News Archives

Fracht Australia News - September 2020


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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

 Martin Luther King Jr


  • FRACHT OFFICES AND WAREHOUSES IN NSW and Bowen’s Customs & Logistics (a Fracht owned company) are now registered as “Covid Safe” locations with the NSW Government. Our Melbourne office and bonded warehouse have also completed their “COVID Safe Plan” including the “High Risk Attachment” for warehousing and distribution.
  • THE QANTAS AND THE dnata AIRFREIGHT TERMINALS IN MELBOURNE WERE CLOSED FOR PROLONGED PERIODS in the first half of August which resulted in very significant delays in check in of cargo and waiting times for trucks both in Melbourne as well as Sydney. The Sydney terminals were swamped with freight due to the Melbourne closures and the current COVID compliance restrictions added to the problem.
  • VICTORIA’S “STATE OF DISASTER” AND STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS increased the challenges for the logistics industries considerably. Non-essential businesses were required to close which posed the serious risk that up to an estimated 300,000 containers congesting Melbourne wharves pending permission to be unpacked in importers’ warehouses. Thanks to intense lobbying by various industry groups a solution was found and warehouses can stay open to receive and unpack import containers and empties can be returned to depots to cover export demands.
  • WHILE GENERALLY STATE BORDERS STILL REMAIN OPEN FOR FREIGHT some additional rules were implemented since the Victoria stage 4 restrictions leading to further delays and complications for truck drivers, especially in cases where rules were inconsistent between states.


  • SWITZERLAND - Our Fracht office in the beautiful canton of Ticino (the Italian part of Switzerland) will move into new premises on 1 September: Fracht SA, Via Moree, 6850 Mendrisio. The phone number +41 91 605 56 50 remains the same.
  • CHINA - Despite the Coronavirus, China’s economy made a strong bounce-back in the second quarter by growing 3.2% against the same period last year.
  • CANADA - After serious disruptions in the port of Montreal due to strike action which saw several vessels redirected to Halifax the longshoremen finally went back to work on 23 August. 


  • OOCL LAUNCHED A FORTNIGHTLY “PEAK SEASON LOADER” on 10 August for southbound customers. The rotation of the new service is Shanghai – Shekou – Sydney – Shanghai.
  • MSC LAUNCHED ITS “GOLDEN HORN SERVICE” LINKING CHINA, KOREA AND THE EAST RUSSIA COAST. The rotation of the weekly service is Vladivostok – Vostochniy – Busan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Busan – Vladivostok. Vladivostok is also the most important rail gateway linking the Far East to Europe.
  • SWIRE SHIPPING ANNOUNCED THE DEPLOYMENT OF ITS NEW MV CHEFOO into the South East Asia service connecting to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. MV Chefoo is the second of four new C-Class geared vessels equipped with three 45 tonne cranes and a container capacity of up to 2,400 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit).
  • CONTAINER SHIPPING COSTS AND SERVICE LEVELS ARE AT RISK OF SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL, according to recent Drewry reports. Schedule reliability has been extremely low because of a massive withdrawal of capacity since the start of Covid-19. “In the first half of the year fewer than two out of three vessels arrived within 24 hours of their ETA” causing significant problems for shippers, importers and forwarders. The blanked sailings and poor reliability resulted in widespread rollovers.
  • SHIPPING LINES ARE PLANNING SEVERAL BLANK SAILINGS from China and Taiwan after the Golden Week Holidays from 1 to 7 October.
  • FREIGHT RATES FROM EUROPE TO AUSTRALIA WILL INCREASE in September. Carriers have announced a rate increase or Peak Season Surcharge from Northern Europe of USD 200.0 per TEU and from the Mediterranean USD 150.00 per TEU. Similar increases have been announced by shipping lines from North East Asia. 


  • AIRFREIGHT CAPACITY FROM THE USA TO AUSTRALIA will become even more problematic in the busy season from September to December considering the current Coronavirus restrictions. Qantas will introduce a new chartered B747F freighter from 6 September and we’re happy to announce that Fracht has access to significant allotments on this weekly priority service. Please call our friendly customer service or sales team to discuss your specific requirements.
  • QATAR AIRWAYS AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES HAVE UPGRADED THEIR SERVICES to Australia and have resumed flights to all major gateways, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. Passenger flights to Melbourne are currently suspended but both carriers are moving freight to / from Melbourne.
  • IATA RELEASED ITS LATEST AIRFREIGHT STATISTICS PER JUNE 2020 and industry wide volumes declined by 17.6% year-on-year after falling 20.1% in May and 25.6% in April. Year to date for the first six months of 2020 international airfreight dropped by -15.5% and the Asia Pacific region declined by -14.7%. 


  • INDUSTRIAL ACTION UNFORTUNATELY CONTINUED IN AUGUST. The Hutchinson terminal in Port Botany and DP World Terminals in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle were affected. Various industry groups criticised the MUA’s disruptive tactics at a time when supply chains are experiencing unprecedented pressures and challenges as a result of COVID-19. The good news is that finally on 26 August DP World and the MUA have reached a national-level agreement and work stoppages have been withdrawn.
  • AFTER A COLLECTIVE SIGH OF RELIEF THROUGHOUT THE SUPPLY CHAIN after hearing the good news about DP World, the MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) has now announced industrial action in all Patrick Terminals for an indefinite period commencing on 4 September in Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle and from 7 September in Melbourne!!
  • SCHEDULE DELAYS OF UP TO 5 DAYS in Australian ports, especially Sydney in August were the result of repetitive heavy weather systems as well as industrial action.
  • THE NSW GOVERNMENT HAS ANNOUNCED THE FAST-TRACKING of the Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Passing Loop. Both projects will help alleviate congestion on Sydney-roads. Around 18% of containers are presently moved to and from Port Botany by rail and NSW Port’s long-term strategy is to move 3 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) by rail.
  • PORT BOTANY’S CONTAINER THROUGHPUT IN THE FINANCAL YEAR ENDED 30 June 2020 was 2,494,852 TEU which is 6% less than the previous year.     


  • Further to our August Logistics News we can now confirm that Australian Customs has extended the duty concessions on imports of certain medical and hygiene products for the use of combatting COVID-19 until 31 December 2020.
  • Please remember that the BMSB (BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG) SEASON STARTS ON 1 September. For easy reference please click here to refer to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment updated guide to Seasonal Measures. 


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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