News & Media

09 July, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 686

CHINA ADMITS TO TARGETING AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS, SAYS CANBERRA ACTS AS A ‘CAT’S PAW’ FOR US
Source: Tyrone Clarke (Skynews.com.au)
China says it will not allow Australia to “reap benefits” from trade when it acts as a “cat’s paw” for the United States. United States agriculture exports to China have boomed in the wake of Beijing intentionally making Australia “pay for misguided government policies”, says a senior Chinese diplomat. While Australian wine, beef, barley and coal exports suffered throughout 2020 and 2021 due to coercive Chinese trade bans and tariffs, the US saw a significant uptick in their agricultural exports.  FULL STORY  

CONTAINER SHIPPING’S RECORD YEAR IS ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS
Source: Nikos Roussanoglou (Hellenic Shipping News)
The container ship segment has had an astonishing year thus far. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied commented that “the remarkable exuberance that seems to have emerged within consumer behaviour globally since late 2020 has stretched supply lines to their absolute limits. At the same time, during the later half of 2020 and first half of 2021 we were still amidst major production disruptions, especially in most of the major developed economies, causing most supply chains to outstretch far beyond their consumer base. FULL STORY

WORLD MARITIME THEME 2022: NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR GREENER SHIPPING
Source: International Maritime Organisation
“New technologies for greener shipping” has been chosen as the World Maritime theme for 2022, reflecting the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind. The IMO Council, meeting for its 125th session (28 June-2 July), endorsed the theme following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. Mr. Lim said the theme would provide an opportunity to focus on the importance of a sustainable maritime sector and the need to build back better and greener in a post pandemic world. “IMO actively supports a greener transition of the shipping sector into a sustainable future, and showcases maritime innovation, research and development, and the demonstration and deployment of new technologies,” Mr. Lim said.  FULL STORY

SHIP VALUES ARE SOARING AMID SECONDHAND SALES ‘FRENZY’
Source: Greg Miller (Freight Waves)
Chalk up yet another record for ocean shipping. More vessels traded hands in the first half of this year than in any other six-month stretch — yet another industry signal that’s flashing green. It’s not just container ships. An exceptionally high number of tankers and bulkers were sold as well. Values of ship assets have continued to rise across the board, not only in container and dry cargo shipping, where freight rates are very strong, but also, incongruously, in tanker shipping, where freight rates are abysmal. The higher ship prices go, the higher the shipowner’s net asset value (NAV, the market-adjusted value of the fleet and other assets, minus liabilities).  FULL STORY

EXPLOSION ON CONTAINER SHIP IN DUBAI FELT BY RESIDENTS 25 KILOMETRES AWAY
Source: ABC.net.au
A fiery explosion on a container ship has sent a shock wave through Dubai and damaged one of the world's largest ports. The blaze sent up giant orange flames on a vessel at the crucial Jebel Ali Port, which is the busiest port in the Middle East and sits on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula. The explosion unleashed a shock wave through the skyscraper-studded city of Dubai, causing walls and windows to shake in neighbourhoods as far as 25 kilometres away.  FULL STORY

DEFENCE FOR MASTER’S SHIP THAT LOST CARGO AT SEA WILL NOT CROSS-EXAMINE WITNESSES
Source: Jocelyne Garcia (BrisbaneTimes.com.au)
The legal team defending the master of a cargo ship that spilled about 50 containers into the sea off Australia last year has lost its application to cross-examine three experts. Mohd Bin Alias’s matter was heard in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday. Mr Alias was charged with two offences relating to protection of the sea and preventing a collision with other ships. The Singapore-flagged ship, APL England, was travelling to Melbourne from China when about 50 shipping containers toppled overboard off the coast of Sydney on Sunday, May 24, when the ship experienced rough sea conditions.  FULL STORY

PORT OF DARWIN’S CHINESE OWNER SUFFERS DOUBLE BLOW
Source: Andrew Tillett (AFR.com)
The Chinese owner of the Port of Darwin has suffered a double blow after the Northern Territory reclaimed land earmarked for a luxury waterfront hotel and Panama’s government cancelled a lease to operate a port at the strategically important Panama Canal. In both cases, the deals were scrapped after Landbridge did not meet its commercial obligations under leases signed separately with the NT and Panama governments. News of the terminations came as the Defence Department prepares advice to the Morrison government on whether the $500 million, 99-year Darwin Port lease should be terminated on national security grounds. The territory’s former Country Liberal Party government gifted Landbridge land valued at $22 million for a six-star hotel in 2016, with the company given until last month to start construction.  FULL STORY 

PORT OF DAMPIER DREDGING STARTS
Source: Eldin Ganic (DredgingToday.com)
The Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) will conduct dredging and survey operations within the Port of Dampier this week. According to their official announcement, the works will be undertaken at Facilities Channel Swing Basin, Bulk Liquid Berth (BLB) berth pocket and Dampier Cargo Wharf (DCW) West berth pocket. The dredging operations will be carried out by the vessel Juan Sebastián de Elcano and the hydrographic survey will be carried out by vessel PHS Zephyr.  FULL STORY

PILBARA PORTS AUTHORITY EXPANDS REMIT
Source: Lydia Woellwarth (Dry Bulk)
The oversight of the Port of Varanus Island has been transferred to Pilbara Ports Authority, as part of the second phase of the WA Government’s ports governance reform programme. The ports governance reform programme is aimed at bringing all commercial ports under the same regulatory regime, with these ports progressively transferring from the Department of Transport to regional port authorities. The Port of Varanus Island is the first of five ports in the Pilbara region to be transferred to Pilbara Ports Authority. Under the transfer, PPA will oversee marine safety for the port. Operated by Santos for the export of condensate, the Port of Varanus Island is located approximately 75 km from the Pilbara mainland and 140 km west of the Port of Dampier.  FULL STORY

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AUSTRALIA WANTS ACTION ON PORT COST HIKES
Source: Sean Ford (TheAdvocate.com.au)
"Unjustified and exorbitant" hikes in port and stevedores' fees are hurting exporters and governments should consider regulation. That is according to Regional Development Australia Tasmania and the Tasmanian Logistics Committee. "This will minimise ongoing price shocks on exporters and deter questionable commercial practices," the bodies said in a submission to the Productivity Commission's study of vulnerable supply chains. "The market forces of supply and demand have exaggerated freight costs in the post-COVID trading environment as cargo space on global shipping fleets is maximised and demand outstrips supply.  FULL STORY

LOGISTICS FIRMS RAISE CONCERNS OVER YET ANOTHER PORT STRIKE
Source: Matt Ogg (BusinessNewsAustralia.com)
Earlier this month the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) struck a deal with Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) for improved job security and more, but disputes with other operators in the country's ports are set to put logistics and freight companies under further pressure. The MUA has planned work stoppages involving employees at towage company Svitzer tomorrow at Melbourne and Westernport Victoria from midday to midnight. "This targeted protected industrial action in Melbourne and Westernport will only cause further uncertainty and disruption to our colleagues, customers and stakeholders in the ports and state at a critical time when we need to keep goods moving," Svitzer Australia said in a message to customers.  FULL STORY

UNIONS BACK INJURED PORT OF TAURANGA WHISTLEBLOWERS, SAY EMPLOYER IS PUSHING THEM TO THE LIMIT TO MAXIMISE PROFITS
Source: Fiona Connor (NewsHub.co.nz)
Two major port unions are throwing their support behind three workers at the Port of Tauranga after they spoke out about suffering serious back injuries at work that had left them financially, emotionally and physically broken. A trio of straddle drivers at the port blew the whistle on their working conditions in an interview with Newshub last week, saying injuries suffered transporting old machines over potholes had extreme reprecussions. They also called for improvements to be made to work practices and infrastructure at the Port of Tauranga - calls the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union are now echoing. Maritime Union national secretary Craig Harrison says the Port of Tauranga is responsible for worker harm due to the "notorious bad conditions" inside the port's gates.  FULL STORY

COVID-19: POLITICAL LEADERS SUPPORT PORT TARANAKI'S DECISION TO REFUSE COVID-INFECTED SHIP ENTRY
Source: Christina Persico and Jane Matthews (Stuff.co.nz)
The region's politicians have welcomed Port Taranaki’s call to refuse entry to the ship with two Covid-infected mariners on board, but maritime industry experts are questioning the decision. On Wednesday, Port Taranaki said Viking Bay, the deep sea fishing vessel carrying the mariners and more crew, was not welcome, after hearing during the Government’s daily press briefing it could be coming to shore later that day. But the ship spent the night at sea and on Thursday the Ministry of Health (MOH) could not say which port the ship would berth at, but it would likely be one with a quarantine facility.  FULL STORY

SHIP BACKLOG
Source: Murray Robertson (GisborneHerald.co.nz)
The build-up of log ships anchored off Gisborne continues as Eastland Port catches up on a backlog of exports caused by heavy swells and restricted access during wharf repairs. About a dozen log ships were visible at anchor this morning, stretching from just south of Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay to past Tuahine Point. One ship last week was at anchor as far up as Whangara. Eastland Group chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum described it as the biggest build-up of ships at anchor off Gisborne since World War 1 when coastal shipping was at its peak. Log exports were resumed at the weekend when heavy seas subsided.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING VENTURE PAYING OFF
Source: Sudesh Kissun (RuralNewsGroup.co.nz)
Supply chains throughout the world are under pressure but Fonterra is making its logistics well, says chief operating officer Fraser Whineray. He says joint shipping venture Kotahi - a collaboration between Fonterra and meat processor Silver Fern Farms formed after the 2007-8 global financial crisis - is helping New Zealand exporters continue sending food to overseas customers. Kotahi now has over 50 customers and exports one-third of New Zealand's container traffic.  FULL STORY

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