Thursday, June 3, 2021
Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) representatives are spending two days in Canberra (2 and 3 June 2021) completing formal ministerial and executive departmental briefings.
These have been structured in terms of three main themes being: 
  • examining preliminary government and industry co-design project concepts associated with the Simplified Trade System (stay tuned for formal announcements)
  • a desperate need to continue funding of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (existing funding will expire in September 2021 with no allocation of funds referenced in the recent Federal Budget announcement)
  • focussed discussion on shipping, stevedore and empty container park costs and critical freight capacity constraints. 
We are particularly grateful to the Hon Dan Tehan (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) for his generous time given to Olga Harriton (APSA Chair,  Global Logistics Manager - Manildra Group), Mary Wu (General Manager Processing and Export, Australian Meat Industry Council - AMIC) and myself.

The Minister was supported by senior advisors including Michael Byrne (International Freight Co- ordinator General overseeing IFAM).
L to R: Paul Zalai (FTA/APSA), Mary Wu (AMIC), Minister Tehan, Michael Byrne (IFAM) 
The meeting was structured around our call for a Federal Regulator to oversee reforms and a detailed examination of the seven (7) recommendations outlined in the FTA / APSA submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Vulnerable Supply Chains
  • shipping competition review
  • minimum service levels and notification periods
  • regulation of Terminal Access Charges
  • regulation of container detention practices
  • waterfront industrial relations reform
  • implementation of Biosecurity reform priorities
  • extension of IFAM funding
A summary of key discussion points is available HERE (FTA / APSA MEMBER LOGIN REQUIRED).
In other breaking news, I was privileged to speak to the Hon Michael McCormack (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development) last night at the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Parliamentary Dinner who confirmed his attendance at the 2021 APSA Conference in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday 17 August 2021 and provided an introduction to his senior advisor to progress the above matters.
We are increasingly confident that we will receive the necessary support from the federal government to examine the complex matters raised. In parallel, we are escalating our media campaign with coverage in The Advocate 'Rising port costs being passed back to the farmer' and confirmation of coverage the ABC's 'The Business' to air on Tuesday evening, 8 June 2021.
Paul Zalai
Director and Co-Founder | Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA)
Secretariat | Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) 
Director | Global Shipper Forum (GSF)