Severe Weather Alert for Brisbane

A severe weather alert has been issued for waters from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast as a result of Cyclone OMA.

Brisbane port is warning that if winds and conditions become dangerous then the port will close immediately and will remain closed until it is safe to resume operations.

All pilotage services have already been cancelled for today, Friday and tomorrow, Saturday due to current rough seas.

The port closure will disrupt any container collections/deliveries, our Transport Team will keep affected clients advised of further developments as soon as further information is available.

The vessel delays now being encountered in Brisbane could result in port arrival changes at other Australian ports, depending on the port rotation of each vessel. As usual, affected vessel arrival/departure dates will be updated to affected clients via Communicater messages.

Increased Port Infrastructure, Airport and Trucking Charges

Port Infrastructure Charges

Port terminal operators in all states have announced a significant increase to Port Infrastructure Levies for all containers moved to/from ports. It was expected that these costs, when first implemented in January 2018 and increased again in January 2019 would be used by the terminals to generate extra income.

The National Transport Body is questioning the increase with terminal operators and has raised the severe cost increases with both State and Federal Governments. It is hoped that some action will be taken by Government with upcoming elections, however in the meantime, the terminals are pushing ahead with the increases and unless the rate is paid on collection, then containers will not be released by the terminal.

The increased costs vary from state to state but overall average around $20.00 to $30.00 per container. New rates effective from 1st March will be updated to the GPSM website.

Australian Airport Arrival Charges

Airline Cargo Terminal Operators have completed their annual review of arrival charges and announced increases effective from 1st March 2019.

The Airline Airwaybill Fee will increase to $55.00 per airwaybill and Airline Handling Fees will increase to $0.53 per kg with a minimum charge of $53.00. As a result of the above increases, the International Terminal Fee will also increase minimally by $0.01/kg effective from 1st March 2019.

Mandatory Airfreight Cargo Screening

New regulations effective from 1st March 2019 will require all export airfreight cargo to be screened prior to aircraft loading. Screening has been in place to the USA for some time but this requirement will now be extended for all cargo to all global destinations. The warehouses GPSM use at all Australian airports installed the necessary screening equipment in early 2018 and are fully geared up and already operating.

There will be two (2) levels of screening, primary and if required by authorities, secondary screening. A charge will be made by the warehouse for this mandatory service and rates have been uploaded to the GPSM website.

Airfreight and LCL Trucking Charges

Due to the extended delays being encountered over the past few months at both airline and LCL sea freight terminals, we have been forced to increase the minimum trucking rates for these services in an attempt to recover our costs. It is not uncommon for our vehicles to be held at terminals for up to 4 hours on a daily basis waiting to be loaded.

The new minimum trucking rates have been increased on average by $10.00 only maximum and same have been updated to the GPSM website, applicable from 1st March 2019.

Container De Hire is the New Battleground

Once upon a time, it was the wharves that caused delays for Importers and Exporters. Truck waiting times would grow by the hour.

The new challenge for trucking companies and their clients is now de-hiring the empty containers. A reduction in empty container park capacity, larger numbers of containers being handled, and a high level of import empty container ‘re-directions’ by shipping lines, are causing significant additional empty container handling costs in Sydney.

CTAA director Neil Chambers said: “The empty container management situation in Sydney has been getting progressively worse over a number of months now.” For many container transport operators, it has reached the stage where they cannot fully absorb the additional costs.

“A conservative estimate is that the additional costs being borne by transport operators in managing empty containers in Sydney are between $90 to $200 per container, depending on the level of delay and additional handling necessary.”

A significant contributor to the higher costs of empty container management in Sydney are the number and frequency of empty container ‘re-directions’ that are ordered at the discretion of the shipping lines with little notice.” observed Neil Chambers.

Port Botany is Australia’s empty container ‘re-direction capital’, with over 30 re-direction notices current every day, equating to hundreds of re-directions per month. By contrast, this is more than double the number of re-directions in Melbourne.

“Empty containers destined for one Empty Container Park, or for direct wharf de-hire, are suddenly re-directed to another location, causing significant planning difficulties for transport operators who must adjust their fleet and job allocations at the last minute.”

These re-directions are occurring solely to suit the shipping lines that want the empty containers sent to a specific location for their next use, including to meet regional rail export empty demands or for international empty repatriation, rather than the shipping line being responsible for the costs of repositioning the empty at a later date.

Whilst we are always striving to deliver empty containers in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, there are times that the shipping lines redirections have a direct impact on our planning and impact on costs

The current situation leaves us with no alternative but to charge a $100 redirection fee for containers that have not been imported using our freight services.

It is important to understand that we will make all efforts to ensure this cost is not incurred however in some cases this will be unavoidable

Labelling/Marks and Numbers for Export Cargo

Attention all shippers:

Please ensure all of your export cargo is clearly labelled, including actual shipper & consignee name + address PRIOR to us collecting from you.

Please ensure cargo is marked with the following details to ensure easy identification:

Actual shipper & consignee details (including Address)
Origin & destination
Number of packages (ie. 1 of 2, 2 of 2)
Shipper & Consignee reference numbers

We thank you for your co-operation and assistance.

Shipping Rates Updates

Increased Ocean Freight Rates from the USA:

All shipping lines have announced a General Rate Increase on all cargo from the USA to Australia and New Zealand ports effective from 15th February 2019. For FCL shipments, the rates are still being negotiated by GPSM with the lines involved and while the official announcement is for an increase of USD 250.00/20ft and USD 500.00/40ft FCL, GPSM do expect that we will achieve a far better result than the increase as advertised, our current negotiations are presently on-going.

For LCL cargo from the USA, consolidators have announced a General Rate Increase of USD 10.00 per cbm/1000kgs from all USA origins to all Australia/New Zealand destinations except for Fremantle port, this is serviced by Transhipment service over Singapore and is not part of the USA-Australia rate agreement on direct service carriers. The new LCL rates will come into effect from 15th February 2019.

Shipping lines Bill of Lading Fee:

Most shipping lines in Australia are now charging as high as AUD 115.00 for their bill of lading fee, some have already increased the charge, other now implementing same. The additional cost will be reflected in the Australian Port Charges paid to the lines and billed on GPSM invoices.

Chinese New Year – Document Reminder

Dear Clients,

We would like to remind all clients that the official Chinese New Year Holidays will be celebrated in China this year between 4th February and 10th February 2019.

To avoid any additional storage charges we would suggest you request all documents as soon as possible & forward to us.

Given experiences in past years, we know that many truckers and factory workers begin leaving their jobs earlier than these dates so it may not be possible to arrange any further shipments but if urgent please let us know at your earliest convenience & we will see what can be done.

Delays to Container Unpacks

Several Sydney Container Unpack Depots are experiencing long delays in unpacking containers, be it for LCL cargo or unpacks for Quarantine inspections.

Given the Peak Season period, together with the increase in “Seals Intact inspections” and the continuing BMSB issue, most depots in Sydney are at maximum storage capacity which is hampered by the reduced availability of quarantine officers. In some cases, depots are refusing to accept BMSB/unpack containers due to lack of space.

This has reduced the depots capacity to unpack as little freight is being collected whether due to a Quarantine officer shortage or importers closing down and not receiving deliveries over the Christmas New Year period.

Some depots are unable to unpack at all while others are taking up to ten (10) days to unpack containers at present.

We will keep you updated on the situation as soon as further information becomes available.

Importer Issued with the First Illegal Logging Infringement Notice

In November 2018, a Queensland-based importer was served with the first infringement notice issued under Australia’s illegal logging laws. The notice was issued for ongoing non-compliance with the laws’ due diligence requirements and resulted in the business being penalised $12,600.

The issuance of the infringement notice reflects the Department’s implementation of a full compliance model for the illegal logging laws, with the “soft start-compliance period” ending in January 2018.

In administering the illegal logging laws, we continue to audit importers and processors to assess their compliance with the laws’ requirements. We have now audited over 600 businesses and provided a range of advice on whether their due diligence systems meet the laws’ requirements. More compliance audits are scheduled for 2019.

We have provided information to remind you of your obligations and due diligence requirements and you must also provide us with a statement as per the attachment.

BMSB List of Offshore Treatment Providers – 18th December 2018

Treatment providers registered under the scheme have demonstrated their capacity to conduct BMSB treatments for applicable consignments. These treatment providers are included on the approved list of offshore BMSB treatment providers.

This list is referenced in section 48A of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods) Determination 2016, section 43 of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods—Christmas Island) Determination 2016, section 44 of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods—Cocos (Keeling) Islands) Determination 2016, and section 43 of the Biosecurity (Prohibited and Conditionally Non-prohibited Goods—Norfolk Island) Determination 2016.
These lists will be updated as required.

*NOTE: The column titled ‘treatment capabilities’ details the types of goods that each company is capable of treating. This information has been provided by the individual company involved and may be subject to change. Where there is no treatment capability indicated, the treatment provider has not indicated their treatment capabilities to the department. This does not mean that the treatment provider is not capable of delivering treatments of this kind. You should confirm the treatment capability with the company concerned. The three categories included in the ‘treatment capabilities’ column correspond to the following descriptions:

Containers: the company can treat containerised cargo at the whole container level

Break bulk: the company can treat goods to be shipped as break bulk, in open-top containers or on flat rack containers

Individual goods: the company can treat individual goods using stack or chamber treatment methods.


Download the document

Rate Updates

Airline Fuel Surcharge from Hong Kong:

All airlines operating from Hong Kong to all destinations, including Australia,  have announced another fuel surcharge increase effective from 1st December 2018.

The Fuel Surcharge will be increased from the current level of HKD 2.90/kg to HKD 3.40/kg on all shipments. Rates have been adjusted accordingly and are visible in our Communicator portal.

Ocean Freight Low Sulphur Fuel Surcharge:

Shipping Lines are progressively adopting global Low Sulphur Fuel limits of 0.5% under new regulations that have been implemented.

An additional surcharge will be billed by all shipping lines and is between USD 15.00/20ft or USD 30.00/40ft container up to USD 70.00/20ft and USD 140.00/40ft container depending on origin and destination regions.

A number of lines are implementing the additional surcharge from 1st December 2018, others are implementing it from 1st January 2019. Some lines are including the additional surcharge into the already established Emergency Fuel Surcharge, some are including the surcharge into the freight costs, while others are showing the surcharge as a separate item.

In order to simplify billing and to show transparency, GPSM will be listing the new Low Sulphur Surcharge as a separate line on all invoices depending on the trade lane involved.