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MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER    All in it together ??
Well it might have started that way but we are slowly seeing political agendas in some states taking hold and a clear disjoint of processes and transport needs taking place. 

The current situation in Victoria will continue to have an impact on the ability of ALL in the logistics chain to meet the needs of their clients.

Restricted workforce limits in warehouse / DCs, restrictions on delivery hours and limited international passenger flights will all impact the movement of goods.

Yesterday the Victorian Premier, the Hon Daniel Andrews, announced the Roadmap to Reopening. Importantly, the roadmap ensures that ports, freight and the logistics sector are able to continue to safely maintain Victoria’s supply chain to allow supplies get to where they need to go during the pandemic.

Whilst the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) welcome the announcement, we will raise concerns in our meeting with the Department and Freight Victoria later today (Monday 7 September) and will continue to advocate for earlier relief of workforce restrictions currently applied to the warehouse and depot sectors.

As we ease out of the Stage 4 restrictions, we would like to note our sincere appreciation to the senior policy advisor at Minister Horne’s office (Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight) and executives at Freight Victoria who have been tireless in their engagement with industry during the stage 4 restrictions.

Links to Roadmap Steps in detail.

Step 1 1159pm September 13 
Step 2 September 28 (subject to trigger points and health advice)
Step 3 October 26  (subject to trigger points and health advice)
Last Step November 23 (subject to trigger points and health advice)

We trust that members have valued our ‘Frequently asked Question’ page compiled via this engagement and to complement official advice available on government web sites. We will continue our advocacy at all levels of State and Federal government as required to ensure business continuity and to ensure our members play a key role in leading Australia’s economic recovery.
  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  Click HERE to see current case statistics for China. In summary there are still 5 cities with local cases. Hong Kong confirmed case numbers have reduced to 562. Shanghai currently has 57 cases. The Civil Aviation Administration has also imposed restrictions to 75% capacity on flights. China has further escalated its trade dispute with Australia by initiating a second investigation into Australian wines in a matter of weeks, this time focusing on subsidised products. While it was announced separately, a countervailing investigation into subsidised Australian wine imports launched by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Monday is a joint investigation with the anti-dumping probe initiated on August 18, taking a similar format to the investigation into Australia’s barley dumping. Container volumes at major Chinese ports increased 2.9% year-on-year in mid-August, according to statistics released by the China Ports and Harbours Association. The export container volume of eight major ports increased 1.1% year-on-year while the domestic container volume increased 8.7%. The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan posted 15.9% growth rate in mid August. China Merchants Port reported profits in the first half of this year, a decline of 76.3% year-on-year, the revenue dropped 8.7% to. The group’s ports in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan contributed an aggregate container throughput of 42.63m teu, a decrease of 3.3% year-on-year, which was mainly due to the impact on import and export demand arising from the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The construction of a smart cold-chain logistics park for agricultural products has begun in Baoding, North China’s Hebei province, according to the Hebei-Xinfadi Group. With a total floor area of 631,200 square meters, the integrated cold-chain logistics park will provide cold storage for up to 500,000 metric tons of agricultural products. From January to June, cross-border RMB receipts and payments totaled 12.67 trillion yuan (around $1.84 trillion), up 36.33 percent year-on-year. China has rolled out plans to invest 474 billion yuan ($68.4 billion) in the construction of new transportation infrastructure projects in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, according to the country’s top economic planner. The Bay Area will launch 13 intercity railway projects. The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a plan to complete the construction of a world-class cluster of airports in the Bay Area by 2025 with the civil aviation sector continuing to play a leading role worldwide in terms of scale, competitiveness and innovation capability.
Seafreight commentary
Our regular phone discussions with shipping lines have again validated the strength of the trade volumes into Australia for the coming months. As reported in our last update most vessels are at full capacity and will continue to be for the foreseeable future according to the lines we spoke with. 

It appears most lines are now back to normal schedules with few, if any, blank sailings. Some lines have even put in place vessels with larger capacity to cope with the demand.

However importers / exporters are still faced with delays and extra costs when cargoes arrive in Australia. A range of weather events, industrial disputes and empty park congestion , mainly in Sydney, are seeing delays and extra costs. Some lines have also advised of further rate increases in coming weeks.

The weather issues on the east coast are causing vessel bunching, out of window arrivals and port call rotation changes. A combination of these also leads to restrictions on TEU exchanges which has an impact on the ability of lines to evacuate empties (note the referenced Sydney issues above).

FTA / APSA  are working with Transport for NSW in addressing the empty park issues in Sydney with a view to putting in place steps to both reduce the large volumes being held and management of daily operations. We have already seen a number of parks advise of adjusted working hours giving transport companies more options for access.

All parties, shipping lines, empty container parks and transport operators, will need to address these issues well before the expected Christmas surge. 

In regard to Infrastructure Charges, Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP (post our meeting with him on 31) has written to us  referencing support for our advocacy, noting the operational and cost implications for exporters and importers caused by Infrastructure Surcharges; clear articulation that stevedore pricing reform is a state government responsibility; and reference to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to ensure that stevedores involved vertical integration operations do so on a ‘level playing field’ with others in the supply chain and do not use infrastructure surcharges for commercial advantage / offset pricing. Given that these matters now clearly rest with State governments we will again write to all respective Ports ministers to seek renewal of formal discussions to seek a resolution on these continually escalating fees at the whim of the stevedores.
 

Economic Update                              
“September opened with fireworks. US Share markets were charging above, or approaching record historical highs, when they hit the wall on Thursday and Friday! The Dow was hurtling towards pre-pandemic highs, when a correction was triggered Thursday, lead by the ‘stay-at-home’ Tech stocks crashing
The coming week will be highlighted by economic and trade data releases, while Central Bank rate decisions will dominate, later in the week. The Bank of Canada and ECB will both chime in and expectations are high for further expansive monetary policy, to compliment fiscal stimulus and support

  – See the full update HERE  

Please view a presentation a presentation by Collinson Forex on 30 January 2020 showcasing latest technology solutions – refer HERE

Airfreight Update
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. 

Michael Byrne, International Freight Coordinator General, provided an update to the scheme in recent webinars  to industry, unfortunately not recorded. Michael urged exporters, importers and forwarders to be pro active and seek solutions on an ongoing basis. He advised the range of options included

* Charters – mainly to Japan ex Melb / Adl & Bne
* Blocks – the ability to secure blocks of cargo space on airlines
* Grants – 97% of grants are being approved and applications are turned around in 36 hrs
To see the detail on IFAM and the scheme options click HERE 

Michael also made mention of stability in the air cargo market but noted that for rates to meaningfully head towards normality there would need to be 30% of pre COVID19 passenger flights in the sky.  This is (at this stage) years away

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.

On the domestic front it is also a welcome announcement to see we now officially have two major domestic airlines in Australia. Please see HERE commentary from The Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

Commentary from Melbourne Airport CEO, Lyell Strambi on domestic borders and Melbourne Airport 
* IATA Air Cargo action
* IATA – Government measure related to COVID-19 – search country specifics

  Business Operations
The Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, has extended the Human Biosecurity Emergency Period – till 17 December 2020. This will advice will continue the arrangements around   Restrictions on the entry of cruise ships into Australia  Protections for the supply and sale of certain essential goods  Restrictions on overseas travel  Restrictions on retail stores at international airports Read the announcement HERE
Statements from Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
Information to find a job and build skills
Jobkeeper payment and Income Support extended
* Mental Health Support
COVIDSafe APP
Assistance available to Small Businesses ( with state links )


Transport & Port Updates
Transport for NSW
Victoria – Department of Transport – latest UPDATE
Andrews Labor Government inaction to put the brakes on delivery vehicles and leave shoppers empty-handed
– Ms Roma Britnell, Shadow Minister Ports & Freight – Victoria
Freight & Logistics Council of WACOVID -19 web site 


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     
 
 
 
Workplace Relations                               

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 – 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 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   Department of Health   To stay abreast of all developments and general information concerning the Novel Coronavirus we suggest members maintain a watching brief on the Department of Health website    Join the Alliance   We encourage importers, exporters and logistics providers to Join the Alliance – together making a united and stronger voice for the international freight and trade sectors   Copyright © 2020 Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.
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