CTAA - eNews 30th July 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021

CTAA eNews - 30 July 2021

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This CTAA e-News is sponsored by CTAA Alliance Partner 1-Stop Connections.

Check out the July 2021 Edition of 1-Stop News, including information on the launch of their new Driver App "1-Stop Deliver": 
COVID - Freight Workers & Testing

With the policies and directions for each State / Territory Government changing relatively rapidly to combat the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, it can be difficult to keep up with the health orders, border crossing permits and testing regimes for freight workers.
A good consolidated source of information for all States / Territories related to freight workers can be found on the dedicated Coronavirus website page of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR): https://www.nhvr.gov.au/about-us/coronavirus-response#vic

Over the last few weeks, CTAA has worked closely with several jurisdictions to advocate for workable arrangements for freight workers, either in affected "hot spot" zones or areas, crossing borders, testing regimes and available testing sites, or when COVID-19 cases are detected in freight logistics workplaces.

Thankfully due to the efforts of NSW Ministers Andrew Constance & Paul Toole, their ministerial staff, and senior Transport for NSW officials, freight workers were rapidly added to the list of "authorised workers" after the NSW Government announced its initial lockdown restrictions for affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Sydney.

The 7-day and in some cases 3-day COVID testing regimes for authorised workers in NSW affected LGAs, and for those freight workers crossing borders around Australia, have proven to be challenging.  However, government officials are working with industry to try to improve access to testing sites and potentially approve alternative testing solutions, including the potential use of Rapid Antigen (RA) testing administered in the workplace.

As this pandemic continues to evolve, the freight logistics industry must carry on its "essential" tasks, while maintaining strict COVID-safe protocols to keep the economy supplied, yet safe from virus spread. 
Patrick Terminals' Industrial Actions

Unfortunately, ongoing protected industrial actions continue at Patrick Terminals.

In Sydney, Patrick's Autostrad Terminal reports vessel berthing delays on average of over 5 days, promoting shipping lines to change vessel rotations to call other Australian ports (notably Melbourne or Brisbane) before Sydney, or bypass Port Botany entirely.

For instance, ANL (CMA-CGM) has announced that its South East Asia AAX1 service will omit Sydney every fortnight temporarily due to port congestion caused by the industrial actions (see: 

Patrick's Fremantle Terminal is experiencing berthing delays and vessel "bunching", while ongoing work stoppages and bans continue at Patrick Brisbane Terminal with additional actions earmarked from 2 August to 7 August.  Actions have been notified by the MUA too for Melbourne from 2 August to 7 August.

Patrick has again expressed disappointment that the MUA has continued to pursue industrial action "for the benefit of a few during such a challenging time for many Australian families and businesses."

Patrick has also stated: "
Patrick Terminals continues to wait for the MUA to respond to the generous offer of a 2.5% increase each year for four years for their already well-paid members."

See more information: HERE 

Let's hope the warring parties reach a negotiated enterprise Agreement settlement sometime soon!

Empty Container Parks - Fee Increases / Hours of Operation

Further announcements have been made of Notification Fee increases at Empty Container Parks, as well as some hours of operation amendments.  Click on the Read More link below for further information.

Container transport operators in all ports are genuinely concerned with the rising ECP Notification Fees that are 10 times or more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

It is also concerning that individual ECP operators increase their fees at any time and in some cases within less than one year after the previous increase.  This becomes extremely difficult for transport operators to explain to their freight forwarder and direct import/export customers.

ECP slot availability, empty redirections, direct terminal de-hire directions, and the potential for transport network delays, mean that most import empty containers must be staged via transport yards before de-hire can be achieved.  This adds costs and time delays.

CTAA in conjunction with its members is taking action on these matters.

Read More
NSW Ports Trade Update

NSW Ports' CEO, Marika Calfas, has provided an update on trade, operations and key initiatives at Port Botany and Port Kembla.

It is acknowledged that global supply chain disruption due to Covid-19 continues, causing flow on delays to vessel arrivals in Australia and capacity limitations.  And, while industrial action at DP World Australia and Hutchison Australia's Sydney container terminals has ended, ongoing industrial action at Patrick's Terminal in Sydney continues to exacerbate delays and congestion.

NSW saw strong growth in container volumes, with container imports increasing nearly 11% on last year as Australians continued to spend on furniture, electrical items, white goods and home renovation projects instead of travel and experiences. Building material imports also increased 13% on the year prior.

Download NSW Ports' CEO Update - July 2021

Port of Melbourne Stakeholder Update
The Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Burke, has provided an update for port stakeholders containing container trade statistics for June 2021.

June 2021 was a strong month for total container throughput (full and empty) with a total of 275,761 TEU, 7.2% above the previous year.

A strong increase in empty container movements was the biggest factor in the result.

Overall June 2021 container trade results compared with June 2020 were as follows:

  • total container volumes (full and empty) up 7.2%, with year to date volumes up by 14.3%;
  • full overseas container imports up 0.2% with year to date volumes up by 15.8%, although weather events last year in May 2020 pushed trade volume into the June 2020 figures;
  • full overseas container exports down 10.6%, mainly due to a significant decrease in timber exports, but the year to date volumes are up by 3.1%;
  • empty container movements were 37.5% above June 2020 and year to date volumes were up by 23.5%
Port of Melbourne also reports that container trade for July 2021 is tracking above the comparative month in 2020.

This underlines the continued strong landside container logistics task being experienced by logistics operators in Melbourne, which seems forecast to continue into the "traditional" peak season leading into Christmas and likely beyond to the Lunar New Year in early 2022.

It is pleasing that empty container evacuations by shipping lines was high in June, yet empty container management congestion is still frustratingly prevalent at some Melbourne empty container parks (ECPs).

Frequent closures of container terminal direct empty return "pools", rising empty container redirection orders in Melbourne by shipping lines and ECPs, and some export empty container type shortages, are all adding to the time and costs of managing empties.    

Read the Port of Melbourne Stakeholder Update: 

More detailed overseas container trade data for the Port of Melbourne for June 2021 can be downloaded: HERE
ACCC Container Stevedoring Monitoring - Container Logistics Stakeholder Surveys
For many years, CTAA has engaged actively with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to assist the competition watchdog to really understand the competition and commercial dynamics in the landside interface with container stevedore terminals across Australia.

This engagement has assisted the ACCC to deliver its annual 
Container Stevedoring Monitoring Report focussing a spotlight on the financial and operation performance of the container stevedoring companies.

The ACCC has now written to CTAA (see ACCC letter: 
HERE) indicating that to inform future Monitoring Reports, the ACCC has decided to conduct surveys with market participants across the entire freight supply chain.

The surveys are seeking industry views on the key issues, including rising costs in the freight supply chain and changes in both the shipping and stevedore industries.

The ACCC Transport Operator Survey can be downloaded: 

The ACCC Cargo Owner Survey (for forwarders and shippers) can be downloaded: HERE

CTAA urges all landside container logistics stakeholders to complete the Survey most applicable to them and return the completed form to the ACCC before the deadline of close of business 12 August 2021.

As indicated in its letter, the ACCC will keep all individual responses in-confidence and only aggregated results will be published.  Also, if any part of your response is of a strictly confidential nature, those sections can be highlighted to the ACCC.

Completed surveys should be emailed to: 
airportsandports@accc.gov.au.  Any queries can be directed to Olivia Tsang, ACCC on (03) 9290 1465.
Freight Worker Attraction!
To end on a lighter note, the photo above was snapped at CTAA Alliance company, Sidelink Transport in Melbourne.

The container transport logistics sector certainly faces a staffing & skills shortage, particularly heavy vehicle drivers.  But, this is taking it to the extreme!! 
Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) is strong Alliance of leading businesses in the container transport logistics industry.

CTAA Alliance companies account for the majority of containerised freight handled in capital city ports in Australia.

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