nine months the company had to address the impact of volume losses. He talked about “unprecedented consolidation” of, and changes to global shipping line services calling Australia, combined with surplus stevedoring capacity contributing to DPWA’s “challenging outlook”.
  • SHIPPING LINES HAVE BEEN URGED TO PROVIDE CONTAINER DETENTION RELIEF by several organisations involved in the container logistics chain as a result of the escalation of industrial action at DPWA terminals. If import containers are delayed in terminals and shipping lines maintain their strict detention free timelines, it will be virtually impossible to return the empty containers to the designated location in the time allocated.
  • TERMINAL OPERATORS HAVE INCREASED THEIR FEES SIGNIFICANTLY. In July DP World and Patrick Terminals increased their VBS-fees (Vehicle Booking Fee) by 87.95% and 73.33% respectively and on 19 August Hutchinson Brisbane will increase its “Infrastructure Levy Revision” from AUD 33.10 to 50.00 per container.  Trucking companies usually pay these charges on behalf of their clients and add a handling fee of around AUD 10.00.
  • SYDNEY’S PORT BOTANY WELCOMED TWO OF THE LARGEST CONTAINER VESSELS TO ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA IN JULY.  The “Maersk Skarstind with a capacity of 9,472 TEU arrived on 4 July and the “MSC Elma” with 9,372 TEU capacity berthed on 6 July.  Both vessels are 300 metres long and 48 metres wide. While these ships are unusually large for Australian ports we need to remember that container ships with a capacity in excess of 20,000 TEU are quite common in other parts of the world. 


  • PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG (BMSB) SEASON will commence soon – refer also to our May Newsletter.  The number of target risk countries has been increased from 10 to 32 and seafreight shipments departing from these countries between 1 September 2019 and 30 April 2020 must be treated against BMSB. Three types of treatment are approved by the Department of Agriculture: Heat treatment, Methyl Bromide or Sulfuryl Fluoride. Further details are available from
  • A NEW “CUSTOMS GROUP” HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED by the Australian Border Force (ABF) within the Home Affairs Portfolio. It is headed by Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Dr. Bradley Armstrong PSM. The Group encompasses traveler, trade customs related policy and compliance with a strong focus on industry engagement. A Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Branch was established in the new Group to address anti-slavery and migrant worker exploitation in the global supply chain.  The Group will be staffed with ABF officers and Home Affairs employees.  


If you would like further information about any of the above items, please contact one of our friendly Fracht Team members at

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