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Fracht Australia News - March 2017


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“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

                                        John Wooden


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  • NEW ZEALAND: Container movements have resumed in Wellington’s CentrePort on 12 February. The port’s gantry cranes are still inoperable but ANL has commenced calling Wellington again on its Tranztas Service using ship’s gear to load / unload containers. Meanwhile container vessel operations at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch were again interrupted several times in January and February due to strikes by MUNZ (Maritime Union of New Zealand).
  • SWEDEN: The APM container terminal in Gothenburg continued to be negatively affected by strikes and overtime blockades (Fracht December News) in January and February. Port congestion and re-direction of containers to other North European ports caused significant delays and additional costs for importers and exporters.
  • PHILIPPINES: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) introduced a new rule that consignees MUST clear all import containers within 30 days after discharge. Failure to comply will cause the cargo to be automatically owned by the BOC. It is then at the BOC’s discretion to decide if the cargo will be auctioned or disposed. The shipper and consignee will be held responsible for all additional costs including storage, demurrage or container detention charges. Please note that neither the Carrier nor the Forwarder will have any authority over the cargo once it has been declared “abandoned”.
  • INDIA: The Indian Government has implemented a new service tax of 4.5% on ocean freight and ancillary charges for all shipments with a sailing date after 22 January 2017. This will also be applicable to PREPAID shipments!
  • SPAIN:  All Spanish ports will be affected by “one hour on / one hour off” strike action which started on the 20, 22 and 24 February and this pattern will continue well into March.


  • QATAR AIRWAYS PLANS TO LAUNCH DIRECT FLIGHTS TO CANBERRA in the next financial year. Doha will therefore be the third international destination to / from Canberra after the recently introduced Singapore – Canberra – Wellington service by Singapore Airlines.
  • CATHAY PACIFIC WILL ADD AN ADDITIONAL FOUR FLIGHTS PER WEEK TO TORONTO ON 24 June 2017.  This means that the airline will then have two direct flights each day from Hong Kong to Toronto.
  • AN “OPEN SKIES AGREEMENT” BETWEEN CHINA AND AUSTRALIA was signed by the Chinese and Australian Government. These new arrangements will remove all capacity restrictions between Australia and China for each country’s airlines.
  • IATA RELEASED THE FINAL AIRFREIGHT STATISTICS FOR THE 2016 CALENDAR YEAR. Compared to 2015 the volume of international airfreight worldwide increased 3.8% and in the Asia Pacific region 1.9%.
  • VIETNAM AIRLINES WILL LAUNCH DIRECT HANOI – SYDNEY FLIGHTS from 28 March. There will be three B787-9 flights per week.


  • MAERSK LINE NOW OFFERS A NEW WEEKLY SERVICE TO BELL BAY / TASMANIA. The containership ‘Searuby” made the first Bell Bay call on 16 February. The new Bell Bay service will give Tasmanian exporters and importers access to Maersk’s worldwide network.
  • PATRICK TERMINALS AT MELBOURNE’S EAST SWANSON DOCKS will no longer issue damage reports to truck drivers. This will put further onus on Victoria’s importers, transport operators and freight forwarders to be extra vigilant for visible container damage and to take photographic evidence of damages as a defence against subsequent attempted damage compensation claims from shipping lines.
  • SHIPPING LINES FROM CHINA, KOREA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN to Australia have announced another General Rate Increase (GRI) of USD 300.00 per TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) effective 1 March 2017. It remains to be seen if they manage to enforce the full increase.
  • BUNKER SURCHARGES ARE CHANGING AGAIN on 1 March: Hapag Lloyd will charge USD 485.00 per TEU from North America and CMA CGM’s BAF from Europe will be USD 389.00 per TEU on the Nemo Service and USD 404.00 per TEU on the Panama Service. Other shipping lines will adjust their surcharges as well.


  • The Department of Agriculture is commencing a trial of electronic Imported Food Inspection Reports (eIFIR) under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme. The eIFIRs will be replacing the current handwritten reports.
  • In the beginning of the year there have been significant delays with the processing of lodgements with the Department of Agriculture which led to considerable frustrations within the importing industry.
  • We previously reported about the very strict mandatory treatment and inspections against the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (BMSB) for cargo originating from the USA. The Department of Agriculture has now written to shipping lines to be extra vigilant also on ships departing from Europe because the BMSB now appears to be spreading also in Europe, in particular Northern Italy.

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