as air freight capacity becomes more available at lower costs, more companies are taking advantage of the situation.

Report finds $109bn of trade ‘flying under the radar’

A new report by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS Oxford Economics’ shows the goods travelling in the belly of international aircraft arriving and departing Australia are worth a massive $109 billion annually.
The 2019 International Airfreight Indicator, the latest report in Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s data and measurement series, reveals that one in every five dollars of Australia’s traded goods travels via air.
“Every day, more than 550 international flights arrive and depart Australia, yet until now, we have been remarkably blind to the value, the type of commodity, and the economic contribution of goods that travel in the belly of these aircraft,” said Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Adrian Dwyer.
“The 2019 International Airfreight Indicator shines a light on a multi-billion industry that has historically gone unnoticed in our broader trade debate.
“The indicator shows that airports are crucial to our trade story, and the cargo transported beneath passengers is vitally important to airlines, airports and the Australian economy.
“Last year alone, $109 billion of international trade passed through Australia’s airports, with airfreight set to top $114 billion this financial year.
“Whilst airfreight only represents 1 per cent of Australia’s trade volume, it punches well above its weight in value.
“One in every $5 of Australia’s imports and exports travels via our airports – making the airfreight sector one of the largest value contributors to Australia’s trade position.
“In a period of heightened trade tensions and structural economic change, it’s critical that we use data like that presented in the 2019 International Airfreight Indicator to improve the way we plan, regulate and invest in our freight sector.
“Without useful data to examine and measure our freight sector we will be flying blind on our international trade.
“That is why we have called on Government to establish a dedicated freight body to independently measure and publish detailed analysis of the overall performance of our logistic and supply chain networks,” Mr Dwyer said.
Some of the findings:

  • In FY2017-18, $109 billion of international trade passed through Australia’s airports, with more than 96 per cent of international airfreight passing through the four main capital city airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
  • Whilst airfreight only represents 1 per cent of Australia’s trade volume, it represents 21 per cent of goods in trade value.
  • The amount of goods flowing in and out by air is now 70kg for every person – a 60 per cent rise in the last five years. This reached a record high over FY2017-18.
  • More than 80 percent of our airfreight is carried in passenger aircraft, with the balance carried in dedicated freight aircraft.

Trade war between US and China: ag to win, mining to lose

Business information analysts IBISWorld believes Australia stands to be caught in the middle of a trade war between the United States and China, as the world’s two largest economies launch increasingly retaliatory tariffs at each other.
While some local industries may become more exposed to risk as a result, IBISWorld believes Australia will also have the rare opportunity to seize export market share in both markets.
“Australia is one of the best-placed countries in the world to reap the gains of a trade war, due to our natural advantage of having ease of access to maritime trading with both major economies,” said senior analyst at IBISWorld Jason Aravanis. “In addition, Australia has beneficial bilateral free trade agreements with both China and the US, which provide more stability to international trade.
“While the trade war presents opportunities for some sectors, others will likely be at greater risk, as Australia is being caught between its largest trade partner and its largest investor – between the economy we rely on and the nation we look to for our security.”
Why USA and China matter to Australia
According to IBISWorld, the United States and China are both vital trading partners for Australia, but for different reasons.
China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner, accounting for 17.7% of all imports into Australia and 29.6% of Australian exports in 2016-17. As such, the Australian economy is intrinsically tied to the performance of the Chinese economy. Many industries rely on Chinese demand for exports, or Chinese supply of imported production inputs.
The United States is Australia’s third largest trading partner, after Japan. However, the United States is the largest foreign investor in Australia, with over $860 billion invested in 2016. In contrast, China is only the seventh largest investor in Australia.
Australian winners
As China and the United States increasingly lock each other out of their domestic markets, certain Australian industries have the ability to seize market share.
“The Australian agricultural sector is likely to be one of the largest winners, as China has enacted tariffs on popular US food products,” said Mr Aravanis.
In 2017-18, China is expected to account for 25.1% of export demand in the Australian Wine Production industry, and this is forecast to grow in response to a 15% tariff imposed on US wines this month. Similarly, a 25% Chinese tariff on US soybeans will create massive opportunities for the Australian Grain Growing industry, particularly as China consumes about two-thirds of global soybean production each year. Rising demand for premium meats in Chinese households has led to strong growth in Australia’s Meat Processing industry, and this industry’s performance is expected to further improve as a 25% tariff is imposed on US meats. Other Australian agricultural industries are also likely to benefit, including fruit and seed industries.
According to IBISWorld, some Australian industries also have the opportunity to gain market share in the United States, however, Australian exports are likely to encounter greater competition from other countries in this market, such as Canada, Brazil, and the European Union.
“As the United States has imposed a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium from China, the Australian Black Coal Mining and Aluminium Smelting industries may experience greater demand from US clients. In addition, US tariffs on Chinese chemicals, medicinal products, and electronic components are likely to create opportunities for Australian firms,” said Mr Aravanis.
Australian losers
Despite the positive gains for some Australian industries, others are likely to be negatively affected by a trade war.
“On a macro-economic scale, a downturn in either Chinese or US GDP growth is highly likely to undermine the growth of Australia’s GDP. This could lead to an increase in unemployment, as well as a sustained hit to business confidence as the stability of trade liberalisation in undermined,” said Mr Aravanis.
“Some industries are highly exposed to the risk of a trade war. Major mining industries such as the iron ore mining industry could be affected by a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, which would lead to far lower export prices and total demand. Tourism in Australia would also likely be negatively affected, as a hit to consumer confidence in both China and the United States would encourage consumers to postpone luxury expenses such as international holidays.”
Despite these challenges, IBISWorld believes the overall Australian economy is well placed should a trade war eventuate, at least relative to the conditions of other global economies. However, a trade war would likely lead to an overall decline in economic prosperity for Australia.
Tariffs imposed by China and the United States against each other:
Chinese tariffs

ItemTariff
Pork25%
Soybeans and grains25%
Wine15%
Fruit15%

 
US tariffs

ItemTariff
Steel25%
Medical supplies25%
Aerospace equipment25%
Whitegoods25%
Aluminium10%

 

How you can join the Border Force

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has launched an awareness campaign to encourage the Australian community to support the work of the ABF by reporting suspicious or illegal immigration, Customs and border-related activity to Border Watch.
It is critical that the ABF partners with the community — including business and industry — to help keep Australia safe. Reports to Border Watch help the ABF to investigate, detect and stop illegal and dangerous activity, the organisation said.
ABF Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command Kaylene Zakharoff said the ABF has seen some extremely positive outcomes thanks to the reports made by industry. These reports have been instrumental in hundreds of seizures of illicit drugs, tobacco, weapons and wildlife, as well as a number of immigration and visa related operational outcomes.
“In just the second half of last year, the ABF received in excess of 21,500 Border Watch reports, which led to over 1.4 tonnes of drugs and precursors being seized,” she said.
Recently, information was received from a customs broker through Border Watch about a sea cargo consignment. The broker noticed several suspicious things about the shipment that raised potential concerns around its stated contents.
The referral to Border Watch resulted in a large seizure of methamphetamine, located within the consignment, with a street value of over $150 million. This seizure prevented the potential manufacture of over 1.5 million hits of ice.
“Business and industry members are often well placed to identify suspicious activities in their industries and local areas. You or your business can play an important role in helping to protect the border, the economy and the safety of the community by reporting suspicious activities to Border Watch. You don’t have to give your name,” Assistant Commissioner Zakharoff said.
The Border Watch program and its predecessors, Customs Watch and Customs Hotline, has a proven track record of more than 20 years of delivering positive outcomes at the border and has become an integral part of the ABF’s information gathering methods.
By continuing to report suspicious activity to Border Watch, you or your business can help the ABF to stop illegal activity.
The types of reports to make to Border Watch relate to:

  • Customs and border-related offences such as drug and precursor imports, revenue/duty evasion, illegal currency movement, movement of weapons and firearms, and imports of illicit tobacco
  • Immigration offences such as people smuggling, illegal work operations, contrived relationships, false statements, visa overstayers and employer sponsor breaches.

If you see anything suspicious, business and industry are encouraged to report it to Border Watch via the industry premium number 1800 06 1800. Alternatively, you can flag it anonymously with Border Watch at www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch  or contact the program via borderwatch@homeaffairs.gov.au.
If you or your business are involved in international trade or transport sectors, you are strongly encouraged to partner with the ABF by joining the Border Watch industry program. To find out more, visit www.australia.gov.au/borderwatch.
 

Australian sales to China thriving: Tmall report

The 2017 Tmall Global Annual Consumers Report has revealed Australia has moved into third spot, on the list of importer countries into China, on Alibaba’s business-to-consumer (B2C) platform. This is up from fourth spot in 2016.
Led by strong demand from Chinese consumers for Australia’s health and nutrition supplements, baby products and milk powder, Australia ranked behind only Japan and the United States, and ahead of Germany and South Korea.
Managing Director of Alibaba Group, Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou said: “Since opening our ANZ headquarters in Melbourne last year, we have worked harder than ever to support the success of Australian businesses in China. These incredible results for Australian merchants demonstrate that we are succeeding in our mission to make it easier for local businesses to do business anywhere.
“With 515 million annual active consumers now using our China retail marketplaces the opportunity for Australian businesses remains enormous, and we are excited to be part of the China journey for even more local brands in 2018.”
The 2017 Tmall Global Annual Consumers Report was jointly published by Tmall Global and CBNData, a big data-based business research and integrated marketing communications strategy platform. Elsewhere, it found that Chinese post-millennials have become the main purchasing power for imported products, with content and emotional interaction becoming a major factor in driving consumers’ decisions when buying imported products.
The report highlighted that people born in the 1990s have now become the biggest spenders on imported products, which come from a more diverse range of countries and are consumed more frequently throughout the year.
Tmall Global sustained its position as the largest B2C e-commerce platform for imported products in China, with a market share of 27.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. There is still significant untapped potential in this sector, with the report estimating annual growth of 20 per cent in transaction volume and a market scale of RMB620 billion by 2019.

VISA Global Logistics joins MEGATRANS2018

Award-winning Australian international logistics company and freight forwarder, VISA Global Logistics, is joining inaugural supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018, to showcase its service offerings.
VISA Global Logistics CEO, Simon Hardwidge, said that MEGATRANS2018 is not just about equipment suppliers, it embraces the entire freight and logistics chain.
“As a global enterprise with dealings with importers, exporters, retailers and manufacturers, VISA Global Logistics is seizing an important opportunity to represent at MEGATRANS2018 to demonstrate how we add value to our clients,” said Hardwidge.
“As one of Australia’s largest privately-owned international freight forwarding companies, we have an extensive global network that continues to grow.
“Last year alone, the company acquired offices in India, Spain and the Netherlands while opening new facilities in Italy. In order to remain competitive, and to look to the future, it is vital for businesses in the freight and logistics space to push innovation and share ideas.”
VISA Global Logistics was awarded the Freight Forwarder of the Year Award at the 2017 Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards.
MEGATRANS2018 aims to bring together leaders and stakeholders in the wider Australian and international supply chain, including those in the transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling and infrastructure sectors.

Melbourne container users slugged, again

Shipping lines in Melbourne have begun demanding that importers return empty containers direct to stevedore terminals rather than empty container parks.
The additional costs associated with the return of empty containers direct to stevedore terminals are being scrutinised by container transport operators in Melbourne with a view implementing measures to recover these costs in the marketplace.
The policies of many major shipping lines dictating direct empty container de-hire to stevedore terminals in Australia rather than to designated empty container parks (ECP), and some stevedore empty container truck receival and processing practices, are causing these additional logistics costs.
Major foreign container shipping lines are now regularly dictating direct empty return to terminals across Australia include OOCL, ANL (CMA-CGM), Hamburg Süd and COSCO. The largest container Shipping Line serving Australia, Maersk Line, has also commenced its container terminal return policy.
Maersk has even had its traditional empty container park providers issue statements to transport operators that de-hire instructions will be “strictly enforced” and that trucks will be “rejected” if operators attempt to de-hire at alternative locations.
“These strict instructions remove operational flexibility in the landside logistics sector and trigger a range of additional operational costs. It’s yet another example of foreign-owned shipping lines improving their bottom line at the expense of the Australian container supply chain,” observed CTAA director Neil Chambers.
“In comparison with other Australian ports, in the Port of Melbourne some stevedore practices involved in receiving direct empty de-hires are not efficient from the point of view of the landside operators.”
In the Port of Melbourne, the additional costs are caused when there is:

  • A lack of available container slots for the return of the empties to the designated stevedore terminal (day shift & night shift).
  • The need to stage empty containers through transport yards due to the lack of available terminal slots, including the costs of additional container lifts and yard storage.
  • Additional truck kilometres travelled.
  • No ability to backload full import containers (i.e. not being able to achieve two-way truck running by returning empties in conjunction with import container pick-ups) due to the operational practices and vehicle booking system restrictions of the stevedore.
  • Longer Truck Turnaround Times (TTT) at the stevedore terminal in comparison to ECP.
  • No-show & wrong time zone penalties imposed by the stevedore on transport operators for empty returns when no such penalty regime applies at traditional ECP.
  • Additional administration costs, including in some instances the costs of administering the production of a Pre-Receival Advice (PRA) message for container receipt into the terminal.
  • The greater chance of container detention charges being levied by shipping lines for the late return of the empty containers due to the operational delays.

“Consequently, container transport operators in Melbourne can no longer commercially absorb the additional costs. CTAA strongly believes that there is a need for genuine cost recovery to ensure business viability through the adoption of a transparent “Direct De-hire to Terminal” surcharge levied on cargo interests (transport customers),” Mr Chambers said.
“We would stress that not all of these inefficiencies apply to all stevedore terminals in Melbourne, and we thank those terminals that do work closely with transport operators to ensure timely empty container de-hire slot availability, the ability to backload (i.e. take in empties when the truck is manifested to pick up import containers), and have acceptable truck turnaround times.”
Mr Chambers also noted: “CTAA Alliance companies have not identified the same level of inefficiencies in Port Botany or Brisbane.
“Transport operators need to ensure that the true additional costs of the direct wharf de-hire policies of the shipping lines, and the operational practices of their stevedore providers that can exacerbate the additional costs, are transparent to shippers (importers / freight forwarders).
“Ultimately, shippers will need to have commercial conversations with shipping lines and choose shipping line services that minimise these additional landside logistics costs.”

Hays releases 2018 Jobs In Demand report

Recruiting firm Hays has released its latest Jobs In Demand report, covering January to June 2018.
The company expects strong demand to continue in the logistics industry for persons with expertise in the areas of inventory management, import/export, wharves and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) planning.
“Across Australia, positive productivity is linked to efficiency improvements, be that in warehousing, transport or supply chain,” the company said. “Companies are targeting candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes, combined with a proven track record in reducing costs and achieving demanding KPIs [key performance indicators].”
The report identified several roles that the industry is currently keen to fill, including storepersons with inventory management software experience, import/export coordinators with cargo software knowledge, fleet controllers with wharf experience, demand and supply planners with FMCG experience.
Experience in purchasing will also be in demand, as will candidates with knowledge of inventory management software such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SAP software.
Hays is also seeing an increased need for logistics candidates with heavy rigid or heavy combination licences.

DHL launches AI-backed global trade indicator

Global logistics company DHL has launched a new tool to indicate current and future development of global trade, the Global Trade Barometer.
The Barometer, developed in partnership with professional services company Accenture, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse logistics data to provide a forecast of future trade.
“DHL has both a deep understanding of the driving forces behind global data volumes and the industry expertise to analyse and interpret market data,” said Tim Scharwath, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding – Freight. “The DHL Global Trade Barometer shows impressively how digitalisation – with the use of Big Data and predictive analytics – opens up entirely new opportunities.”
The Barometer examines containerised ocean freight data for import and export of commodities that serve as the basis for further industrial production, for example brand labels for clothing, bumpers for cars and touchscreens for mobile phones. Through AI and other statistical analysis processes, the data is compressed to a single value for global trade, and one each for the seven countries examined, who make up more than 75 per cent of world trade.
Results for January 2018 suggest continued growth in global trade over the next three months.
“The insights from the DHL Global Trade Barometer will help DHL customers to optimise their business processes, for example providing guidance for investment and supply-chain decisions,” the company said in a statement. “DHL itself will leverage the indicator to fine-tune is own resource planning for its international logistics operations.”
The company added that it anticipates the tool will have high significance beyond logistics, due to its suitability for use by banks, associations and economic research institutes.
“In a world characterised by volatility and uncertainty, we are contributing to greater transparency and predictability – for the benefit of our customers, our business and society,” said Scharwath.

DHL to bolster Irish and UK food supply chain

Taste Ireland, an Australian distributor of Irish and UK foods, has announced a new end-to-end freight agreement with logistics company DHL.
DHL Global Forwarding will ship Taste Ireland’s products on direct sailings to Australia, selected to minimise transit times and the risk of in-transit food expiry. DHL will ship temperature-sensitive products in its refrigerated containers.
Prior to shipping, DHL will consolidate and pack Taste Ireland’s orders from customers including supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths as well as Irish pubs in Australia, to reduce container numbers and optimise transport costs and times for the distributor.
“We chose to work with DHL because of their exemplary track record in handling time-sensitive food shipments with strict compliance, accuracy, and efficiency,” said Eamon Eastwood, CEO, Taste Ireland.
“As our business continues to grow at breakneck speed, we needed a forwarder who could not only simplify and speed up our shipping process across numerous line items, but give us full visibility of and confidence in our shipments’ freshness when they arrive at each customer’s door.”
DHL will also pre-clear Taste Ireland’s shipments with Australian customs, and offer door-to-door airfreight for more urgent shipments.
“We’re excited to be helping Taste Ireland as it makes the leap from SME to global supplier of repute, by giving them total visibility and compliance across every facet of the logistics process as well as the support of our world-class customs clearance processes,” said Tony Boll, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding – South Pacific.
“The time previously spent on in-house logistics management can now go into how Taste Ireland markets and sells Ireland’s favourite foods to meet untapped and increasingly hungry demand throughout Australia and the South Pacific.”

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