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Fracht Australia News - March 2021


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“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”

                                       Michael John Bobak 


  • INDIA: We are delighted to announce the inauguration of FRACHT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED in Mumbai. Fracht India is a very well established, successful company under the expert leadership of Capt VP Rajesh and Mr Rajnish Tiwari. Our new company in India offers a comprehensive range of logistics services with a special focus on project cargo.
  • BELGIUM: A new superport is set to be created after the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge announced that they will formally merge. The two ports handled 13.8 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) last year which is almost as much as their Dutch rival Rotterdam with a throughput of 14.8 million TEU in 2019. Zeebrugge is also the world’s largest automotive hub, and a leading roll on – roll off port. The ambition of the merger is to become the first world port to “reconcile the economy, people and climate”.
  • GERMANY: Extreme amounts of snow on German roads in mid-February caused chaos and huge traffic jams resulting in major problems and delays for the trucking industry.
  • MYANMAR: Shipping lines have begun suspending bookings into Myanmar after the recent coup which resulted in major protests, known locally as CDM (civil disobedience movement). A nationwide general strike took place on 23 February with hundreds of thousands on the streets protesting against the military power-grab. The operational situation in the ports continues to deteriorate and bank closures have also had an impact on freight payments and document processing. It seems also that most scheduled international flights into Yangon have been cancelled until further notice.
  • USA: Congestion in ports on both sides of North America remains a severe issue, in particular on the West Coast. The recent heavy snowfalls and related power outages added to the problems and affected both sea freight and air freight handling. The average waiting time at anchor for ships calling Los Angeles was eight days with several vessels at anchor 11 or 12 days. 


  • THE PORT CONGESTIONS AROUND THE WORLD AREN’T EASING and shipping lines are introducing new (or increased) congestion surcharges. The latest examples come from Hapag Lloyd with a USD 250.00 per TEU congestion surcharge to / from Auckland and USD 225.00 per TEU to / from Fiji.
  • CONTAINERSHIP SCHEDULE RELIABILITY IS AT THE LOWEST LEVEL since records began according to the latest data from Sea-Intelligence Consulting. Schedule reliability for December shows just 44.6% of ships arriving on time “which means that for the fifth consecutive month, global schedule reliability has been the lowest since the introduction of the benchmark in 2011”. The December 2020 figure was 31.7% worse than December 2019.
  • HAPAG LLOYD DEPLOYS “EXTRA LOADER” VESSELS FOR EASING DISRUPTIONS IN INDIA by offering a fortnightly sailing from Chittagong to Krishnapatnam connecting Bangladesh onto the South India Europe Express service. Furthermore, one extra loader vessel will be deployed between India and North Europe.
  • GIVEN THE ONGOING LACK OF CAPACITY ON MOST TRADES shipping lines continue to announce substantial rate increases and peak season surcharges. 


  • EMIRATES RESUMED FLIGHTS TO SYDNEY, MELBOURNE AND BRISBANE less than a week after the service suspension in January linked to the reduced cap on international travellers entering Australia.
  • CATHAY PACIFIC COULD INCREASE ITS CASH BURN BY UP TO HKD 400 MILLION PER MONTH as a result of Hong Kong’s new quarantine rules for flight crews. The new rules mandate a 14-day quarantine and seven-day medical surveillance for flight crews returning to the Territory after a layover abroad.
  • ACCORDING TO IATA’S LATEST AIR CARGO MARKET ANALYSIS freight volumes improved significantly towards the end of 2020 from the Q2 low point, but for the full calendar year international airfreight still declined by -11.9%. Volumes in the Asia Pacific region dropped by -13.2%.
  • IATA ALSO REPORTS THAT OVERALL, 2020 WAS THE WORST YEAR IN HISTORY for air travel demand with international passenger demand in 2020 dropping 75.6% below 2019 levels. A new analysis also indicates that the airline industry is expected to remain cash negative throughout 2021. Estimates for cash burn in 2021 have ballooned to the USD 75 billion to USD 95 billion range from a previously estimated USD 48 billion. 


  • GOOD NEWS IN CONNECTION WITH THE BACKLOG OF EMPTY CONTAINERS IN MELBOURNE. The Port of Melbourne and Qube have secured a short-term agreement that makes available empty container capacity for up to 9,000 TEU in the Swanson Dock precinct. The 60,000 square metre site is operational immediately under Qube’s management.
  • THERE’S ALSO SOME GOOD NEWS RELATING TO STRIKE ACTION IN AUSTRALIAN PORTS. After two and a half years of negotiations DP World and the MUA have finalised enterprise agreements at the DP World Terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle until the end of 2023. This is very positive news for stability and productivity at the DP World Terminals. The strike which the MUA commenced earlier in February at Melbourne’s VICT Terminal has been suspended with an interim order by the Fair Work Commission. A mid-March hearing will be scheduled in connection with this industrial action.
  • BOTH PATRICKS AND HUTCHINSON HAVE ANNNOUNCED INCREASES OF SEVERAL LANDSIDE CHARGES in all their Australian terminals effective 1 March respectively 15 March 2021. 


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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