COVID-19

Victoria’s State of Disaster – Freight Update

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Following Sunday’s address from Victoria’s the Hon Daniel Andrews PM, the state of Victoria has been declared in a State of Disaster. Strict restrictions have been enforced for the public and businesses operating within the state. Many of which restrictions impact the freight and logistics businesses of Victoria and all other domestic trade partners. 

The following restrictions are most impactful to these industries;

  • A number of permitted industry workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne are to close or are permitted to conduct restricted operations;
  • Retail stores will be permitted to accept stock and operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocol in place;
  • Confirmation was received that ports, airports, freight and logistics may continue operations with strict safety protocol in place.

It is imperative to note that while there is business continuity, all Victorians are required to work from home, except where it is not practical. 

Although ports, airports, freight and logistics services may continue, Qantas Freight has temporarily paused all freight operations in Melbourne Freight terminals in response to advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. 

Qantas Freight confirms that freight terminals will remain closed until at least midnight 04 August 2020 and that freight can neither be lodged or collected at either terminal. Freight services will return to normal as soon as possible with current updates available from Qantas HERE

In an attempt to keep the logistics and freight industries running smoothly, the Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA) and Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) took an opportunity to advocate for all importers by expressing the need to take deliveries and unload filled containers.

During this advocacy, FTA and APSA stated that it is “Critical that all imports are allowed to flow otherwise we will quickly have an estimated 300,000 containers over the next six weeks quickly congesting our wharves and impeding the delivery of all goods such as food, PPE and medical supplies.”

“Importing containers need to be unpacked and made available to our exporters, in particular to support our struggling agriculture sector that are expecting substantial crops this Spring and are desperate to reach overseas markets.”

To keep up to date with the current Covid-19 restrictions and the impact on the Australian freight landscape, refer to our recent articles.

la chang

TGL MARKET UPDATE

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Dear TGL Supporters,

I hope you; your family and team have remained healthy during these uncertain times. It has been some time since my last market update since international trade has remained somewhat lacklustre over the last few months. However, with global markets all slowly opening up we can see there has been an increase in activity, which has changed some of the shipping dynamics, therefore, warrant an update for you all.

Ocean freight capacity due to covid19 shutdowns was severely cut back with sailings either cancelled or consolidated. However, with the recent uptick in trade, demand for capacity has risen more than what existing capacity can handle. Carriers also have not responded by bringing back previous capacity, which is causing many bottlenecks at major transit hubs, especially Asia. The net outcome of all this is higher pricing, transit delays, and space shortage.

With our traditional peak season coming up fast in September it will be very interesting to see how the carriers will respond to further increase in demand. I guess that they will want the current market chaos to continue until such time they have achieved their desired pricing expectations. So, the coming weeks/months will be very important to watch closely to ensure any shipping planning is done with the least amount of disruptions. Currently, we are experience long transit times from European trades as well as a shortage of space and equipment.

Ex Asia, we are seeing a significant rate rise across the board at full capacity. Space is given to the highest bidder and in some instances, cargo is left waiting at the terminal for upwards of 2-3 weeks. North America, namely the USA, has been the most stable market of all the major trades recently. However, this was a mature market with limited capacity, to begin with. As such, we don’t envisage this stability to continue for long especially given their management of the covid19 pandemic.

The airfreight market has seen some dramatic cost increases, given much of the flights previously operating at a standstill. With Australian carriers, Virgin going into administration, and Qantas cancelling 90% of their services, we are left with international carriers to meet any air freight demand. Costs have risen 10-fold in some cases and are only being used for critical time-sensitive cargoes. Anything else most customers are moving the goods at a loss to simply meet contractual agreements. Airfreight will continue to be a volatile means of transport as long as international travel is restricted.

Given these realities, I urge all customers to communicate their shipping plans ahead of time to their TGL solution specialist. This is so they have ample time to plan out the right pathway that will avoid disruptions. However, please do expect disruptions in the form of delays and frequent pricing changes as we juggle the highly fluctuating market conditions.

Please rest assured we at TGL always have your best interest at heart and will always do our very best to get your goods moved in the most efficient way.

La Chang
CEO

State-Border-Closure

State Border Closure Update

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On July 8, the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Governments announced a State Border Closure. New South Wales and Queensland temporarily closed their borders to Victoria in an effort to decrease the risk of a second outbreak in the two states.

Due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in Victoria last week, the Victorian Government announced a 6-week lockdown period, in an attempt to flatten the curve for a second time.  

Although the borders were closed to residents of Victoria, as an essential service, freight services were able to continue as normal, ensuring essential suppliers were delivered during the ongoing pandemic.

NSW Border Closure

The border between New South Wales and Victoria has been closed since the 8th of July. Freight services were considered a critical service under the NSW Public Health Order.

However, entry permits are required to enter the state of New South Wales, which caused significant teething problems following the closure of the border. Permits are able to be secured through Service NSW, with those travelling between the states avoiding self-isolation if a COVID-19 safety plan is in place with their employers.

Transport NSW is continuing to work closely with the NSW Police Force, NSW Health and Freight Victoria to ensure the continued movements of freight over the border.

During this time, 6 border crossings have been prioritised as main crossings.

Queensland Border Closure

Following the closure of the Queensland border to Victoria, the Government has updated its Coronavirus restrictions.

The restrictions require those who had travelled from Victoria within the last 14 days to not enter Queensland and will be turned away from the border. Especially, if they do not have a valid pass.

In relation to freight services, drivers from Victoria are required to complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass prior to their entry into Queensland. Border passes are valid for a period of 7 days and include additional requirements.

These requirements consist of the following requirements;

  1. Keep a record of people they come into close proximity with while in Queensland
  2. Maintain 1.5 metres distance from others
  3. Remain self-quarantined in their vehicle or accommodation as much as they are able to

South Australia Announces Border Closure

Furthermore, whilst the state border closure has been in place between 3 states, South Australia has since announced the closure of its state to Victoria. The SA border closure will be in place to anyone travelling from Victoria, unless they are considered an essential traveller.

  1. The South Australian Government required drivers and operators to do the following;
  2. Wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose, when in public.
  3. Self-quarantine, when not performing essential duties.
  4. Keep a record of people they come into contact with for 14 days. The records must be kept for 28 days following the 14-day record keeping period.

Read the full article on the FTA website, via this link: https://bit.ly/2DLtAqt

state border closure

State Border Closure: Coronavirus Update

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In an effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus, after a surge in new cases. New South Wales and Queensland will temporarily close their borders to Victorian residents on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 12:01 am.

As a result of a rise in new coronavirus cases in Victoria. Who reported 191 cases within 24 hours. Consequently, causing infections to spread across the NSW and VIC border. As a result of the recent outbreak in cases, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a 6-week lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement follows the announcements of NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and, QLD Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk. Both Premier’s confirmed the restrictions between the States.

The FTA, APSA & the State Border Closures

The Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) has highlighted the potential impact a border closure will have on the freight operations and logistics industry. Due to the NSW and VIC routes being the busiest in the nation, the closure could impact the supply chain. With the closure of the state borders between New South Wales and Victoria coming into effect on Wednesday, July 8, businesses are rushing to secure permits to travel in-between the state lines in order to avoid further impact on the supply chain.

According to the FTA and the APSA, a Transport for NSW executive will continue to communicate with key state departments. Therefore, this will ensure special conditions will be in place for freight operations and logistics, along with other critical services to ensure freight and logistics can continue without disruption.

Further, Transport NSW stated the NSW ports and airports will remain open for freight imports and exports, with Australian Border Force support vessels and aircraft arrivals if they meet specific criteria.

To stay up to date with the FTA and the APSA’s announcement via their page: Transport for NSW freight coronavirus page.

Contact us to find out how we can assist with your shipping needs during COVID-19.

Contact us at https://tgl.co/contact/

Team TGL.

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia: COVID-19 Update

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed the National Cabinet’s proposed 3-step plan to ease restrictions across Australia.

The announcement highlighted that each state and territory leader will have the ability to decide on the best timeline given their individual circumstances. In an effort to ensure the flattening of the curve, the “Roadmap to a COVIDsafe Australia”, will be reviewed every 3 weeks to monitor progress.

According to the Department of Health, the first and most important step was to reconnect with friends and family. Step 1 allows small groups of up to 5 visitors in people’s homes and 10 people at outdoor gatherings. Physical distancing and hygiene were to be maintained to stop the spread.

Further, step 2 increased gathering numbers and the reopening of affected businesses. Moreover, Step 3 further increases the number of people at gatherings to 100. People are also able to return to the workforce and interstate travel has restarted.

The progress and continual “flattening of the curve” has placed Australia in a positive position and moves us closer to recovery. This is great news for the logistics industry. With restaurants and bars opening with limitations, trains, and buses increasing the number of people allowed on board, it’s a step towards a recovered community. New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced the reopening of schools full-time from May 25. These movements are positive steps for the economy.

On the other hand, a downfall of there recent updates refers to the significant tariff China placed on the export of Australian Barley. At least 50% of Australia’s Barley is exported to China. Therefore, tensions are increasing between Australia and China. These tensions began with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s involvement in the promotion of an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

Australian barley farmers are facing an 80% tariff on their crops. The introduction of such tariffs potentially blocking them from selling barley to their most lucrative market. The percentage is made up of two tariffs introduced on the export of barley. The first 73.6% tariff and the second 6.9% tariff relate to claims China has made against Australia. These claims refer to the alleged dumping of barley, selling the crop for more than it costs farmers to grow. The second claim relates to the subsidization of farmers by the Australian government.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is currently deciding on whether an appeal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Contact us today for more information on how TGL can help you with your import and export needs.

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