News & Media

13 August, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 691

MAJOR CONTAINER PORTS IN EASTERN CHINA SEE WORSENING CONGESTION AFTER COVID CASES
Source: Reuters.com
Congestion off China's top two container ports Shanghai and Ningbo is worsening following the shutdown of a container terminal in Ningbo where a COVID-19 case was detected this week. Tighter restrictions to fight China's latest coronavirus outbreak are starting to hit more parts of the economy. The highly transmissable Delta variant has been detected in more than a dozen cities since late July. Forty container vessels were waiting at the outer Zhoushan anchorage on Thursday, up from 30 on Aug. 10 when a worker at the Meidong container terminal tested positive for COVID-19, data tracked by Refinitiv showed. FULL STORY  

‘UNPRECEDENTED TIMES’ FOR OCEAN FREIGHT AS FEES SOAR
Source: Jenny Wiggins (AFR.com)
Ocean freight rates to move containers by sea to Australia are surging because of strong demand for imported goods and materials during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating record profits for shipping lines but intensifying financial pressure on importers. “The ocean freight market is currently facing unprecedented times with severe capacity and container shortages resulting in overwhelming demand driven by the global pandemic,” logistics group DB Schenker said in an email to customers last week, as it announced higher charges. “Shipping lines are continuing to increase freight rates across short and long-term contracts to cope with increasing operational costs and escalating cargo demand.” Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd will raise fees on containers shipped from Australia to European destinations by $US400 ($544) for every 20-foot equivalent container (TEU) from August 17. FULL STORY

CHINESE SAILOR CRUSHED TO DEATH DURING OPEN SEA SHIP TRANSFER
Source: Owen Jacques (ABC.net.au)
A man has been fatally crushed between a ship and a hulking cargo vessel off Queensland's Sunshine Coast and advocates are questioning the rules that seemingly led to his death. The sailor, thought to be a Chinese national, was climbing down a pilot ladder on the side of the Liberian-flagged Formosabulk Clement just before 7:00pm on Monday when the incident occurred. It was the end of his contract and he was leaving his ship, berthed about five nautical miles off Caloundra, to begin his journey home. Most seafarer contracts run an average of between six and 12 months. Queensland Police and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority are investigating the death. FULL STORY

CONTRACTS AWARDED FOR THE PORT BOTANY LINE UPGRADES
Source: David Burroughs (RailJournal.com)
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded two contracts for the $A 400m Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Loop project in Sydney, Australia. John Holland has won the contract to design and construct the Botany Rail Duplication, while Fulton Hogan is the successful contractor for the Cabramatta Loop. “The project will help meet future demand at Port Botany, where the freight task is predicted to increase by 77% by 2036,” says ARTC CEO, Mr Mark Campbell. “The Botany Rail Duplication will duplicate the remaining 2.9km section of single-track line between Mascot and Botany, while the 1.65km Cabramatta Loop will allow freight trains of up to 1300m in length travelling in either direction on the Southern Sydney Freight Line to pass each other. FULL STORY

NEW STORAGE FACILITIES PROPOSED FOR PORT KEMBLA
Source: April Shepherd (InfrastructureMagazine.com.au)
Two new state-of-the-art import/export facilities have been proposed for Port Kembla, with the aim to create new opportunities for trade and economic growth in the Illawarra. The two developments are currently in the process of finalising certification applications to Wollongong City Council – following certification, applications can be made to the EPA for Environment Protection Licences. These two new facilities are Manildra Ethanol Storage Facility and Simosa Bitumen Storage Facility. FULL STORY

GOVT AXES KANGAROO ISLAND TIMBER PORT BID DESPITE POSITIVE REPORT
Source: Andrew Spence and David Eccles (InDaily.com.au)
State Planning Minister Vickie Chapman has rejected plans by Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber to build a $40m port at the island’s Smith Bay, despite her department recommending that the project, which has longstanding Major Development status, could be approved. Chapman announced late yesterday that she had vetoed the project due to the potential for long-term environmental damage, impact on local businesses and the island’s character. She said her decision came after a State Planning Commission’s Assessment Report found the application to be “finely balanced”. “This was a difficult decision and one I have not made lightly,” Chapman said. FULL STORY

SHIPPING AND CONTAINER SHORTAGES CREATE MAJOR HEADACHES FOR EXPORTERS
Source: Jon Condon (BeefCentral.com)
A global shortage of container vessels, as well as the refrigerated shipping containers they carry, is creating major headaches for Australian red meat exporters. As a consequence, charges for container freight have risen dramatically since around April, and long delays have occurred in getting product into some markets, export contacts have told Beef Central this week. Higher value chilled product has apparently been worst affected, due to shelf-life issues. Routes relying on trans-shipment (swapping containers from one vessel to another in hubs like Singapore or Malaysia to reach the final destination) appear to be impacted most. Some vessels are completely omitting major beef markets like Japan at the moment, due to the shortage of ships and containers, Beef Central was told. FULL STORY

PORT HEDLAND IRON ORE EXPORTS UP IN JULY
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Pilbara Ports Authority has delivered a total monthly throughput of 59.0 million tonnes (Mt) for July 2021. This throughput was a two per cent decrease compared to July 2020. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 45.0Mt, of which 44.3Mt was iron ore exports. This was a two per cent increase when compared to July 2020. Imports through the port of Port Hedland totalled 180,000 tonnes, a decrease of seven per cent compared to July 2020. The Port of Dampier delivered a total throughput of 13.0Mt, a 13 per cent decrease from July 2020. FULL STORY

MAGIA SOLUTIONS TO IMPLEMENT SHIPSHAPE SYSTEM UPGRADE FOR PORT AUTHORITY
Source: Sasha Karen (ARNNet.com.au)
Magia Solutions has been brought in to implement an Oracle-based product for the WA government trading enterprise Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) to upgrade its existing system. Encompassing several ports within WA, the PPA covers four ports in Ashburton, Dampier, Port Hedland and Varanus Island, as well as five greenfields ports and four Shipping and Pilotage Act 1967 ports which are yet to be completed. The new system, which is yet to go live, is to replace its current enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise asset management system (EAM) to a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) Oracle product.  FULL STORY

SHED AT AUCKLAND MARINA USED TO FERRY FOREIGN SHIPPING CREW OFFSHORE
Source: Nick Truebridge (Stuff.co.nz)
The government has quietly established a transfer zone for foreign shipping crew in a busy commercial area in Auckland. The set-up has been attacked by a public health expert as a sign New Zealand is not taking the highly infectious Covid-19 Delta variant seriously. The arrangement involves shipping crew being transferred from international flights, or a short MIQ stay, to a shed at Tamaki Marine Park, before being ferried to ships waiting out at sea. The facilities used at the marina require a deep clean after each crew is processed, as does the boat used to ferry them to vessels waiting offshore. Workers involved in the process are now considered border workers and require vaccination. FULL STORY

PORT DEATH CHARGES
Source: PortStrategy.com
Charges have been brought against a New Zealand port operator following the death of a port worker. Maritime New Zealand has filed charges against Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) and an individual in relation to the death of a port worker almost a year ago, said Kirstie Hewlett, Director of Maritime New Zealand. “POAL has been charged under sections 47, 48 and 90 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,” she said. “An individual has been charged under sections 48 and 49 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,” Hewlett added. Pala’amo (Amo) Kalati was killed on 30 August 2020 after being crushed when a container was dropped during a lifting operation. FULL STORY

COVID-HIT HAMBURG SÜD SHIP LEAVES NEW ZEALAND FOR TANJUNG PELEPAS
Source: Nick Savvides (TheLoadStar.com)
A Hamburg Süd ship that suffered a Covid-19 outbreak onboard left the New Zealand port of Tauranga yesterday for Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas. The 21-strong crew on the 5,905 teu Rio de la Plata was tested on Saturday, just as the ship was about to depart for another New Zealand port, Napier, and positive results were returned for 11. This led to Rio de la Plata being anchored outside Tauranga while health authorities tested 110 port workers and decided where the ship could go next. A Hamburg Süd spokesman told The Loadstar that, as Napier’s port authorities would not accommodate Rio de la Plata, the ship was sent to Tanjung Pelepas. FULL STORY

LARGE MAJORITY OF GISBORNE PRIVATE-SECTOR PORT WORKERS UNVACCINATED
Source: Alice Angeloni (RNZ.co.nz)
Almost 80 percent of Tairāwhiti's privately-employed port workers were unvaccinated three weeks ago, according to data released by National's Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop yesterday. Gisborne had the highest rate of unvaccinated private sector border workers in any port around the country as at July 22. At that time, 56 of 71 private-sector border workers at Eastland Port had not received a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Fifteen had received both doses. It comes as the Government investigates how 87 unvaccinated port workers in Tauranga boarded a ship carrying 11 Covid-19-positive crew members. FULL STORY

LYTTELTON PORT SAYS 85 PER CENT OF ITS FRONTLINE WORKERS HAVE RECEIVED COVID-19 VACCINES
Source: Mariné Lourens (Stuff.co.nz)
Amid concern about the number of port workers yet to receive their mandated Covid-19 vaccination, the Lyttelton Port Company has confirmed it is well on track with vaccinations. About 300 of the 620 staff at Lyttelton Port, CityDepot and MidlandPort are among those needing to be inoculated by September 30 under a government legal order requiring port workers to get the vaccine or face losing their jobs, a Lyttelton Port Company spokesman said. “Eighty five per cent of our eligible group 1 staff are vaccinated,” he said. “Of the 85 per cent that are vaccinated, the vast majority have had both vaccinations.” FULL STORY

INPEX TO DELAY FID FOR ABADI LNG PROJECT
Source: Yuka Obayashi (OEDigital.com)
Japanese energy company Inpex Corp expects its final investment decision (FID) on the Abadi liquefied natural gas project in Indonesia to be delayed because COVID-19 has disrupted survey work and adjustments may be needed due to climate change, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Japan's biggest oil and gas explorer said in July 2019 that it planned to start front-end engineering design (FEED) on the $20 billion project, also known as the Masela gas project, in 2020, with LNG production at the giant field due to start by 2027-2028. Inpex controls 65% of the project. 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.