News & Media

28 February, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 615

CHINA'S TOP CONTAINER PORTS UNCLOG BACKLOG AS VIRUS CURBS EASE
Source: Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh (Reuters)
China’s top container ports are loosening the backlog of cargoes on their docks as workers return to their jobs after coronavirus travel curbs have been eased. The flu-like epidemic, which originated in the city of Wuhan, an inland logistics hub in Hubei province, has killed more that 2,700 and infected over 78,000 in China alone, and caused massive port congestion due to labor shortages caused by city lockdowns across the country. China is the largest container cargo handler - processing around 30% of global traffic or around 715,000 containers a day in 2019 - and the virus clampdown impacted supply chains of everything from sneakers and machine parts to technology components and food items.  FULL STORY

BETTER COMMUNICATION AND DATA SHARING KEY TO ESTABLISHING JIT SHIPPING
Source Sam Whelan (The Load Star)
The maritime industry is ramping-up efforts to optimise port calls and introduce just-in-time (JIT) shipping. If successful, the IMO and IAPH-led initiatives could tackle two of liner shipping’s biggest challenges: improving schedule reliability and meeting the industry’s ambitious decarbonisation targets. For example, a major cause of potentially unnecessary emissions and wasted fuel is the amount of time ships spend waiting for a berth. After monitoring 200,000 ships globally, MarineTraffic calculated the average time at anchorage was between 4% and 9% of total call time.  FULL STORY

TRANSPORT INVESTMENT TO BENEFIT AUSTRALIAN PORTS
Source: Port Strategy
Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 Infrastructure Priority List looks promising for port transport projects.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said it welcomed the focus on freight infrastructure investment opportunities and the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. “Experience has shown that inclusion on the Infrastructure Priority List can be a catalyst for securing investment in critical projects and progressing initiatives vital to Australia’s economic interests and enhancing the liveability of our communities,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham. He said there is a high degree of alignment between projects and initiatives contained on the Infrastructure Priority List and priorities reflected in the National Action Plan associated with the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.  FULL STORY

MICHAEL MCCORMACK GRANTS EXEMPTION TO LIVE EXPORT SHIP THAT FAILS NEW RULES
Source: Calla Wahlquist (The Guardian)
Al Shuwaikh allowed to carry sheep on double-deck tiers against the advice of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Michael McCormack granted an exemption to allow a live export ship to carry sheep to the Middle East despite the ship failing ventilation requirements – a move the RSPCA said put attempts to restore the reputation of Australia’s live export industry at risk. The transport minister granted the 34-year-old Kuwait-flagged livestock carrier Al Shuwaikh an exemption from new rules that came into force on 31 December prohibiting livestock from being transported on double-decked tiers. The exemption was granted against the advice of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.  FULL STORY

CRUISERS CRASH WEBSITE FOR SAPPHIRE PRINCESS BARGAINS
Source: Bernadette Chua (Cruise Passenger)
Princess Cruises launched the sale of the Sapphire Princess’ new Australian itineraries yesterday – and demand crashed the company website. The result show Australians are still keen to cruise – and have confidence in the line. Cruise Passenger can reveal the ship will receive a number of enhancements, reinforcing the importance of the Australian market to Princess. She will be enabled with the MedallionNet for her first cruise on May 1.  And the ship will be undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. Princess announced earlier this month that Sapphire Princess would be redeployed from Asian waters, to spend a winter season Down Under.  FULL STORY

PORT KEMBLA URGENTLY NEEDS A FREIGHT RAIL SOLUTION, SAYS KEY ADVISORY BODY
Source: Glen Humphries (Illawarra Mercury)
A crossing of the Shoalhaven River has been upgraded to a "priority project" by an independent body Infrastructure Australia.
The body's 2020 priority list also highlights the urgent need for improved freight rail access to Port Kembla, saying it needed to be addressed in the next five years. The state and federal governments have committed funding to a new bridge over the Shoalhaven River, with the winning construction firm announced earlier this month. "The project has strategic merit as it supports local, regional and tourist traffic, and allows for more efficient movement of freight on this important highway,".  FULL STORY

CITRUS MARKET OUTLOOK FORUM SET FOR MELBOURNE IN MARCH
Source: North Queensland Register
THE Australian citrus industry is gearing up for its major meeting of the year - the bi-annual Citrus Market Outlook Forum.
Melbourne will host this year's event on March 3 and 4, with more than 150 representatives from the growing, packing and marketing sectors of the citrus industry expected to attend. With all the key players in the Australian citrus industry gathered in one venue, the event provides networking opportunities, not only during the forum itself, but also during the official dinner event. Citrus Australia has pushed to create an energising and informative program of speakers, and facilitate networking and business opportunities.  FULL STORY

KANGAROO ISLAND NEIGHBOURS STILL DIVIDED OVER SEA PORT
Source: Bension Siebert (IN Daily)
A Kangaroo Island abalone farm has announced a million-dollar upgrade on the basis that a proposed timber export seaport 200 hundred metres away has been scrapped – despite the timber company saying its planning for the port was very much “still on track”. Yumbah Aquaculture yesterday announced the spend on its Smith Bay facility, ending an “investment freeze” on the basis that the port proposal was finished. The money is to be spent on repairs and upgrades of infrastructure on the abalone farm – 20km north-west of Kingscote – including new fire prevention works and an “increased integration of assets like water storage into Country Fire Service operational plans”, it said in a statement.  FULL STORY

SOUTHERN PORTS LAUNCHES RESTRUCTURED EXECUTIVE LEVEL
Source: Kim Ho (Infrastructure Magazine)
Southern Ports has implemented a new organisational structure appointing a suite of executives.
Southern Ports Chief Executive Officer, Steve Lewis, announced an organisational restructure in 2019 to take effect in early 2020. Mr Lewis said he was excited to welcome the new members to Southern Ports, who each bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the organisation. “All our new employees are based regionally, in keeping with Southern Port’s continual focus on regional development,” he said. Mr Lewis said that with the recruitment process now complete, the teams have significant opportunities before them.  FULL STORY

JV TO DEVELOP NEW ZEALAND PORT
Source: Port Strategy
A new joint venture in development will aim to bring the Ruakura Inland Port to fruition within two years.
Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga said they plan to develop a 50:50 joint venture which will take an initial 50-year ground lease to establish the inland port. Port operations at Ruakura are planned to start following the opening of the nearby Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, currently scheduled for the end of 2021. Port of Tauranga chief executive, Mark Cairns, said: “This new partnership adds to our strong and growing capacity to serve the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. “It combines our own expertise in developing and operating ports, the deep regional connections of Tainui Group Holdings and the scale and efficiencies offered by Ruakura and its road and rail connections.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA FIRST HALF PROFIT FLAT
Source: RNZ.co.nz
The Port of Tauranga's first half result is flat, despite a drop in cargo handled through the country's biggest port.
The port company's net profit dropped 1.4 percent to $48.3 million in the six months to December, but was otherwise flat after accounting for a tax adjustment of $0.6m. Revenue was up 1.2 percent to $154.8 million, reflecting a 4.2 percent drop in cargo volumes to just under 13.3m tonnes. However the port handled 3.4 percent more shipping containers, with transhipment up 3.7 percent. "The longer-term outlook remains for cargo growth, particularly in containerised cargo, so our next stage of capacity expansion is already under way," chair David Pilkington said.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS: KIWI PORTS STEP UP SHIP SCREENING ON INSTRUCTION FROM HEALTH MINISTRY
Source: Kate Green (Stuff.co.nz)
The screening process for ships entering New Zealand has been stepped up due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.
A Ministry of Health spokesman told Stuff that, from February 19, three new questions had been asked of all vessels arriving from overseas. All vessels arriving at their first New Zealand port were subject to a health clearance, which was standard practice, the spokesman said. The master of a vessel submitted notice of arrival at least 48 hours beforehand, with a "health status update" 12 to 24 hours before arrival.  FULL STORY

SHIP CAPTAIN AND CHIEF OFFICER FINED $17K AFTER CREWMAN PASSED OUT IN CARGO HOLD
Source: Sandra Conchie (Bay of Plenty Times)
A captain and chief officer of a cargo ship which docked at the Port of Tauranga were fined $17,550 after a crewman's safety was put at risk and providing false or misleading information. The victim blacked out due to lack of oxygen after he was sent down into a cargo hold to clean it on the Isle of Man bulk carrier, the Emilie Bulker, despite no atmospheric testing. The vessel docked at the Port of Tauranga on September 4, 2019. Court documents released to the Bay of Plenty Times this week reveal the circumstances behind a safety breach which resulted in Maritime New Zealand prosecuting two of the ship's officers.  FULL STORY

FURTHER DETAILS FOR NORTHLAND PROPOSED 5 MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Source: NZ Herald
Northland's local body leaders could find out if their campaign to get five major infrastructure projects for Northland has been successful by June. The region's mayors, Sheryl Mai of Whangārei, Far North's John Carter and Dr Jason Smith of Kaipara, have launched a Kia Kaha campaign to get public and industry support to get the five projects heading north. The projects include a new $240 million ship repair dry dock, a Navy base in Whangārei, completion of a four-laned highway from Whangārei to Auckland and more.  FULL STORY

20,000 TRUCKS SERVING TANJUNG PRIOK PORT CAN’T OPERATE AMID FLOODS: ASSOCIATION
Source: Riza Roidilla (Jakarta Post)
Flooding on thoroughfares of the capital and major roads in satellite cities has disrupted operations of at least 20,000 trucks in Greater Jakarta. The deputy chairman of the Indonesian Trucks Business Association (Aprtindo), Kyatmaja Lookman, said the association’s members operated 20,000 trucks a day to and from Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta, and on Tuesday the trucks could not hit the road because of widespread flooding. “Usually, floods do not reach the Cakung-Cilincing and Marunda toll road,” he said, referring to one of the primary arteries connecting the city with the country’s biggest ports.  FULL STORY

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, Inchcape Shipping Services accepts no liability nor makes any representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability