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Fracht Australia News - January / February 2019


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“It’s easy to separate winners from losers.

Winners know when opportunity knocks, and losers knock every opportunity.”



Welcome to our first newsletter for 2019. We sincerely hope that it will be a successful and satisfying year for you. The whole Fracht team is looking forward to providing the best possible Customer Care for you.


  • Fracht opened a new office in MAURITIUS in December under the expert leadership of Mr Hans Legallant and his team: Fracht (Mauritius) Ltd, MFD Building – 1st Floor, Mer Rouge, Port Louis / Mauritius - T +230 525 20466 - E
  • 2 January saw the opening of a further Fracht office in SPAIN in the centre of beautiful Barcelona: Fracht Project Logistics, S.L., Avinguda Diagonal, 640-6, Office 606, ES-08017 Barcelona - T +34 93 54 54 182. The branch manager is Jaume Sistane – E
  • In the USA the Fracht Atlanta office moved into new premises: Fracht USA, 703 N.Central Ave, Atlanta, GA 30354. Phones, fax and e-mails remain unchanged.


BELGIUM: Most EU transport ministers in Brussels have agreed to improve working conditions of truck drivers in Europe. This includes e.g. equal pay for equal work in the same location, drivers can’t overnight in their cabs etc. We expect the new rules to be ratified by the EU parliament which will then most likely cause further extra costs in addition to recent rate increases due to higher fuel prices, increased tolls, driver shortages etc.

CHINA: Due to the forthcoming China Lunar year public holidays from 4 to 8 February there will be the usual disruptions in the supply chain due to space shortages on all transport modes and blank sailings by shipping lines.

CHINA: The Civil Aviation Administration of China expects that by 2035 China will have 450 airports – almost doubling the current number. If this forecast is correct, China would overtake the USA as the world’s largest aviation market.

EU: On several occasions recently we reported about the serious problems in the UK due to chronic truck driver shortages. The crises is now spreading to the rest of Europe. Germany reports 45,000 vacancies with predictions that this could increase by a staggering 28,000 each year. France has a shortage of 20,000 and the smaller markets like Sweden, Denmark and Norway report shortages of 5,000, 2,500 and 3,000. This unfortunate situation puts massive upward pressures on road transport prices with some operators increasingly exhibiting a “take it or leave it” attitude during rate negotiations. In the biggest market – Germany – costs for truckers were further increased due to new salary agreements with drivers, significantly increased tolls and higher fuel prices. 


  • ANA (ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS) PLANS TO START DIRECT PERTH – TOKYO FLIGHTS from September 2019. This will be a daily service operated by B787 aircraft.
  • EMIRATES SKYCARGO JUST LAUNCHED A BRAND NEW FULL FREIGHTER SERVICE TO BOGOTA / COLOMBIA in partnership with Avianca. The B777 freighter operates weekly from Dubai.
  • IATA’S LATEST STATISTICS REVEAL THAT THE AIR CARGO MARKET HAS LOST SOME OF ITS MOMENTUM in late 2018. Year to date for the 11 months to November international airfreight increased by 4% and the Asia Pacific region achieved only a moderate growth of 2.6%. 


  • MSC ANNOUNCED THAT THEY’LL DISCONTINUE THEIR DIRECT BELL BAY / TASMANIA calls on the Capricorn Service. All Bell Bay cargo will tranship in Sydney on to the Noumea Express service and will be subject to Bell Bay port additional cost.
  • LCL RATES FROM THE USA WILL INCREASE by USD 10.00 per cubic metre or 1,000 kilos effective 15 February 2019
  • DUE TO CHINESE NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS most shipping lines will introduce “blank sailings” to / from China in the first half of February.
  • IN ADDITION TO GENERALLY RISING FUEL COSTS the new “low sulphur fuel surcharges” are now starting to have an impact (refer to our October and November newsletters). Most carriers have now commenced recovering these extra costs from shippers. 


  • THE ACCC HAS INSTITUTED PROCEEDINGS in the Federal Court against NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries Port Botany Operations Pty Ltd. and Port Kembla Operations Pty Ltd for making agreements with the State of NSW that the ACCC alleges are anti-competitive. They are alleging that provisions in these agreements would compensate Port Kembla and Port Botany if Newcastle developed a container terminal.
  • NSW Ports will increase its wharfage fees for full containers by AUD 3.08 from 1 July 2019.
  • FLINDERS PORTS HAVE INCREASED THEIR ADELAIDE CHANNEL WIDENING FEE on 1 January to pay for the AUD 80 million project which involves the lengthening of the swing basin off the container terminal. Shipping Lines will recover this fee from importers and exporters, eg OOCL is charging AUD 26.60 per TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit).
  • A FINE OF AUD 125,000.00 WAS IMPOSED ON THE MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) for contempt of court. This was related to breaching an injunction in connection with a picket line outside the gates of VICT (Victoria International Container Terminal). 


The “quarantine chaos” created by this little creature has reached unprecedented proportions. In recent months we reported regularly about the ever increasing problems in connection with the BMSB and the Christmas / New Year holidays made the situation worse. All Australian fumigation facilities and the staff of the Department of Agriculture and Water are totally overwhelmed. All facilities are backlogged, several ships were directed to leave Australian waters, quarantine directions can take several days or even weeks and some containers are still waiting for fumigation a month after arrival. The ongoing delays result in considerable increases of costs as well as frustration by all parties involved. Some previously approved fumigation facilities overseas have lost their accreditation and their fumigation certificates were rendered useless upon arrival of the cargo in Australian ports. We can only hope that the situation will improve soon and that all parties will be much better prepared for the next BMSB season due to commence in September 2019.

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