WEDNESDAY 29 JULY 2020
| A State of flux!|
Moving into our 8th month of the year and “uncertainty” is still a major factor in our current and future plans. The encouraging news is that sea freight volumes are strong, see later commentary, with hope that we may see a further increase during the traditional “peak season”.
Airfreight is still a concern for many with the reality that we will not see a return of regular international flights for some time to come. Whilst International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) has been extended, this support is attracting mostly the big end exporters of agriculture (meat and seafood products) and unfortunately does not extend to SME exporters / importers who are still facing high rates if they wish to move cargo via air. The extension of JobKeeper (all be it at reduced rates) to March 2020 offers some level of relief for cargo terminal operators, specialist transport providers, freight forwarders and customs brokers. Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) will continue advocacy to highlight the crucial role this sector plays and the need to maintain business continuity – refer to our correspondence to the Federal Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP
The varied domestic situation in each state and territory as regards level of community spread of the virus and phases of lock down are not assisting when it comes stability of trade and workforce conditions. On top of this we have the threat of stevedore industrial action and severe weather conditions on the east coast that is impacting the servicing of vessels. Shipping lines have been forced to revise schedules making port omissions and stevedore changes in order to meet these trying conditions.
What will the future Hold ?? – the following link is to a recent article from the World Economic Forum: Here’s how global supply chains will change after COVID-19 Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 Pandemic Employers and workplace mental health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
China – Update Our sources from China have provided us with the following updates As at July 28, 2020 China had 1676 confirmed cases. Hong Kong 1270 confirmed cases and 235 cases in Xinjiang. Dalian, the port city of Liaoning province, is another local outbreak area now with 47 new cases confirmed there. Beijing has allowed its buses and subways to operate at full capacity. Hong Kong to tighten quarantine rules for sea and flight crews. Hong Kong will stop most ships from changing crews in the territory, from Wednesday July 29, to cut back on quarantine exemptions blamed for causing a third wave of coronavirus cases. The ongoing flood of crude oil into China is obscuring the fact that demand in the rest of Asia remains weak, and that countries in the world’s top-consuming region didn’t join China in stocking up when prices slumped. Shanghai will allow people arriving from overseas to undergo a week-long home quarantine after finishing a seven-day concentrated quarantine in designated places starting July 27 Chinese government will use proceeds from the special government bonds for COVID-19 control and special local government bonds to prioritize the support for projects that address inadequacies, and to stimulate employment. The country will better coordinate its fiscal, monetary, financial, industrial, regional, and trade policies with employment policies to ensure a positive interaction between economic growth and employment expansion, according to a guideline issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). China’s economy made a strong bounce-back in the second quarter, beating economists’ expectations by growing 3.2 percent against the same period last year. The general view among economists is that China’s recovery will continue in the second half but the sequential pace may be slower as the economy continues to face acute challenges such as persisting unemployment pressure and the possibility of the resurgence of the pandemic. COVID-19 driving e-commerce in China – a report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
In our regular discussions with a number of lines servicing Australia it has been pleasing to note that volumes are strong and most lines predicting this will stay that way certainly through August / September and some have indicated maybe all the way through to Christmas with maybe one or two slow weeks. Most lines now have all vessels back on rotation and few if any blank sailings, which is helping to meet the strong demand.
These strong figures are supported by at least one line advising today that they will be adding a new service Shanghai / Shekou / Sydney to manage the extra demand.
FTA / APSA will be presenting before the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) “Inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade” tomorrow 30 July 2020 and with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, on Friday July 31. The focus, whilst on recovery from COVID-19, will also include industry concerns on the ever increasing infrastructure surcharges (Terminal Access Charges). Australian exporters and importers need to be competitive in their respective markets and we will again draw to the attention of the Federal Government the impacts of these unregulated costs. We will keep members abreast of those discussions in the coming week.
Links to formal submissions below:
Discussion Paper – Proposed Class Exemption for Ocean Liner Shipping
Inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade
Container Stevedores Operations – Imposition of Terminal Access Charges
“The US Senate announce a further stimulus package but it remains in negotiation with the House. Earnings season has beaten expectations, for more than 80% of companies and has supported the strong rally in equities.”
“Commodity currencies continued to benefit the weaker reserve. With the AUD pushing 0.7150, while the NZD looked to regain 0.6650. Markets await the Federal Reserve decision and associated commentary. US/China tensions continue to boil and any escalation will impact the trade exposed currencies“
– See the full daily update HERE // see weekly update HERE
Please view a presentation a presentation by Collinson Forex on 30 January 2020 showcasing latest technology solutions – refer HERE
The IFAM scheme, is continuing to provide air freight services for exporters to access global markets with regular updates to their web page providing the latest flight options.
The news that the scheme was being extended with an injection of $240 million was welcome news for a sector of our industry that is finding it hard to cope. The expansion of eligibility to access IFAM again another welcome announcement and the webinar with Michael Byrne, International Freight Coordinator General, provided more background to the scheme and eligibility.
The FTA COVID- 19 Air Cargo bulletin board also is a great site to advertise your space availability or needs, again this page is updated as more flights become available.
Please continue to speak to the airlines and air cargo agents so you can be aware of what is available for your customers. You may also find that local state governments through their Industry & Regional Development portfolios are also working to assist in the airfreight sector.
* IATA – Air Cargo action
* IATA – Government measure related to COVID-19 – search country specifics
Statements from Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
* Weekly COVID-19 wrap up
* Jobkeeper payment and Income Support extended
* Mental Health Support
* COVIDSafe APP
* Assistance available to Small Businesses ( with state links )
Statements from The Hon. Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister
* Delivering COVID safe freight to Australians
* Securing Regional Australia’s Future
Transport & Port Updates
Transport for NSW
Victoria – Department of Transport – July UPDATE
Port of Melbourne – Response to COVID-19 – Update 7
Victoria – Regional Port crew changes
Eased heavy vehicle curfews must be extended – Ms Roma Britnell, Shadow Minister Ports & Freight – Victoria
Queensland – COVID-19 freight & export market update bulletins
CTAA COVID-19 Emergency Space Register
Freight & Logistics Council of WA – COVID -19 web site
* NEW EDITION – WCO/WHO HS classification list for COVID-19 medical supplies now available – CLICK HERE
* WCO COVID-19 Trade Facilitation Repository to read the full article click HERE to visit the Repository click
COVID-19 Workplace Health & Safety guidance available
The Safe Work Australia website has been updated to provide a central hub of work health and safety (WHS) guidance and tools to help Australian workplaces manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. The site allows you to select your status, industry and what you need information on. There are some 1300 different web pages addressing some 23 different industry sectors. Click HERE for more
Ensuring Employee Health & Communications during Crisis Management
Every one of our clients is wrestling with managing a largely remote employee workforce in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak. Providing basic safety and security information about your teams to management, and allowing management to easily communicate with their employees working from home has become more important than ever before. And the need is immediate and now. read full article HERE
Are you Workplace Ready?
Employsure has launched a new service to tackle COVID-19 risks. Workplace safety has never been more important in the era of COVID-19 and it can be confusing and hard to navigate. If you need assistance navigating the various codes, regulations and laws click HERE or contact Lee Senft on 0401 004 295
There are also links to a range of support material on their website including the new JobKeeper HELP product refer fact sheets below – for more on how to access this offer please contact Lee Senft or call 1300 651 415
Please note the below links for up dated information Latest COVID-19 Shipping notifications Loadstar web site – broad coverage of a range of related issues globally Aircargo News web site – up to date information on global airline impacts FTA – COVID-19 news site FTA – COVID-19 Air Cargo Bulletin Board
FTA suggest members / industry maintain close relations with their forwarders, agents, shipping lines, clients and suppliers / agents globally to ensure they have the latest information available. This is a time for review and planning not for panic.
FTA will continue to monitor issues surrounding the coronavirus and keep members updated as necessary.
WORKING TOWARDS A POSITIVE OUTCOME!
John Park – Head of Business Operations, FTA / APSA