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Fracht Australia News - March 2020


Kiamal Solar Project - Unload of Generator



"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then is not an act but a habit."



The Coronavirus continues to create huge problems affecting the supply chain. While some factories in China are attempting to reopen, they still face enormous difficulties due to restrictions affecting the movement of people. Businesses in the Hubei Province will not be able to open before 10 March. More than 30,000 flights have been cancelled and “Zero Departure” is still in place for Wuhan airport. It is estimated that the Coronavirus will cost the airlines around USD 30 billion this year. Chinese airlines and Asia Pacific carriers will bear the brunt of this. Shipping lines face similar problems and have been forced to cancel numerous sailings with an estimated loss of revenue of USD 350 million per week. Despite the significant reduction of sailings Chinese ports are struggling to handle cargo due to lack of manpower as well as local trucking. Import reefer containers are severely backlogged in Chinese ports due to limited amounts of plugs. This in turn has forced shipping lines to apply very high Reefer Surcharges and Congestion Surcharges. Customs clearance of Chinese cargo in Australia is more complicated because of the lack of adequate and timely border and biosecurity paperwork from Chinese shippers. The cancellations of flights and sailings has flow on effects also on cargo originating from Europe or America and has in some cases also created shortages of capacity. The situation changes almost daily.



  • AUSTRIA: Fracht Vienna organised a B757F charter flight with relief cargo to Wuhan on 23 February. The shipment of 96 pallets / 158 cubic metres contained masks, medical gloves and hand disinfectant.
  • GERMANY: The “Breakbulk EUROPE 2020” exhibition will take place in Bremen from 26 to 28 May. This event is always of great interest for people involved with project transport and it will attract a lot of overseas visitors. If you are an Australian client of Fracht and interested in attending Fracht’s welcome reception on stand 4A50 or Fracht’s interesting workshop on 26 May, then please contact your local Fracht office in Australia.
  • FRANCE: Finally, after almost two months the strikes have ended, and French ports are getting back normal.
  • USA: The Fracht Manhattan office has now also joined the other Fracht companies in the New York area in the recently completed Fracht Building on 50 Broadway, Lynbrook, NY 11563, Tel. 516-599-0200.



  • MOST SHIPPING LINES IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION HAD TO IMPLEMENT SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF BLANK SAILINGS as a result of the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus and extended Chinese New Year shut down. Please refer to further details above. This is likely to cause severe space restrictions from March which will most likely result in Peak Season Surcharges.
  • NYK LAUNCHED A NEW ROLL ON / ROLL OFF SERVICE FROM INDIA via Singapore to Australia. Great news for Australian importers of over dimensional cargo! Initially NYK offers one sailing per month from Mumbai and Hambanatota to most Australian ports.
  • HAPAG LLOYD TRIALS BIOFUEL TO LOWER CO2 EMISSIONS. One of its ships – the Montreal Express – recently refueled in Rotterdam with the new, ecofriendly biofuel “B20” which consists of 80% low-sulphur fuel oil and 20% biodiesel based on cooking oils and fat that has previously been used in the food and catering business. This biodiesel generates up to 90% less CO2 emissions than conventional fuels. 



  • QANTAS SUSPENDED ITS TWO DIRECT CHINA SERVICES until 29 March as a consequence of the Coronavirus. This affects the Sydney – Beijing and Sydney - Shanghai flights. The majority of other international airlines have suspended or reduced the frequency of their flights to China which in some cases resulted in cargo not being uplifted.
  • IATA REPORTS THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2012 CARGO VOLUMES AROUND THE WORLD HAVE DECLINED. Overall volume (international and domestic) declined by 3.3%. International air cargo dropped 3.9% and the result for the Asia Pacific region was significantly worse with a decline of 6.4%. 


The Department of Agriculture announced that it has again changed its name and is now the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE). Until further notice “it will be business as usual and this change will not affect the regulatory functions performed by the department.”



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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