CORONA VIRUS FREIGHT UPDATE FROM AUSTRALIA

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China – Update

Our sources from China have provided us with the following updates 

  • As at 19 May 2020 there are 108 cases in 12 cities of Mainland China. Jilin province in North East Area has a local breakout, so currently under a partially lock down
  • To lessen the impacts of COVID-19 the Chinese Customs encourages registered suppliers to use COO self-printing service, as per 2020 Notice No.63 which extends the coverage of the Agreements.  Customs 2019 Notice No.77, also adds this self-printing service to cover the China Australia Free Trade Agreement  effective 20 May, 2020
  • On 9 May 2020, Chinese Customs noted 16 suppliers who were trying to export unqualified and/or bad quality COVID-19 related goods and warned overseas purchasers to be alert.
  • According to shippingchina.com, more and more global shipping lines are retreating ships to shrink the size of the fleet to hoard wood for the winter
  • According to China News, 17 May 2020, China has exported over 134.4 billion RMB of COVID related goods between 1 March and 16 May. It has recently reached a daily average of 3.5 billion RMB.

Seafreight commentary
In our regular discussions with shipping lines our past reports of strong numbers for May / June are still confirmed. Most lines we spoke with say they have strong bookings into at least mid June. This is thought to be supported by businesses trying to meet budget figures at the end of the financial year and increasing stock orders to meet expected buying rushes. In conversations with importers in the retail sector these also confirmed good sales in the last few weeks.
Volumes into Australia differ between states, whilst the west coast is reporting imported full containers higher than last year most east coast ports are showing declines of between 10%-25%.

Airfreight Update
IFAM flights ex Los Angeles  to Melbourne and Brisbane with Virgin Airlines
There is capacity inbound (to Australia) on this flight in which medical supplies will be prioritised. Please note there is not currently capacity on the outbound leg of this flight, as Australia Post is also supporting these flights and will be prioritising mail – see more details HERE

Whilst the IFAM scheme (refer below) is providing access to many of our larger exporters of Agricultural and Food sector producers, there remains a raft of smaller producers out there with lower volumes of still fresh produce that need assistance to move their goods overseas at cost effective airfreight rates. With some airlines, eg; Emirates, now starting to initiate services, albeit essentially ghost passenger flights, back into Australia there are increasing options to access these for export. and import, cargoes. Whilst the rates may not be back at pre COVID levels they are becoming a little more affordable.

IFAM scheme  continues to provide assistance across Australia to a range of exporters in the Agricultural / Food sectors.  As reported in the Australian Financial Review there have been about 50 flights a day of passenger planes filled only with freight leaving and arriving in Australia over the past week, according to the federal government, which has pumped $110 million into a new freight scheme.