First published in 1891
The voice of Australian shipping & maritime logistics
Crisis in liner trades to north and east Asia
38 Sustainability focus for
major Victorian ports
46 The impact of limits to
liability on insurance
56 Benefits of preparing
your business for failure
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is proud to be celebrating 30
years in Australia.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their
For more information contact our Sydney office:
+61 2 8270 4000 or AUS-SYDinfo@msc.com
Liner trades to north and east Asia
Latest trends in container trade to and from the north
Sustainability focus for major ports and supply chains
The impact of shipowners and carriers limiting their liability
Exploring the types of control for risk management
8 A word from the minister
Deputy PM McCormack
discusses freight transport
18 Industry opinion
Senate inquiry into shipping
Teresa Lloyd explores the hallmarks
of a sustainable industry
22 Women in maritime
Recent reports on gender equality
24 Industry opinion
Llew Russell reflects on the value
of international experience
26 Aust Logistics Council
Wrap up from the ALC Forum 2019
52 Industry opinion
The influence of customer
demand on logistics technologies
54 Trade law
Digital trade and SMEs
58 Workplace law
Labor and plans for Fair Work Act
60 Industry analytics
Examining the decline in fatal
heavy truck accidents
62 Out & about
Naming of Victorian Reliance II
66 The grill
The new vice-president, Oceania
at Kalmar: Tom Holyman
4 April 2019
Australia’s best connected gateway port
First published in 1891
ISSUE NUMBER 1245 April 2019
The future of Australian-flagged shipping is much debated
From the editor
It is often said that we are in an age of polarisation. We’re seeing
that in shipping policy to some extent. Labor’s plans for a locallyflagged
fleet of tankers to ensure fuel security in the event of a
crisis have been hailed as visionary by some and lunacy by others.
Similarly, opposition leader Bill Shorten’s pronouncements of
plans to restore Australian shipping more generally have produced
widely disparate reactions, with sceptics suggesting it is a sop
to the Maritime Union (or the CFMMEU). This topic produced
some entertaining clashes between politicians and industry group
representatives during a recent conference in Melbourne.
It’s probably too much to hope for, but it would be great to see
some sort of consensus on what we should be aiming for. Even if
Australian-flagged shipping may take a long time to return, we
should start with defending, and then expanding, the important
maritime ‘clusters’, the many business and training facilities that
relate to maritime trade more generally.
Meanwhile, we are now a quarter of the way through the
calendar year and can take stock somewhat of what has occurred.
The issue of the brown marmorated stink bug has continued to
wreak havoc. And, the announcement of a steering committee to
examine the federal biosecurity levy has done little to quell debate
in that contentious sphere.
We haven’t yet come to arguably the most interesting event of
the year, the federal election which is tipped to occur next month.
This will no doubt generate some interesting news which we look
forward to bringing you in the weeks to come.
Editor, Daily Cargo News
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The voice of Australian shipping & maritime logistics
38 Sustainability focus for
major Victorian ports
Crisis in liner trades to north and east Asia
46 The impact of limits to
liability on insurance
56 Benefits of preparing
your business for failure
DCN0419_Cover.in d 3 28-Mar-19 2:54:04 PM
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6 April 2019
port and marine services
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WORD FROM THE MINISTER
Helping future freight
pull greater weight
The data is in the details for the future of Australia’s freight task, which is growing
at break-neck speed, writes Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack
WHETHER YOU LIVE IN THE CITY
or the country, in a house, a high-rise or a
farm, freight supply chains affect us all.
When freight moves efficiently, we are
all winners. Fresh produce and other goods
are delivered quickly and safely, businesses
can operate and freight vehicles move
smoothly in and out of town. When our
supply chains are interrupted all of this is
at risk of falling apart.
THE FREIGHT IMPULSION
The need for an efficient and productive
freight transport system to keep
our economy moving cannot be
overemphasised. The nation’s population
is growing and the demand for freight is
growing even faster.
As cities grow, some freight corridors
and logistics facilities will pose planning
challenges unless we act now. It is
reasonable to expect governments at all
levels to be able to plan ahead to ensure we
can meet the need for both efficient freight
and liveable, residential communities. Data
plays a key role in this planning.
The Liberal and Nationals government
recognises the importance of ensuring the
freight sector is efficient and productive in
keeping Australia moving. That is why we
have been developing a National Freight
and Supply Chain Strategy with state,
territory and local governments, as well as
industry. The strategy will set an agenda for
collaborative and integrated government
action on freight and supply chains during
the next 20 years.
THE DRIVE FOR DATA
As part of the 2018 industry expert
panel-led Inquiry into National Freight
and Supply Chain Priorities, a scenario
planning project was undertaken to help
future proof the strategy. This project
involved developing four potential future
scenarios, designed around different
levels of progress of automation, among
various other factors, to assist in long term
planning for our freight sector.
Across all scenarios, it became clear
improved data sharing and use is needed if
we are to better plan for future disruptions
and maintain the performance and
competitiveness of supply chains.
Following the inquiry, the Australian
government commissioned iMove
Cooperative Research Centre to do a
research study of the freight sector’s data
requirements to improve decision-making
and performance. The study found five key
barriers facing the freight sector which
prevent better sharing of data.
These barriers were: inadequate
protection of competition and confidential
data; excessive legal and contractual
requirements; resource-intensiveness in
terms of costs, time and human resources;
institutional weakness, in particular a lack
of governance around data; and a lack of
co-ordination and compatibility when it
comes to types of data.
In short, we need to enable the freight
sector to cut through the red tape and
technical discrepancies surrounding data.
The freight sector should be able to use
data, communicate and share data, and
protect the data which actually needs
While the final version of the iMove
study has yet to be released, initial findings
suggest the government should develop a
national policy on freight data in Australia
– a project which is already underway –
and establish a national data office as a
trusted central co-ordination point for
hosting freight data. Conclusive findings
and recommendations of this study have
yet to be released.
THE GOVERNMENT’S TASK
The government’s role in developing the
National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy
Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister
and minister for infrastructure and transport
for Australia – combined with increased
accessibility and efficient management of
freight data – is positioning the freight
sector to meet significant future growth
in the freight task. Our freight sector, its
workers and customers, will be supported
to meet increased overseas demand
for Australian resources and produce,
especially in growing Asian markets.
We will also be able to better
support increased domestic demand
from Australia’s growing population
through a unified, national approach to
freight planning. A national approach is
essential to ensure freight systems and
infrastructure work across state and
territory borders to enable the efficient
delivery of goods across Australia.
Our government understands this and is
investing in this national, evidence-based
approach right now.
I look forward to ongoing industry
engagement as we work with all involved in
the freight supply chain sector. There will
be great weight to pull in the future, but
the rewards will be even greater.
8 April 2019
ENHANCE YOUR MARITIME SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY
WITH RIGHTSHIP’S CARBON ACCOUNTING TOOL
las term of office.
shipping industry,” Mr
“It is vital for our
is also vital for people
like the 70 Australian
when they a rived at
Mr Crumlin criticised
the negotiation stage.
in June this year.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Letters to the Editor
BHP DECISION “CALLOUS AND
OUTRAGEOUS”, SAYS ALBO
Opposition infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese
used Parliamen to condemn BHP for its decision to no
longer use Australian-crewed ships in moving iron ore from
Port Hedland to Port Kembla.
BHP has argued the decision was forced by changes to its
business in recent years, but in the House of Representatives
Mr Albanese disagreed.
“BHP has made a decision to abandon the Australian flag,
to abandon Australian seafarers and Australian jobs and
replace [them] with foreign-flagged vessels with foreign
workers being paid foreign wages,” he told the House.
“The ‘big Australian’, as it is ca led, has been exposed to
having a li tle heart and no soul when it comes to looking
after the national interest.”
Two of the redundant workers were in the parliamentary
ga lery to hear the speech.
Mr Albanese said it was in Australia’s national interest “to
have the Australian flag on the back of ships with Australian
“It is in the interests of our national security because
we’ve had nothing from [the government] to say abou this,”
“It is in the interests of our environment and it is in the
interests of our economy.”
He took a swipe a the government for seeking to
implement ‘Work Choices on water’, a reference to industrial
relations laws introduced by the Howard government in its
“We need an Australian
14 March 2019
national interest, but it
seafarers who los their
jobs with this ca lous and
Earlier, Maritime Union
national secretary Paddy
Crumlin ca led upon Prime
Minister Sco t Mo rison to
meet mariners from the
MV Lowlands Bri liance
the government, saying it was “directly responsible for the
loss of these last iron ore vessels”.
“Sco t Mo rison should front up to Sydney Airport, meet
these workers, and te l them why his government has
rubber-stamped BHP and BlueScope replacing them with
exploited foreign seafarers who are paid as li tle as $2 an
hour,” Mr Crumlin said.
“The Liberal National Coalition has spen the last five
years in government actively undermining what is left of
Australia’s shipping industry and now wants to make it even
easier for multinational companies to replace Australian
seafarers with exploited labour.”
The government has previously argued tha the case is a
private one for BHP and BlueScope.
DPWA and Patrick finalists
for new Freo container
The tender for new leases to operate container terminals a the
Port of Fremantle was na rowed to the two cu rent operators, DP
World Australia and Patrick, with the proce s now moving on to
Th existing leases, which were awarded in 1997, are set to expire
The intent of the current process is to grant new seven-year
leases with options for extensions for two further periods up
to a total of 21 years at the discretion of Fremantle Ports, and
dependent upon state government decisions arising from the
Westport: Port and Environs Strategy.
Leases would start on July 1, 2019 and end on June 30, 2026 (or
on later dates if options were granted).
The process to secure new leases gives confidence to the industry
and the community that Western Australia’s expected trade growth
over the next decade can be accommodated.
Western Australia ports minister Alannah MacTiernan said
securing suitable container termina leases is importan to the
economy of Western Australia.
“Negotiations wi l focus on the ability to address investment
and operations plans to cater for expected trade growth in the
years ahead, but also th efficiency of land transport movements of
containers to and from the port,” she said.
“As part of this proce s Fremantle Ports wi l seek to further
improve the efficiency of land transport movements of containers
to and from the port, for the benefit of the community and
“The container trade is of enormous importance to Western
Australia and this tender proce s is being conducted in the context
of deliberations by the Westport Taskforce, which is examining port
and landside planning and development requirements to serve the
State in the decades to come.”
The two stevedores recently raised their infrastructure surcharges
a their terminals around the country, with DPWA’ surcharge
taking effect on 1 January and Patrick’s due to kick in on 4 March.
However, neither stevedore announced increases a their
Fremantle terminals this year, with DPWA’s surcharge remaining
$8.22 per container and Patrick’s remaining $7.50.
DCN0319_News.in d 14 22-Feb-19 2:06:39 PM
Ian Ackerman; Fremantle Ports
ALBANESE CRITICISMS WIDE
OF THE MARK
I was appalled to read Anthony Albanese’s
response to Rod Nairn (6/3/2019) and his
inference on the name Shipping Australia.
As a founder of SAL (and I might say
without my blessing it would not have
happened) I went out of my way to ensure
this new organisation did indeed represent
and acted in the interests of the Australian
Some years ago when Mr Albanese was
Minister I made a speech at an AMSA
conference when I defined what Australian
meant and on all counts (I was chairman
of SAL at the time and one of my company’s
founders actually brought ANL into being)
SAL ticked off all the boxes. However we all
know the political games that are played
and at the time when Albanese was putting
together a new inquiry who was left out
of the equation? SAL. All Albanese’s best
mates were there and what was the
Yet here we go again.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten promises
the world with another panel of experts
to define what we need to revitalise the
Australian shipping Industry. Penny-toa-pound
SAL again will not be invited.
Yet his besties (doubtless on the behest of
Albanese) will be invited.
Albanese/Shorten prattle on about how
we need good Aussie seafarers for tankers
etc. But how many remember the days of
vessels being held up because the colour of
the ice cream was not right? Because crew
were missing from connecting flights? Or
the wild parties on oil tankers when only
good luck prevented serious accidents.
That was reality and while I appreciate
times have changed the context should
With the CFMMEU now in charge,
how can we trust there will be a positive
outcome? Let alone there are two other
unions to woo. Perhaps I should write a
book on all of the unions’ antics over
Former chairman, Shipping Australia
CBFCA QUESTIONS COMPOSITION OF
BIOSECURITY IMPORT LEVY STEERING
Agriculture minister David Littleproud
recently established a Biosecurity
Levy Steering Committee to make
recommendations on the implementation
of this new levy.
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders
Council of Australia has a long history
of working with the Department of
Agriculture and Water Resources on
The CBFCA is one of the peak industry
associations representing service providers
in international trade logistics and
supply chain management, in particular
those service providers who undertake
border clearance activities through
the departments of Home Affairs and
Agriculture, these being licensed individual
customs brokers or licensed corporate
customs brokerages where the individual
licensed customs broker is a nominee for
that corporate entity.
Licensed customs brokers are accredited
by DAWRS under the Broker Accreditation
Scheme to undertake in co-regulatory
arrangement documentation assessment
activities for non-commodities/commodities
and freight forwarders are accredited under
the Approved Arrangements Scheme.
In this capacity, the CBFCA has provided
commentary to a variety of government
and regulatory inquiries as to policy,
equity, compliance, cost recovery and
process improvement on biosecurity
matters. The CBFCA as an active member
of the Department of Agriculture Cargo
Consultative Committee and the Import
Industry Finance Consultative Committee
and works with the Department on a variety
of idealistic biosecurity process outcomes, is
very disappointed with the Minister and his
advisors for excluding the CBFCA and other
key industry associations and stakeholders
from the steering committee.
What is interesting to note is the CBFCA
was involved in past biosecurity import levy
meetings and industry workshops but was
still overlooked, despite our long history
working with the Department.
During departmental workshops we
often heard from industry that their
preferred collection model was via the Full
Import Declaration which is currently
in place and is facilitated by the customs
brokers and freight forwarders who pay the
fees and pass on to their clients. If the new
committee is to push for this collection
model the CBFCA is most qualified to
represent and make commentary on behalf
of members. In the absence of the CBFCA
we question if our specific industry sector
will be appropriately represented.
The CBFCA understands that Australia’s
border biosecurity protects our food supply,
agriculture industry and our way of life.
However, we have concerns about whether
the money collected will even be used for
biosecurity, as the current cost recovered
Imports Program is in desperate need of
additional resources to manage the brown
marmorated stink bug.
The CBFCA strongly opposes this
proposed new tax as unfair, wrongly
targeted and highly inefficient, however we
support adequate funding for biosecurity.
The Department claims that biosecurity
is a “shared responsibility”. This is often
spoken about, but unfortunately not
practiced enough. The CBFCA believes
any additional funding should provide a
modern, seamless border clearance that
also manages biosecurity risks, as only in
partnership with industry the biosecurity
risks can be better managed.
10 April 2019
News in brief
Full details at thedcn.com.au
New Patrick manager
Rita Antranik has received a significant
promotion at Patrick Terminals
Patrick Terminals have announced the
appointment of Rita Antranik as its
terminal manager for Fremantle.
Ms Antranik has experience across
several roles having worked with Qube,
Smit Lamnalco Towage and the Qube
general stevedoring business as operations
manager at Port Kembla.
“Patrick Terminals is proud to make the
first appointment of a female to the role of
Terminal Manager in Australia, particularly
as it coincides with International Women’s
Day,” the company said in an online
Patrick Terminals is one of the big two
container terminal operating companies in
Australia and handles more than 3m TEU
Patrick operates container terminals
at four key ports around the Australian
coast. Qube, as part of the Qube/Brookfield
consortium, owns 50% of Patrick Terminals.
EPA GREEN LIGHTS PORT ADELAIDE CHANNEL WIDENING
Work on widening the outer harbour shipping
channel and swing basin at Port Adelaide is set to
proceed, following the issuing of a licence by the state
Environment Protection Authority.
This project is seen as essential in underpinning
the port’s ongoing effective operations.
Flinders Ports chief executive Stewart Lammin
said the company was committed to minimising any
“We have been working with representatives of
the EPA, Primary Industries and Regions SA and
the South Australian Research and Development
Institute, to identify any risks and establish strategies
and protocols for addressing them,” Mr Lammin said.
“Central to that is the use of state-of-the-art
equipment to minimise turbidity, loss of seagrass
and any impact on fauna, adherence to an
agreed seasonal window and the imposition of
comprehensive risk management protocols.”
The Department for Environment and Water has
also approved a Native Vegetation Clearance permit
to allow Flinders Ports to clear what it says is “a small
amount of seagrass” as part of the expansion of the
outer harbour channel.
Flinders Ports has contracted international dredge
contractor Boskalis to do the channel widening.
Dredging is due to start in early June and should last
about three months.
Mr Lammin said the channel widening program
was necessary to ensure Port Adelaide’s continued
The $80m project is to widen the shipping channel
and swing basin to accommodate the world’s largest
cruise ships and the larger ‘post panamax’ container
The expanded channel is also expected to open
Adelaide up to larger cruise ships and underpin a
stronger tourism industry.
South Australian exports through the port exceed
$8bn annually with imports valued at about $6.5bn.
12 April 2019
Sea Swift and Puma Energy renew their vows
Northern Australian shipping company Sea Swift has
renewed a long-term contract with Puma Energy to deliver bulk
diesel across the Northern Territory.
Sea Swift general manager Scott Ezzy said the contract
would provide the continuation of sustainable services by
barge to remote NT coastal communities and islands, powering
businesses, schools, health centres and homes.
“We are also able to deliver more fuel and freight due to our
extensive network throughout the Northern Territory, and we
believe local residents feel the benefits,” Mr Ezzy said.
The contract aims to ensure Sea Swift’s fuel distribution
across NT will reach sites such as Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak,
Maningrida, Milikapiti, Milingimbi, Milyakburra, Minjilang,
Wurrumiyanga, Numbulwar, Pirlangimpi, Ramingining,
Umbakumba and Warruwi.
The fuel storage of Sea Swift’s 26 vessels and mobile assets
serve the power generation, fishing, retail, defence and mining
Sea Swift’s 30-year operations throughout NT and the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities stem from
depots in Darwin, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Cairns, Weipa, Seisia,
Horn Island, Badu Island and Thursday Island.
The SeaSwift vessel Arnhem Trader plays an important role in the Top End.
Senate Committee examines shipping
Policies, regulations and taxes affecting
Australian shipping are under the
microscope of a Senate Committee.
The Rural and Regional Affairs and
Transport References Committee has
already received a series of written
submissions from key industry players, with
a formal report due on 13 August 2019.
Hearings were held in Melbourne
with representatives from ANL, Freight
and Trade Alliance, Maritime Industry
Australia, the Tasmanian Logistics
Committee and the Maritime Union
among those speaking.
Further submissions were made by
AMSA, the Australian Maritime Officers
Union, Toll Group, Department of
Infrastructure and the Department of
Particular reference is being paid to:
new investment in Australian ships and
a maritime cluster in Australia;
• the establishment of an efficient and
commercially-oriented coastal ship
licensing system and foreign crew
• the interaction with other modes of
freight transport, non-freight shipping
and government shipping;
• maritime security, including fuel security
and foreign ship and crew standards;
• workforce development and the seafarer
training system; and
• port infrastructure, port services and
port fees and charges.
As part of the hearings, the MUA
proposed a series of measures aimed at
salvaging Australian shipping. The union
measures included tax incentives to
support investment in ships, ship-related
infrastructure, and local seafarers. It also
suggested reform of the seafarer visa system
and reform of legislation and regulations
governing coastal trading.
The MUA also wants to see the creation
of a national strategic fleet to guarantee fuel
security and enhance the nation’s economic
security. In addition to the development of
a strategic approach to maritime workforce
development; and better ship safety and
pollution reduction measures.
“There’s no question that Australian
shipping is in crisis,” MUA national
secretary Paddy Crumlin said.
“Since 2013, we’ve lost more than half
our remaining coastal fleet, leaving the
country with just 12 large trading vessels to
carry our growing coastal cargoes.
“With the right political leadership and
policy settings, this dramatic decline can
be arrested and our shipping industry can
thedcn.com.au April 2019 13
NEWS IN BRIEF
Wharfies vote for
“rolling industrial action”
MILK AND HONEY BOOSTED
BY INDONESIAN TRADE DEAL
Australian exporters of milk, honey, beef and carrots are
among those set to benefit from the Indonesia-Australia
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
That was the view of National Farmers Federation chief
executive Tony Mahar who joined trade minister Simon
Birmingham in Jakarta for the signing ceremony.
“IA-CEPA will deliver improved market access for live
cattle, feed grains, beef, sheepmeat, dairy, sugar, fruit,
carrots, potatoes and honey,” Mr Mahar said.
“Indonesia is the world’s biggest importer of Australian
wheat and Australia is Indonesia’s largest supplier of red
meat. Australian dairy products and sugar are also highly
valued by our neighbour.”
Some features include immediate elimination of a 5%
tariff for milk and cream. This is on top of the immediate
elimination of 5% tariff for grated or powdered cheese; and
elimination of a 5% tariff after 15 years on Australian honey.
The tariff on carrots will be immediately cut to 10% from 25%
for 5000 tonnes per year, with the tariff further reduced over
time, down to zero after 15 years for an unlimited volume.
Mr Mahar also reflected the benefits for Australian
grains, saying international competitors were increasingly
challenging Australian agriculture’s market share in
Indonesia, including wheat from the Black Sea and red meat
from the Americas.
“In many instances, IA-CEPA will strengthen Australia’s
role as the preferred supplier to the burgeoning south-east
Asian economy,” he said.
“For example, IA-CEPA will significantly grow the quota
for Australian cattle to be exported with duty free access for
575,000 head of live male cattle per year, growing at 4% per
year to 700,000.”
Mr Mahar said carrots were at the forefront of the
“The tariff relief represents an extra $5 million to $10
million to Australia’s fresh vegetable exports per annum,”
Mr Mahar said it was up to the Australian Parliament
to ratify the agreement and some segments of the union
movement had already expressed concerns.
“It is a matter of significant national importance that free
trade agreements… enjoy bipartisan support and rapid
passage through both houses,” he said.
“In the face of drought and floods, it is vital that the future
interests of farmers are not compromised by short-term
Waterfront workers at the DPWA terminals in Sydney, Melbourne,
Brisbane and Fremantle voted to take “rolling industrial action”,
following a breakdown in negotiations on a new enterprise agreement.
The Maritime Union (now part of the CFMMEU) accused
the company of seeking to strip workers of income protection
insurance unless they accepted the company’s demands.
But in a statement, a DPWA spokesman said “we have always
been clear that we will not negotiate the EA under threat of or
during industrial action”.
Maritime Union national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the
ballot sent “an overwhelming message”.
“We will not be intimidated, we will not roll over and accept
your unfair agreement, and we are willing to take every step
possible to fight for a fair outcome,” Mr Crumlin said.
MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith said the ballot
“overwhelmingly endorsed wide-ranging industrial action”.
“Workers are extremely angry at DPW for the attack on income
protection and are prepared to use that action to achieve some
justice,” Mr Smith said.
A spokesman for DPWA said their leadership was preparing for
enterprise agreement negotiations on 26 March, but were cancelled
“following the notice of intent to take protected industrial action.”
The four enterprise agreements with the union at DPWA
container terminals nominally expired on 28 February 2019
without replacement terms.
In a statement to employees, new DPWA managing director
and chief executive Glen Hilton talked of a difficult operating
“Recent decisions by shipping lines along with a weak outlook of
volume growth are, and will continue to have a profound effect on
the financial performance of DPWA,” Mr Hilton said.
“A3 Central (COSCO, OOCL and ANL) decided to cease calling
at Melbourne in August last year.
“In addition the AAS consortium (Maersk and MSC) will also
cease calling at Melbourne before the middle of the year. This
will have a combined effect of reducing volumes by 210,000 units
compared to the prior years. EAX is also considering options for
future calls at our terminals from the third quarter of this year.”
He said this volume loss had been compounded by weak export
volumes, driven in part by ongoing drought in parts of New South
Wales and Queensland.
“In the face of this, DPWA chose to make a very reasonable offer
to your representatives to roll over all EA’s on current terms which
included a wage increase of 2.6% from 1 March,” Mr Hilton said.
“This was a generous wage offer and is almost 1% higher the
He said they also offered the continuation of income protection.
“The CFMMEU’s wage claim of 5%, plus 5% plus 5% over
three years as well as IP was predictably rejected by DPWA as it is
completely out of touch with the financial outlook of the company
and unsustainable in our competitive industry,” Mr Hilton said.
Australian Peak Shippers Association secretariat Travis Brooks-
Garrett said any industrial action would have an immediate
impact, particularly with delays to trucks and extra costs for
importers and exporters.
14 April 2019
Largest tanker at
Tony Corbett from Port of Newcastle, Gordon Lasker
from Stolthaven and Ben Serong from Stolthaven
Terminals with Pro Alliance in the background
The largest fuel tanker to enter Port of
Newcastle in its 220-year history arrived
in mid-March. The 244metre tanker Pro
Alliance berthed at Stolthaven’s Mayfield 7
bulk liquids terminal, a facility purposebuilt
for such vessels.
According to Port of Newcastle,
receiving vessels of this size is possible only
due to a four-year collaborative project
between Stolthaven, Port of Newcastle, Port
Authority of NSW and Svitzer to expand
channel capacity and accommodate deepdraft
inbound tankers of up to 245 metres
load on arrival.
Project partners committed to increasing
the port’s capacity via several activities,
including detailed channel simulation,
adding active escort tug capability to
the port’s fleet and the development of a
dynamic under-keel clearance system for
deep draft inbound ships.
Port of Newcastle executive manager
marine and operations Keith Wilks said
the Pro Alliance’s arrival was significant,
delivering supply chain flexibility and
efficiencies for the oil industry.
“We are proud to have facilitated the
arrival of Pro Alliance at Stolthaven’s bulk
liquids terminal at Port of Newcastle this
morning,” Mr Wilks said.
“In our 220th year of commercial
shipping, milestones such as this signify
the evolving role of the port in facilitating
global trade through our harbour and
driving growth in the regional, state and
Stolthaven managing director Gordon
Lasker said the company made a significant
investment in its fuel terminal facility.
“The arrival of our first LR2 tanker is the
realisation of a long-term investment in the
dedicated bulk liquids precinct at Mayfield
7 berth,” Mr Lasker said.
“We are grateful for the proactive
approach by Port of Newcastle to support
not only our current business but also our
future expansion plans.”
Stolthaven Australia has been operating
a bulk liquids precinct at Newcastle since
December 2013. A further 10 hectares
is currently under development and is
expected to deliver an expected capacity
build of 450,000 cubic meters of bulk fuels
and chemicals storage.
Littleproud announces steering committee for biosecurity levy
Port of Newcastle; Image supplied
David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture
Veteran corporate leader David
Trebeck has been announced as the
chairman of the biosecurity levy
Mr Trebeck currently chairs
Australia’s Oyster Coast Ltd and has
been a non-executive director of six
ASX-listed companies during the past
two decades, including GrainCorp and
Incitec Pivot. He also has links with
shipping going back to the mid-1970s.
The steering committee also includes
Paul Zalai from the Freight Trade Alliance;
Margie Thomson from the Cement
Industry Federation; Mike Gallacher
from Ports Australia; Mike Sousa from
Qube Holdings; Rod Nairn AM from
Shipping Australia; Brian Lovell from the
Australian Federation of International
Forwarders; and Tony Mahar from the
National Farmers Federation.
The committee is expected to
design the levy and assist with its
“Australia’s border biosecurity
protects our food supply, 300,000 jobs,
the $60 billion agriculture industry and
our way of life,” Minister for agriculture,
David Littleproud said.
“Those creating biosecurity risk should
contribute fairly to addressing that risk,
remembering pests and diseases arrive
on the hulls and decks of ships and not
just in the imported product itself.
“If the taxpayer alone bears the burden
of protecting Australia then companies
being bailed out by the taxpayer are
unlikely to take our biosecurity seriously.”
Mr Littleproud said he was also
glad that his Labor counterpart Joel
Fitzgibbon had supported the rationale
for a biosecurity levy.
thedcn.com.au April 2019 15
NEWS IN BRIEF
Svitzer welcomes new tugs
Svitzer Australia is set to welcome two new vessels to
its fleet this year, as two UZMAR-built RAstar 3200 series
tugboats begin their journey from Turkey.
A delivery ceremony was hosted by UZMAR recently for
the two tugboats, Svitzer Ruby and Svitzer Redhead, designed
by Canadian naval architecture firm Robert Allan Ltd.
The 85-tonne bollard pull tug, Svitzer Ruby, is to join Port
Kembla in May 2019, and the 80-tonne bollard pull tug,
Svitzer Redhead, is to join the team in Fremantle in late April.
According to Svitzer, the two escort towage capable
vessels feature render recovery winches, FiFi1 class notation
for firefighting, LNG operational protection package and a
rear winch for over the stern towing operations.
Svitzer Australia managing director Nicolaj Noes said they
were always “working closely with our stakeholders, and
importantly, local port authorities to understand how we
can best meet their requirements, now and into the future,
with our national and diverse fleet of vessel types and
Svitzer Newton, welcomed to Fremantle last year, is to sail
to the east coast to join the Newcastle fleet.
“To that end, we have been working closely with our port
stakeholders Fremantle Ports and Port Authority New South
Wales to determine port operations requirements,” Mr Noes
“We look forward to welcoming Svitzer Ruby, Svitzer Redhead
and Svitzer Newton to their respective ports.”
With the new additions, Svitzer’s tug fleet will number
more than 432 vessels in over 100 locations worldwide.
Svitzer Ruby soon will be in operation at Port Kembla, New South Wales
Pursuing a global growth strategy is behind WiseTech Global’s
latest share offering, chief executive and founder Richard White
The freight forwarding/tech giant announced an underwritten
$250m institutional placement to be followed by the opportunity
for eligible shareholders to participate in a share purchase plan
The move necessitated a trading halt.
“Growth is our primary driver and, across the global logistics
industry, the opportunity now available to WiseTech is vast,” Mr
White said in a statement to the market.
“Through the offer
announced, we add
further strength to
our balance sheet and
increase the capacity at
which we can accelerate
our long-term organic
and the acquisition of
assets in important
new geographies and
Mr White said they
would continue to
execute on smaller, but
economies and key
WiseTech founder Richard White is looking
to pursue a strategy of aggressive growth
“As we expand geographically, we have also been widening our
reach into and across the supply chain,” he said.
“We are building out rapidly from our stronghold of
international logistics and complex cross-border compliance,
to leverage our innovation pipeline and put in place the key
technologies and assets to start building unassailable ecosystems.”
According to a statement on the WiseTech website, the
placement to raise $250m is underwritten by Goldman Sachs
Australia and Morgan Stanley Australia.
1-3 May Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference 2019, Melbourne vicinfrastructure.com.au
23-24 May AFIF 2019 national Conference and Gala Dinner, Melbourne afif.asn.au
10-13 Sep Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019, Hobart coastsandports2019.com.au
8-10 Oct Pacific 2019 International Maritime conference, Sydney pacificexpo.com.au
28 Oct-1 Nov AMPI Pilotage & Ports Logistics Conference, Sydney ampi.org.au/AMPI2019
14 Nov 2019 Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards, Melbourne dcnawards.com.au
To notify DCN of events please email us at email@example.com
Image supplied; WiseTech Global
16 April 2019
Terry O’Connor resigns from Darwin Port
Port of Darwin chief executive
Terry O’Connor has announced his
However Mr O’Connor, who has
been CEO since 2011, is to remain at his
post until a replacement can be found.
Mr O’Connor was chief executive
before Landbridge’s acquisition
of the port in 2015 and has led its
transformation from a government
business to a privately-owned entity.
In a public statement, Landbridge
Australia managing director Mike
Hughes praised Mr O’Connor for his
“Terry has made a significant
contribution to Landbridge and to
Darwin Port over the last eleven
years,” Mr Hughes said.
“He was instrumental in ensuring a smooth
transition from public to private management
and more recently has led Landbridge’s
investment in port infrastructure and ongoing
transformation into a world-class port
capable of supporting the growing demands of
“On behalf of Landbridge, I would like to
thank Terry for his dedication, expertise
and exceptional leadership over his
years at the Port.”
Before joining the port,
Mr O’Connor served in the Royal
Australian Navy and held positions
with the federal government as a
maritime specialist. He also
worked in the private sector
in logistics and facilities
Terry O’Connor, CEO, Darwin Port
Export centres mooted for rural Queensland
Agricultural export centres soon could
be operating in the Queensland cities
of Toowoomba and Cairns, with the
state government seeking private sector
For Toowoomba, the government has
invited Wagner Group Holdings to submit
a business case for a possible agricultural
export distribution centre at Toowoomba
Wagner Group famously developed this
airport from scratch.
Meanwhile in Cairns, the government
has invited Air Freight Handling Services to
submit a business case for a similar concept
at its airport.
State development minister Cameron
Dick said the government made an election
commitment to provide up to $10m for
each project from the $150m Jobs and
Regional Growth Fund.
“The delivery of this election
commitment will support the development
and construction of an agricultural
export distribution pilot centre in regional
Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“Wagner Group Holdings will now start
work on a business case for Toowoomba
after progressing through the Regional
Export Distribution Centre Pilot expression
of interest process, which attracted detailed
proposals from across Queensland,” he said.
“An export distribution centre of this
type is new for Queensland, and we are
taking our time to get it right.”
Agriculture minister Mark Furner said
agricultural exports continued to generate
“The export of Queensland’s premium
agriculture products contributed almost
$12 billion to our economy last financial
year,” Mr Furner said.
“Initiatives like the Regional Export
Distribution Centre Pilot will ensure
we can build on our reputation as a global
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said
valuable space on passenger flights could
be better utilised for agriculture exports.
“This is an excellent opportunity to
not only grow our agricultural output and
export, but to strengthen our tourism
industry by increasing economic viability
of airlines,” Mr Healy said.
Cairns Airport, Queensland
thedcn.com.au April 2019 17
Inquiry gives shipping
The Australian Peak Shippers Association was among those who presented to a recent
Senate Committee examining some of the issues related to Australian shipping
ON 5 DECEMBER 2018, THE FEDERAL
MINIMUM SERVICE LEVELS
Senate brought forward an inquiry into the
The first recommendation of FTA/APSA to
policy, regulatory, taxation, administrative
the committee related to the strengthening
and funding priorities for Australian
of minimum levels of service for Australian
shipping. As the world’s largest island,
shippers. We proposed that given the
and for an economy totally dependent on
non-use of Part X by many shipping lines
maritime trade, shipping deserves a place
(due to consolidation), these requirements
in the national conversation. However, for
should sit outside of the Part X regime. This
an industry weary with the coastal shipping
should include a non-negotiable minimum
debate, very few organisations lodged
notification period for the introduction
submissions, in fact only 15 submissions
of new rates and charges, or changes
were received in all, five of which were
to existing rates and charges, which is
provided by government agencies.
equivalent to the protections that already
exist in the United States for shippers.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
The botched rollout of the Emergency
The interesting feature of this inquiry was
Bunker Surcharges in 2018 is a prime
the breadth of the terms of reference. It
example of why such protections are
recognised the complexity of the shipping
needed. In some cases, Australian shippers
sector and its interrelationship with freight
policy, trade policy and even competition
issues. The terms of reference included
were given four days’ notice before the
introduction of the EBS, while the same
shipping lines provided US shippers with
Travis Brooks-Garrett, director, Freight &
Trade Alliance and secretariat, Australian Peak
an examination of “port infrastructure,
the same notification, except with a
freight supply chain. As has been widely
port services and port fees and charges”
30-day lead time. The extra lead time
discussed in Daily Cargo News, industry has
and “the interaction with other modes
was in deference to the strength and
seen a continuing deterioration of empty
of freight transport”. The committee’s
enforceability of the Federal Maritime
container management in this country.
interest in these areas, particularly the
So much so that Australian transport
effectiveness of Part X of the Competition
operators have rolled out industry-wide
and Consumer Act, infrastructure charges,
TERMINAL HANDLING CHARGES
surcharges in response.
and even the Biosecurity Levy, was
FTA/APSA’s second recommendation
Unfair detention and demurrage
clearly evident in the hearings and in the
related to the spiralling situation regarding
practices also remain a persistent
questions raised by the senators.
terminal infrastructure charges and
issue, particularly with unforeseen
terminal handling charges, which are
and unprecedented events such as the
A FORMAL SUBMISSION
increasingly independent of each other.
brown marmorated stink bug emergency
Freight & Trade Alliance and the Australian
While shipping lines have been the
measures. When there are disputes over
Peak Shippers Association provided a
beneficiaries of increased competition in
invoices, they are impossible to navigate,
formal submission to the Rural and
stevedoring, it is now clear that Australian
with the opaqueness, or complete absence,
Regional Affairs and Transport Committee
shippers have not seen any of those
of any dispute resolution process or policy.
on 5 March 2019. To date, it is the only
benefits and now are paying twice for
We need to once again follow the lead of
submission that has been lodged on behalf
container terminal services. This is an
the FMC and establish fair and reasonable
of cargo owners.
area where some intervention, or some
industry practices in these areas.
Based on member feedback, the
formal rule-setting, is needed. There are
submission focused on detention and
very few people, who aren’t beholden to
demurrage practices; minimum levels of
infrastructure interests, who disagree.
FTA/APSA would like to thank the Senate
service; empty container management;
shipping line surcharges; dispute
mechanisms; and infrastructure charges/
terminal handling charges.
SEA FREIGHT OVERSIGHT
FTA/APSA’s third recommendation
requested stronger oversight of the sea
Committee for their time and interest in
these areas. We welcome the opportunity
to have shipping at the centre of a national
18 April 2019
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Building a shipping industry
in its own right
Actions must be taken to create a sustainable industry that enables
the nation’s maritime potential to be realised, writes Teresa Lloyd
MARITIME INDUSTRY AUSTRALIA’S
overarching position concerning shipping
policy in Australia is that we ought to have
a sustainable, viable shipping industry.
This shipping activity can occur anywhere
and should encompass anything, including
freight, tourism, passenger movement,
port and harbour services, offshore oil and
gas, construction, scientific/research and
The potential breadth of Australia’s
shipping industry would be the envy of any
nation in the world such is the diversity of
the maritime task that naturally exists in
our region. We say, “would be the envy”
because Australia has thus far failed to
capitalise on the natural advantages that
our shipping industry presents.
Australia needs a maritime and shipping
policy that focuses on encouraging a
shipping industry in its own right - to
deliver the economic multiplier effects
that are universally cherished by maritime
nations (often known as maritime clusters)
and the maritime skills development so
many nations need.
BENEFITS OF SHIPPING
The benefits that nations accrue from
having a strong shipping industry include
the creation of skills and know how;
control of strategic assets and ability to call
upon them for national support; a degree
of supply chain security; and economic
diversity and returns to the nation
generated from the sector.
As the world’s largest island nation,
Australia requires maritime skills more
so than most other countries. From the
requirement to ensure trade is facilitated
via Australian ports without incident,
to ensuring we meet our international
responsibilities as a country with one of
the largest port state control tasks, the use,
retention and development of maritime
expertise is vitally important.
The Australian maritime sector has a
projected shortage of seafarers of 560+
personnel by 2023 – a large proportion of
which is in the deck and marine engineer
officer skill sets. Further, the sector has
identified 80% of employers require more
than base level qualifications – they
require higher order skills and, critically,
experience. That experience importantly
must be on certain types of ships, tanker
experience being the most sought after.
Australia cannot rely solely on immigration
to fill those roles given the global imbalance
in supply and demand for quality seafarers
with projected shortages of 18% by 2025.
Much of the commentary regarding
shipping policy in Australia focuses on
domestic freight, however shipping policies
from leading maritime nations do not
draw a distinction between what the ship
is doing – rather the focus is encouraging a
shipping industry in its own right.
AN ATTRACTIVE SHIPPING REGIME
MIAL is an advocate for a fiscal and
regulatory regime that makes it attractive
for shipping and maritime businesses
to exist in Australia and affords those
Australian businesses every opportunity
to compete for work and participate in
maritime activity worldwide.
A report prepared by PwC shows
that in Australia in 2012-13 the total
(including the direct and induced impacts)
contribution of the shipping industry was
$21b in GDP; 45,000 jobs; and $1.3b in tax
revenue. The report went on to identify,
that with positive shipping policies those
figures rise to $25b in GDP; 54,000 jobs;
and $2.1b in tax revenue.
The impact of the economic cluster that
develops around a robust shipping industry
cannot be underestimated. Economic
diversity is provided not only via direct
shipping activities but also through the vast
array of technical disciplines and service
Teresa Lloyd, CEO,
Maritime Industry Australia
industries that provide necessary ancillary
support. This is the economic multiplier.
Actions must be taken to create a
sustainable maritime industry and enable
the nation’s maritime potential to be
realised. Increasing training without
securing opportunities to work to gain
experience, will not result in growing the
skills and know how to fill the strategic
shore-based roles Australia relies upon.
A STRATEGIC FLEET
Australia needs a minimum number of
assets available to provide the training
and work opportunities. And that is why
MIAL supports the concept of a strategic
fleet. Such a fleet would provide adequate
training and work opportunities to secure
the skills base, provide stability for key
supply chains and offer strategic support to
the nation should they ever be called upon.
All nations with an indigenous shipping
capability either protect, subsidise or
incentivise the sector. Australia must do
likewise to create a pool of assets to train
our essential maritime skill set.
20 April 2019
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
WISTA members in Melbourne with
umbrellas to mark IWD
Empowering women at work
WISTA Australia held two events on 8 March 2019 to recognise International’s
Women’s Day. Alison Cusack examines some of the key lessons
LEANNE LEWIS, MANAGING
Don’t shy away from the traditional men’s
ASCI’s future leaders program to celebrate
director of Insync Personnel, addressed a
type events either but also keep an eye out
International Women’s Day and address
sold out event in Victoria on International
for the WISTA events or similar.
the day’s global theme: #balanceforbetter.
Women’s Day, hosted at the offices of
Finally, continue to build your skills,
Audience members heard keynote
Norton Rose Fulbright. She focused on two
whether via more formal education or a
addresses from three experts who shared
key issues: how to ask for a pay increase
variety of short courses to focus on specific
their involvement in supply chain and how
and how to put your best foot forward to
skills, such as improving public speaking.
it has impacted their careers.
achieve an internal job promotion.
Speakers at the event included Marcia
There was a fantastic and lively round
LESSONS FOR EMPLOYERS
de Almeida, supply-chain improvement
table discussion afterwards with participants
If you are in charge and want to help
superintendent iron ore/integrated
sharing their experiences and encouraging
facilitate the careers of women, there are
production and remote operations for BHP,
others to step up into their careers.
several factors to consider.
as well as Ella Cahtarevic, capacity manager
There were several lessons from the day.
To start with, are you conducting
Australia/New Zealand, MSC and WISTA
annual reviews to see how your employees
Western Australian chapter committee
LESSONS FOR EMPLOYEES
are engaged? What are their future goals
member. The final speaker at the WISTA/
A key message was the simple one of
within the company?
ASCI event was Andrea Macau, investment
updating your CV so that you’re prepared
Ask yourself, do your female staff get the
analysis officer, Water Corporation
for those internal job opportunities (this
same opportunities to attend networking
and ASCI Western Australian chapter
also helps you track your successes for your
functions (golf days, events, continuing
professional development etc) as the men
Also don’t be afraid to ask for that pay
in your office? If not, maybe a formal policy
rise, but ensure you’re prepped with facts
should be in place to ensure a fair and
Meanwhile WISTA QLD recently held an
and figures. Ensure you’ve booked in a
event in late February with renowned voice
formal review discussion with your boss so
Create an environment to facilitate
coach Lisa Lockland-Bell which allowed
they’re also prepared for the conversation.
conversations around career progression. Not
audience members to workshop their vocal
Getting a mentor is a great idea, whether
only conversations based around salary but
skills and present with added confidence.
internally in your business, or externally.
also access to further education, conference
Since July 2018 WISTA International has
It can be through a formal program or
attendance and innovative projects.
enjoyed consultative status with the IMO.
informal through your networks (stay
The IMO’s theme for 2019 is “Empowering
tuned for WISTA’s mentoring program later
WAY OUT WEST
Women in the Maritime Community”.
in the year).
WISTA Australia together with WISTA
I’d encourage all people and businesses
Then there’s the need to build your
networks and attend networking events.
Association partner ASCI, held an event
in Perth hosted by KPMG as part of
in the maritime community to aim towards
this goal in 2019.
thedcn.com.au April 2019 21
WOMEN IN MARITIME
Korean VTS operators with delegates from a recent IALA
meeting, including VTS committee chair Monica Sundklev
from the Swedish Maritime Administration
Paving the way for
Achieving gender equality within the maritime sector has been a slow process,
however, there has been progress in some areas, writes Jillian Carson-Jackson
THERE IS MIXED NEWS COMING
THE PATH OF RIGHTS
expressed and therefore can’t be addressed.
out of recent reports on the status of
It isn’t enough that laws don’t prohibit
The panels that are setting agendas and
gender equality. The Maritime Industry
gender equality, they need to promote
making the decisions should have female
Australia Seafaring Skills Census 2018
equality. This includes recognising and
representation. The goal should not be to
reported the overall percentage of female
addressing harassment and discrimination.
fix women so they fit in, but to ensure the
seafarers at 5%. The details, however, show
It also means valuing work through
work environment promotes and engenders
only 3% for deck and 0.4% for engineers
transparency in wages, and supporting
with “other” at 23%. Looking at the
women in the workplace. This requires
employment of seafarers ashore, the overall
ensuring women are not discriminated
A SILVER LINING
percentage of women drops to 3%. Masters
against if they wish to start a family, or
The news isn’t all bad. The MIAL census
and deck come in at 3%, engineers at 1%
decide to transition to another role.
shows an increase in female seafarers.
and “other” at 5%.
There are pockets of focus activity around
THE PATH OF ACCESS
the world – for example, in South Korea
At a macro level, the ILO report highlights
17% of vessel traffic services officers are
On the eve of International Women’s Day,
the benefits of gender diversity in the
female. The ILO report shows women
the International Labour Organization
designing, planning and implementation
tend to rise to the role of manager faster
released its report, A quantum leap for
of infrastructure activities. Budgets need to
and with more advanced education.
gender equality – for a better future of work
respond to the priorities of women, be set
Some 44.3% of female managers have an
for all. While there are some gains, the
by women, and this needs to be reflected in
advanced university degree, compared with
report notes that there has been little or no
the formulation of policies – at the national
38.3% of male managers. However, the
improvement on narrowing the gender gap
and the industry specific level.
top job of CEO is still elusive, with the G7
over the past 20 years.
country data showing from between 0%
“Progress in closing gender gaps has
THE PATH OF ENGAGEMENT
(Germany) to 4.6 % (US) of female CEOs.
stalled, and in some cases is reversing,” the
In the maritime industry we know women
What we know is that the journey is far
report notes. “The gender gaps with respect
change roles, going from ship to shore
from over. While governments, workers
to key labour market indicators have not
and sometimes back onboard again. What
and employers claim they are progressing
narrowed in any meaningful way for over
initiatives are in place to support women
gender equality agendas, this is not
20 years.” The report highlights that, over
through different work environment
supported by the data. How can we develop
the past 27 years, the gender employment
transitions? Some practical measures could
a transformative and measurable agenda for
gap has been reduced by less than 2%.
include implementing mentoring programs,
gender equality in the maritime industry?
The underlying thread in the report is
encouraging continuing professional
We all need to overcome stereotypes related
that current action is not resulting in
development, and providing opportunities for
to women in non-traditional roles and put
meaningful change. A “transformative and
education through focus programs and grants.
in place policies that are aimed at seeing
measurable agenda” is urgently needed, and
the report presents several key paths.
Without equal representation, the
needs of women cannot be properly
tangible results. Words are not enough;
2019 is a year for action.
22 April 2019
ENTER ENTER AAX2! AAX2!
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breaks ground on two market firsts; a direct call in
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in Townsville. AAX2 also offers the fastest transit
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Making Australian shipping
Llew Russell examines some of the overseas trends that could be relevant
to the Australian maritime scene
ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF RETIRING
from full time work in 2013 was the
opportunity to travel overseas on occasion.
Last year my wife and I cruised around the
Mediterranean, Scandinavia and the
You might ask ‘what has all this to do
with the title of this article?’ The answer is,
the two cruise vessels we were on. The first
was Le Lyrial, a 264-passenger vessel owned
by the French cruise company Ponant
registered in France. The other, Silver Spirit,
was a 600-passenger vessel owned then
by the Italian cruise company Silver Seas
registered in the Bahamas, being an open
registry or what some would term a ‘flag of
Le Lyrial had French officers, both on
deck and in the engine room, and foreign
ratings. A number of the “hotel” crew were
also French. The Silver Spirit had Italian
deck and engine room officers, ratings of
other nationalities and a smaller number
of hotel crew were also Italian. Other
than the officers, the majority of the
remainder of the crew were Filipinos but
there was a mixture of other nationalities.
Subsequently the Silver Seas Cruise
company was bought by Royal Caribbean
LESSONS FOR AUSTRALIA
I wondered what lessons Australia
could learn from the international
competitiveness of these shipping
companies? Could these concepts be
translated into types of shipping other than
cruise shipping lines? If the right regulatory
environment was in place, I could not see
why it was not viable.
I recall almost two decades ago, the
Australia Japan Container Line (a joint
venture between P&O and Swires) had two
vessels in the Australia to North and East
Asian trades with Australian officers and
There is every reason for new shipping
companies to emerge in Australia in
the right regulatory environment. It is
understood Australian officer wages
and conditions are competitive with
those overseas, especially those of many
THE LOCAL REGISTER
The Australian International Shipping
Register (AISR), which was established under
the Rudd/Gillard Labor government, does
not have one vessel registered. Details of the
requirements can be found on the website of
the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The objective of the Register is to be
competitive with other similar registries
overseas. It has clearly failed. There could
be a number of reasons but importantly it
does provide for mixed crews on registered
vessels. However, the vessels must have a
collective agreement with the seafarers
There is every reason for new shipping companies to
emerge in Australia in the right regulatory environment.
bargaining unit and it can (therefore not
necessarily) be based on the International
Transport Forum standard collective
agreement. In addition, the minimum
wage and minimum requirement for
compensation insurance is established
by ministerial determination. These
requirements are likely to be barriers to
registration but there is another major one.
Internationally, seafarers involved in
overseas shipping for 180 days or more do
not pay income tax. In Australia, the tax
Llew Russell AM
laws require payment of income tax by all
Australian residents. An exception will have
to be made if the dream of encouraging
Australian shipping to thrive is to be
realised. The removal of the tax barrier is
also important if an Australian shipping
company was to use an open registry with
mixed crew but with Australian officers
who would reside in Australia.
If the regulatory regime was improved
in these respects, one can envisage more
start-ups with every prospect of financial
success. This success could also see more
training cadets and an enhanced maritime
training regime in Australia.
The fulfilling of future placements in
the maritime industry such as port pilots,
tug crews, harbour masters and other land
based jobs requiring maritime experience
would be enhanced. There is also the
prospect of a critical mass being established
which could see more opportunities for
Australian ratings to emerge. The old adage
“if you can’t beat them join them” could be
very relevant here.
24 April 2019
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AUSTRALIAN LOGISTICS COUNCIL, FORUM 2019
Logistics industry returns to the
MCG for debate and discussion
The famous Melbourne Cricket Ground was the setting for the Australian Logistics
Council Forum 2019, an event that brought together industry heavy hitters
NAIRN AND ALBO JOUST OVER
Shipping Australia chief executive Rod Nairn
raised concerns over Labor shipping policy,
suggesting it could amount to handing over
fuel security to the Maritime Union.
Labor is on record as wanting to ensure a
strategic fleet of Australian-flagged tankers
that could be requisitioned during a conflict
or national emergency.
During one session, Mr Nairn
questioned Labor infrastructure spokesman
Anthony Albanese about the policy.
“My first concern is that I don’t see how
putting our fuel supplies into the hands
of a known militant union is a way of
improving resilience,” he said.
“I thought we would be better off to have
multiple flags, providing that from all over
the world from different sources and also
increasing our level of reserves to give us
But Mr Albanese stood by the policy.
“I say yes we need multiple flags, unless
we act we won’t have one [Australia] flag
will be missing. Let’s not pretend that’s not
happening,” he said.
“The fact that your organisation, with
respect, is called Shipping Australia,
even though they’re the non-Australian
[shipping businesses], is in my mind a
recognition that there is actually a
Melissa Horne MP, Victorian
minister for ports and freight
national interest in having an Australian
“That is the giveaway, the fact that you
have chosen that [name].”
Mr Nairn earlier praised Mr Albanese for
his support in connecting inland rail to the
ports of Brisbane and Melbourne and for
his intervention on the biosecurity levy.
BIOSECURITY LEVY “A REVENUE GRAB”,
Opposition infrastructure spokesman
Anthony Albanese hit out at the
government over its handling of the
proposed biosecurity levy, describing the
controversial policy as “a revenue grab”.
Mr Albanese, a former minister, was a
keynote speaker. He noted the levy arose
from the review of the inter-governmental
agreement on biosecurity.
“The review proposed a levy of $10 on all
shipping containers to take effect from July
1,” Mr Albanese told the gathering.
“But the government is attempting to
impose a general import levy based upon
volume on all shipping movements – this
appears to be a revenue grab,” he said.
“It has created understandable concern
about whether the money collected will
even be used for biosecurity because of
course, it is no hypothecated – no tax ever
Mr Albanese said biosecurity was
important and had to be paid for.
“But the government has completely
botched this process.”
ANALYST MAKES THE CASE FOR
“BALANCE FOR BETTER”
Progress towards gender balance in logistics
suggest participation parity is a century
away, according to director of the National
Association of Women in Operations
Ms Weine argued the case for “balance
for better” and said gender disparity within
logistics was no secret.
She noted an overall increase in female
representation in the sector from 25.9% in
2014 to 26.4% in 2018 and the percentage
of women in key management positions has
increased by 5% to 22.2%.
“I think it is fair to say that progress to
balance has been or is patchy and slow,” Ms
Weine said. “In fact, at the current rate of
progress it has been estimated that we are
over 100 years to balance.
“That is 100 years. So my goal for my
daughters to work into an environment
where they don’t feel like they are in the
minority is still quite a long way away.”
MINISTER HORNE MAKES THE CASE
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight
Melissa Horne says rail is imperative in
handling a burgeoning freight task around
the Port of Melbourne.
Ms Horne spoke at the ALC Forum
2019, one of her first industry events since
becoming minister following the state
election late last year.
“The port’s dependence upon road is
in a large part due to the fact that import
containers travel such short distances and
most are bound for the metropolitan area,”
the minister said.
“Of all capital city ports, only Adelaide
moves its import containers a shorter
distance than Melbourne – 87% of imports
and 52% of exports have metropolitan
destination or origin.”
Ms Horne was giving one of her first
public addresses since becoming minister
following the state election late last year.
“’With projected growth, this could
rise to over 30,000 trucks a day within the
term of the [50-year] lease – it is simply
unsustainable,” she said.
Ms Horne said Freight Victoria was
assessing a proposal by the Port of
Melbourne to deliver an on-dock rail
solution by integrating stevedore and rail
terminals at Swanson Dock.
26 April 2019
Josephine Laduzko from the Department of Agriculture, Paul Zalai from Freight and Trade Alliance
and Teresa Lloyd from Maritime Industry Australia, discuss the finer points of the biosecurity levy
This, she said, would be “a game changer
for rail, overcoming a key operational
constraint on using trains to move export
containers from regional Victoria to
“Better use of rail is one of the
conditions imposed by the government in
our lease of the Port of Melbourne,” the
“However it is also a key step in
maximising the capacity of the Port of
Ms Horne also noted a commitment
in the Victorian Freight Plan to look at
regulating access charges at the Port of
Melbourne, “in particular, to making sure
the charges for trains do not disadvantage
exporters who opt for rail over road”.
PRESERVING FREIGHT CORRIDORS A
FOCUS, SAYS DEPUTY PM
Deputy Prime Minister Michael
McCormack has pledged to protect the
nation’s freight corridors from urban
Mr McCormack also discussed the
National Freight and Supply Chain
Strategy and also talked of the big projects
transforming the country including inland
rail and the Western Sydney Airport.
“Given that we are shaping the future of
all Australians, it is important that we get
it right,” Mr McCormack said.
“Amongst the priorities must be
the protection of freight corridors and
precincts from urban encroachment and/or
incompatible developments, that’s critical.
“We all know that. Governments of all
political persuasions are always pressured
by people who may just move into an area,
who may… then build a house and wonder
about planes going overhead or have a farm,
have it broken up into several blocks and
then wonder why the freight train wants to
have a line there.
“We need to protect those freight
corridors at all cost.”
He said the government “had the runs
on the board” leading into the next federal
election, particularly with the turning of
the first sod on the inland rail project.
Responding to criticism by Labor’s
Anthony Albanese about the lack of
connectivity between Acacia Ridge and
the Port of Brisbane, Mr McCormack
I don’t see how putting our fuel supplies into
the hands of a known militant union is a way
of improving resilience.
said the government would work with the
Queensland government to make inland
rail operate effectively.
NSW SETS THE TREND FOR RAIL USE,
SAYS MAURICE JAMES
QUBE general manager Maurice James
heaped praise upon the New South Wales
government for supporting the growth of
rail in and around Port Botany.
He contrasted this performance with
Melbourne where he argued too little
had been done to reduce the dependence
“What we have seen in Australia for the
last five to 10 years is one government with
a focus on rail and that has been the New
South Wales government,” Mr James said.
Mr James noted the NSW government
had pushed the federal government to
commit to duplication of the track into
“I contrast that with Victoria over the
last 10 years until the last six to 12 months
that wasn’t really focussed on rail in a port
sense,” he said.
“We had a port authority in government
ownership that really didn’t believe in
metro port shuttles.”
Times were, he said, finally changing.
“We now have a privatised port (of
Melbourne) with, as part of legislation, an
objective to go back to government with a
rail strategy and it is very encouraging to
hear,” Mr James said.
Nationwide, Mr James said rail had
been efficient when it had been verticallyintegrated,
particularly evidenced by the
“The reality is the majority of the rail
networks are fragmented, multi-user,
multi-customer networks,” he said.
“What we have seen are governments
generally rating rail much lower than road.
We heard [earlier], road upgrades are often
driven by passengers or by votes and rail
wasn’t driven by that.”
Mr James said more freight on rail was
an important part of ports’ social licence
“What we’ve seen is ports being
privatised, we’ve seen ports with plans
to significantly increase their volume,”
“Their social licence to operate in
the communities around them is driving
them and this will drive a modal shift
around road to rail in order to satisfy that
“Rail will never exceed road in and out
of our ports. It will though, play its part in
significantly growing the volumes that go
in and out of our ports.”
thedcn.com.au April 2019 27
LINER TRADES TO NORTH & EAST ASIA
They say timing is everything. Buoyed by bumper
volumes both northbound and southbound in
2017/18 carriers ramped up capacity in the north
and east Asia trade last year, only for export
volumes to collapse and import rates to dive as
the year rolled on. Dale Crisp reports.
Osaka urban city sea port, Japan
Xxxxxxxxx Image supplied
28 April 2019
Who’d be in liner shipping?
Container trade analysts say history suggests that if
carriers have two good years in 10, they’re doing well – and
even that may be optimistic. The trade between north and
east Asia and Australia is the nation’s biggest and most
important, which is why over time it has attracted players like the
proverbial moths to the flame. But when the flame flickers …
AS ALWAYS, STATISTICS TELL A LOT OF THE STORY
In calendar year 2018 the southbound trade produced one of
its strongest growth years, at 7%, helping to explain why some
carriers thought an extra service and bigger ships could be justified.
Volumes from China grew 8%, while Japan receded 4%, Korea grew
1%, Taiwan slipped 1% and Hong Kong dropped 6%, although it’s
hard to know how much of the latter was simply business shipping
directly from South China instead of, as previously, moving via HK
transhipment. All in all the southbound N&EA trade hit 1.684m
TEU, of which China accounted for 1.45m. “This does not mean
North Asia services will end,” a carrier executive was quick to
assure, despite the huge importance of China continuing to grow
year on year. Japan still provided 62,000 TEU of southbound cargo,
Korea 75,000 and Taiwan 63,000 – although liftings from Japan
and Korea were hit by the demise of car manufacturing
Despite instinct suggesting otherwise, northbound trade from
Australia to N&EA actually grew in 2018, by 1.8% - but this growth
was almost entirely thanks to reefer cargoes which shot up by
9.7% on the back of strong demand for citrus, grapes and meat.
Dry cargo liftings were hit, with, most notably, grain, cotton and
wastes all in sharp reverse. Total northbound trade grew around
12,000 TEU in 2018 but still only reached 807,000 TEU – and that
growth went to China where liftings reached 484,000 TEU while
Japan (125,000), Korea (101,000), Taiwan (62,000) and Hong
Kong (32,000) were stable or slipping. That reefer growth also went
mostly to China, with Japan and Korea stable.
Xxxxxxxxx Songquan Image Deng supplied
CHINA AND FINE WINE
One of the bright spots for carriers in recent years has been the
increasing Chinese demand for Australian wine but that looks to
have plateaued in 2018, with the N&EA total reaching 19,000 TEU
in 2018, just 500 TEU up on 2017. However, this compares with just
8500 TEU in 2015. The big year was 2016, when shipments doubled;
since then growth has been more incremental. Of course the
fundamental takeout from these overall figures is that the N&EA
trade remains harshly imbalanced, in the ratio of 2:1 southbound
over northbound, which means there’s a core structural problem
that lines are powerless to overcome. With those northbound
staples falling away carriers have had to revert to their earlier
practice of evacuating empties at every opportunity, either by filling
otherwise unused (paying) northbound slots or by chartering ships
to sweep up the empties (see accompanying article). “Our mantra
is ‘get the boxes out’,” says one trade manager. “That is, if you can
get them into and through the terminals in the first place.”
CHINESE NEW YEAR
He notes the fall-off in southbound business at Chinese New Year –
generally expected but much more severe in 2019 than 2018 – saw
12 round voyages cancelled “which means 12 lost opportunities to
reposition empties”. And it is this fall-off in southbound business,
thedcn.com.au April 2019 29
LINER TRADES TO NORTH & EAST ASIA
combined with a simply terrible outlook for agricultural exports that
is, in the view of many in the industry, pushing things to a crisis.
As already noted, during 2018 Asian imports to Australia stayed
unexpectedly robust. But that 7% boost came against a capacity
increase of 19% as Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine found enough
friends to start its new A1X weekly service, the A3 group upsized
its ships from average 5700 TEU to 8000+ TEU and others took
advantage of shifts in charter markets to add 500-1000 TEU extra
space per ship. In no-one’s dreams were 19% more slots ever going to
be filled – not southbound and certainly not northbound.
NOT ENOUGH CARGO?
Some sources say present southbound utilisation is running at no
more than 60% and carrier projections of quite reasonable import
growth in 2019 have been slowly slipping, from originally around
7%, to 5%, and now “we might have to re-think that pretty soon”.
There’s simply not enough cargo to go around, and after freight
rates survived a good part of 2018 at buoyant levels – up to twice
that of non-peak 2017 – they’ve since been heading south much
faster than the ships. The situation carriers find themselves in is
amply illustrated by the two key indices, the China Containerised
Freight Index and the Shanghai Containerise Freight Index, both
published by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. The CCFI reflects
average indexed freight rates (all-inclusive spot and long-term
rates, excluding THCs) of 15 different carriers for shipments from
TRANSIT TIMES NORTHBOUND TO CHINA & HONG KONG
WA (Fremantle) Boomerang Thu 31 33 34 - -
Boomerang Wed 25 27 28 - -
Much of the grain bound for export markets, such as that stored at
Kwinana Western Australia (pictured), is being diverted to eastern
states of Australia due to the drought there
Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai,
Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xiamen. The overall index (01/01/1998 =
1,000) is based on both spot and long-term rates.
The December 2018 CCFI for the China-Australia/NZ route
stood at 787.54, down from 824.69 in November, and 13.3% below
December 2017’s 908.40. At the end of January 2019 the CCFI had
again eroded, to 766.94; by the end of February it was 718.82. The
SCFI reflects average USD spot rates (all inclusive, but excluding
THC) of 15 different carriers for shipments from Shanghai, to base
ports in the area of destination. The overall index (16/10/2009
= 1,000), is based on spot rates only, and shows a much more
alarming (for carriers) decline.
On the Shanghai-Melbourne route the December 2018 SCFI
fell to US$587.00/TEU, compared with 676.80 in November.
However, the comparison with December 2017 is stark: a 50.4%
fall from 1,184.20. By the end of January 2019 the index had fallen
further, to 532, and a month later was just 383. As this review was
completed in mid-March carriers were reporting spot rates from
central China had totally collapsed, to just US$250/TEU. With
northbound prices permanently stuck in the doldrums “we might
as well sail the ships both ways empty,” one exasperated executive
said, “we’d certainly lose less.”
While late-2017 rates were buoyed by the very strong southbound
volumes that saw carriers extract maximum returns as bookings
exceeded capacity and cargo was rolled, the 2018 peak failed to
meet price hopes – hopes that are now easily seen as unrealistic in
the context of the additional supply of slots.
In the early years of this decade, carriers in the N&EA/
EA-Australia trades, mostly under the auspices of the Hong
Kong-based Asia Australia Discussion Agreement, organised
variations of a slack-season capacity management program that saw
co-ordinated withdrawal of tonnage – that, in one notable year of
chronic over-capacity, ran from end-November to mid-August. But
now there is no AADA, nor any equivalent northbound discussion
30 April 2019
Northbound, things are looking “a little dire and miserable,”
says our master of the understatement. Absolutely no export
grain is moving from eastern states – because there isn’t any –
and a lot of Western Australia’s bumper crop is being diverted to
eastern domestic markets, and mostly in bulk carriers. And the
outlook is simply terrible. In its February crop report ABARES
revised downwards forecasts made as recently as December 2018,
such that it now expects the drought to cause the total area of
summer crops planted in 2018-19 to have fallen by 23%. ABARES
reports the complete failure of Queensland sorghum crops will see
production fall 9%, while cotton production is forecast to fall by
42% because of an estimated 44% contraction in the planted area.
Rice production is forecast to dive by 83%.
REDUCED WINTER CROPS
And there’s no carry-over from winter. Total Australian winter
crop production is estimated to have decreased by 20% in 2018–19
to 30.4m tonnes. Production of all the major crops is estimated
to have fallen, wheat by 19%, barley by 7% and canola by 41%.
Amongst other crops, chickpea production is estimated to have
fallen by 76% and oats 21%. The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate
outlook is for worsening dry conditions across most of the growing
agreement (covered by Part X of the Competition and Consumer
Act 2010), and so no officially-sanctioned forum to establish,
maintain and monitor a capacity management program. As at the
time of writing only two measures had been announced to deal
with the massive overcapacity: most significantly, Maersk (with
partners MSC and ONE) is cancelling the YoYo service between end
March and July (at least 12 sailings) and A3 is downsizing three of
the six central loop ships from 8500 TEU to 5700 TEU.
SURELY THERE IS MORE TO COME
“We’re on the verge of a fun quarter,” a line manager says drily. “It
is clear 2Q 2019 is a lost cause and all our hopes are with 3Q and
4Q, but …” Another suggests his line still expects ships to be full
in the August-December peak and shippers will then be grateful
all that additional capacity came onto the berth in 2018: “After
the chaos of late 2017, when Christmas goods were still sitting
on docks in China, there’d have been hell to pay if we hadn’t
Several key people who spoke to DCN took the view that
although southbound rates were in carriers’ rather than shippers’
favour in 2018 it was shippers who had benefitted. “Customers
should be pretty happy,” one said, “time and again they tell us they
prefer rate stability and things were pretty steady during the year.
Compare that with 2017, when rates for 40-footers fluctuated from
US$600 post CNY to $2800 pre-Christmas.” Last year was far more
disciplined, he notes, while another suggests carrier consolidation
in the form of Maersk/Hamburg Süd, COSCO/OOCL, and ONE
contributed noteworthy stability.
Supply and demand fundamentals are ruling in 2019. “We’ve
known for months this was coming,” an insider confesses. “From
our perspective it’s not controllable so we have to structure
policy accordingly.” He is highly sceptical an announced 1 April
southbound GRI of US$300/TEU would garner more than a few
dollars, if that.
TRANSIT TIMES SOUTHBOUND FROM CHINA & HONG KONG
Key: N = Nansha, X = Xiamen, Y = Yantian
WA (Fremantle) Boomerang Mon 28 26 25 - -
Boomerang Thu 24 22 21 - -
thedcn.com.au April 2019 31
LINER TRADES TO NORTH & EAST ASIA
One of the bright spots for carriers in
recent years has been the increasing
Chinese demand for Australian wine
but that looks to have plateaued...
consortium/service – and there’s rumour and conjecture
everywhere. The reality of the situation demands attention.
“As well, as new tonnage keeps pouring in to east-west container
trades carriers are under new pressure to cascade tonnage into
north south,” he notes, and another representative confirms “There
are a lot of studies within and between N&EA groups re upsizing to
consolidate but they’re going nowhere.”
areas of Queensland, NSW and Victoria. “Just how much the
impact of the flow-through of this drought has on Australians’
purchasing power is obviously of major concern for the inbound trade,”
one nervous line manager says. “Some carriers could always rely on
picking up a few dollars’ contribution to costs by “taking out the
rubbish” northbound but there’s now no meaningful tonnage in
recyclables. We’re dabbling more in logs but the rates are so poor
it hardly seems worth it, given the damage inflicted on boxes and
consignees’ inclination to require the logs in obscure places from
which it is costly and time-consuming to retrieve the containers.”
The more key players DCN tapped for this review, the gloomier
the atmosphere became. “This is really serious,” one wellconnected
observer claimed. “There’s real agitation amongst lines
and, overseas, everyone is talking to everyone about remedial
measures. Certain carriers have been pushing hard for structural
change – including the complete dissolution of one long-standing
TRUMP, CHINA, BREXIT
“The world’s a strange place right now,” our pundit suggests. “The
whole Trump/China thing, and Brexit, are disrupting trade patterns
and we might like to think we’re insulated down here but we’re not.
Add in the effects of our federal election, an apparent slowing of
the economy, drought, stagnant wages, falling house prices and the
effect that has on consumer confidence. For container lines there’s
no light on the horizon.”
Another manager concurs. “We’re in a pretty stressful situation
in this trade,” he confesses. “Rates are as low as they’ve ever been
and it’s just not sustainable. It just seems to get worse every week.
Something has to give, but it’s going to take a lot to turn this
A FINAL WORD
Final word goes to a line manager overtaken by fatalism. “They say
there are many right answers in shipping … one always has to live
TRANSIT TIMES NORTHBOUND
TO JAPAN, KOREA, TAIWAN
TRANSIT TIMES SOUTHBOUND
FROM JAPAN, KOREA, TAIWAN
Key: K = Keelung; T = Tokyo
WA (Fremantle) Boomerang Thu 27 25 29 -
Boomerang Wed 21 19 23 -
WA (Fremantle) Boomerang Mon 33 34 31 -
Boomerang Thu 27 28 24 -
Tables derived from carrier schedules and websites and compiled week ending March 15. © Dale Crisp.
32 April 2019
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LINER TRADES TO NORTH & EAST ASIA
Capacity lurch saturates trade with space
Last year this review opened with an observation of 12 months
of stability in the N&EA-Australia trade – in hindsight, a sure
indicator that things were about to change. Within weeks of
publication rumours began to circulate of a completely new
service starting, driven by Hyundai Merchant Marine’s (now
re-branded as just HMM) return as a vessel operator, and with at
least two partners, possibly including one newcomer to the trade.
Soon sources were confidently conveying news HMM would
be joined by Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp and the CMA CGM
Group’s APL. The partners would provide two, two and one ship
respectively in the 5200-5800 TEU range (APL’s share was said to
be relatively modest). Port rotation would be Ningbo, Shanghai,
Yantian, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane with the first southbound
sailing expected to depart mid-August, just as peak import season
got underway. Some sources claimed Taiwan’s Wan Hai was set
to be the third member of the group and had gone so far as to
make inquiries with agents and stevedores - until APL stepped in,
presumably in the collective interest of keeping a newcomer out of
the trade. HMM and APL had both been unhappy since May 2017’s
Hamburg Süd/Maersk-led rejig of the AAUS group, which saw them
‘evicted’ and searching for new homes. The then financially-fragile
HMM could only manage to obtain slot charters while APL was able
to join NEAX with one ship, but both ended up with substantially
reduced allocations from China. HMM (enjoying new-found
bullishness thanks to the backing of the South Korean government)
also obtained slots on NEAX - necessary since, somewhat ironically,
the new service does not call at a South Korean port. There was
already space exchange between and some common members of
NEAX and CAT; it was said the Taiwanese lines for some time had
been keen to replicate the successful three-loop product of the
A3 consortium (ANL, COSCO Shipping Lines, OOCL) with its
targeted but overlapping northern, central and southern strings.
NEW WEEKLY OPERATION
On 14 June 2018 the new weekly operation formally broke cover,
designated A1X (HMM), CAE (EMC) and CA6 (APL) by the
respective carriers, and said to employ five traditional panamax
ships, at average 4600 TEU - smaller than previously indicated.
The partners labelled the service “premium express” and claimed
the market’s fastest transits from Yantian and Shanghai to Sydney
of 11 days and 14 days respectively. Hutchison in Brisbane and
Sydney and ICTSI’s VICT in Melbourne were chosen as Australian
terminals. The first southbound departure from Ningbo was
advertised as the 4571 TEU Hyundai Supreme (previously used on
REGULAR DIRECT CONTAINER SERVICES BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND NORTH & EAST ASIA
CARRIERS/SERVICE* PORT ROTATION FREQUENCY VESSELS
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao,
Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Melbourne
6 x 4760-
A3Central (5) [PIL SAC (1)]
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Ningbo,
Shanghai, Ningbo, Sydney
6 x 8063-
A3South [PIL SAS]
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Xiamen, Shekou, Hong Kong,
5 x 5668-
ANL/Cosco Shipping/ OOCL/PIL
[APL NZ2, Hapag-Lloyd NZX] (1)
Hong Kong, Keelung, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Kaohsiung,
Brisbane, New Zealand, Hong Kong
7 x 4178-
Hamburg Süd/Cosco Shipping/ ONE
ANZL/JKHN/ NZJ (1)
Tokyo, Kobe, Busan, Shanghai, Yantian, Hong Kong, Brisbane,
New Zealand, Tokyo
6 x 3853-
YoYo/New Panda (4) [Hamburg Süd AAUS SL,
ONE CAE, APL CAS] (2)
Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Melbourne,
Sydney, Brisbane, Kaohsiung
5 x 4738-
A1X/CAE/CA6 [Sinolines CAE]
Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
5 x 4253-
Boomerang/AUS [MSC Wallaby, Hamburg Süd
AAUS NL, APL CA3] (2)
Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai/Yangshan, Ningbo,
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Southeast Asia,
Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Yokohama
13 x 4544-
Mariana Express Lines
ANA [PIL, PDL]
Kaohsiung, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Nansha, Hong Kong,
Surabaya, Darwin, Port Moresby, Townsville, Gladstone, Kaohsiung
Fortnightly 3 x 1800
[HMM A2X, Sinolines NEAX, TS Lines NEAX] (2)
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Yokohama, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao,
Shanghai, Ningbo, Melbourne
6 x 4211-
Yang Ming/Evergreen/TS Lines/Sinolines/PIL
[APL CA2, Hapag-Lloyd CAT, ONE CAT]
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Kaohsiung, Ningbo (3), Shanghai,
Shekou, Kaohsiung, Sydney
6 x 4211-
*Ship operators, with service designations in italics. Slot charterers in square brackets. (1) Southbound only. (2) There are slot-swaps between specific members of these services.
(3) Ningbo dropped from end-March. (4) This service will be suspended from end March until July. (5) During southbound low season every second ship will be c.5700 TEU.
34 April 2019
the AAUS service when HMM was a full member, prior to May
2017) on 17 August. In announcing the new partnership HMM
noted that hitherto its only current China-Australia capacity was
through a slot purchase (on the YoYo/Panda/CAE/AAUS service),
while EMC said the expansion in service offerings was in response
to the increasing trade demand on the route.
HMM also announced it was in the process of elevating its
Australian agent (then a joint venture with Inchcape Shipping
Services) to a subsidiary status “to strengthen its position in
Australia and provide more stable service”. Simultaneously,
EMC was reported to be taking full ownership of its local agent,
Evergreen Shipping Agency (Australia) Pty Ltd, established in 2002,
which has branches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Trade
watchers declared the new service would hardly be welcomed by
the East Asia-EC Australia trade’s existing players (and so it has
proved). But HMM, EMC and APL were encouraged not only by
2017’s southbound peak season – of which frenzied overbooking
and cargo rolling ex-China was a feature - but also by unexpectedly
long-and-strong southbound volumes in the first half of 2018, with
southbound rates holding at levels double the previous year’s.
A3 PREMIUM PRODUCT
However, it was immediately evident that 2018 northbound liftings
could not hope to match 2017’s grain-driven bonanza, and the
extra capacity on both legs would have an inevitable impact on
profitability (see accompanying article). Meanwhile, coincidentally
– or not – also on 14 June the A3 consortium announced moves
to quickly protect what it regards as the premium product in the
N&EA-Australia market by making adjustments to two of its
three weekly loops to provide “more competitive service in both
directions and comprehensive coverage”, also from August. While
the A3N (northern) loop remained unchanged, some port calls
were shuffled between A3C (central) and A3S (southern) strings
and extra calls added. A3C‘s port rotation added northbound
calls at Kaohsiung and Ningbo for a new rotation of Shanghai,
Ningbo, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Kaohsiung, Xiamen,
Ningbo, Shanghai, while A3S shed Kaohsiung to rotate Xiamen,
Shekou, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Xiamen. While
it was unclear at the time of this announcement whether A3
intended to proceed with a long-mooted upgrade to larger tonnage
on the central loop, before long it became known the partners
would introduce 8000 TEU ships – and indeed add a sixth to
accommodate the additional port calls.
When A1X actually arrived it had none of the foreshadowed
tonnage. Instead HMM contributed the chartered 5042 TEU
Pamina and 5060 TEU MP The Edelman, Evergreen the 4353
TEU Ital Moderna and Ital Melodia (both previous N&EA service
participants) and APL (nominally) the 4253 TEU Navios Lapis. The
former AAX vessel CMA CGM Puget (4367 TEU) has recently taken
over from Navios Lapis.
REGULAR DIRECT BREAKBULK/CONTAINER SERVICES BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND NORTH & EAST ASIA
CARRIERS/SERVICE* PORT ROTATION FREQUENCY VESSELS
Austral Asia Line (5,6)
Austral Asia Line (5)
Kobe+, Busan, Incheon, Tianjin, Bayuquan+, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Brisbane,
Newcastle, Port Kembla+, Melbourne, Adelaide+, Portland+, Gladstone+, Mackay+,
Tianjin, Busan, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Singapore, Darwin+, Port Hedland/ Dampier+,
Kobe+, Busan, Incheon, Tianjin, Bayuquan+, Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Brisbane,
Newcastle, Port Kembla+, Melbourne, Adelaide+, Portland+, Gladstone+, Mackay+,
2 x 2028 TEU
1 x 2118 TEU
2 x 969 TEU
2 x 2028 TEU
1 x 1158 TEU
Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Nansha, Lae, Port Moresby, Townsville, Kaohsiung 20 days 1 x 2564 TEU
1 x 2500 TEU
(5) Actual port calls may vary per voyage. (6) AAL and Swire Shipping operate these services under a VSA; each carrier has own port rotation. + Inducement calls
thedcn.com.au April 2019 35
LINER TRADES TO NORTH & EAST ASIA
In June CMA CGM Eiffel (4404 TEU)
suffered a hull crack and after repairs
in Melbourne was replaced by the 4353
TEU Cuckoo Hunter for one voyage.
A3C’s upsizing has seen larger tonnage on high rotation. While the
8063 TEU OOCL Seoul and OOCL Rotterdam have been constants,
ANL contributed the 8110 TEU APL Lativia which was soon
renamed, far more relevantly, ANL Gippsland. For its part COSCO
SL launched with the 8501 TEU Cosco Thailand, 8814 TEU Northern
Jade and 8465 TEU Lloyd Don Pasquale. But after one voyage
Northern Jade was replaced by the 8530 TEU Xin Fei Zhou, with it
too replaced after one rotation, by the 8501 TEU Cosco Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Xin Fei Zhou disappeared after one trip and the 8501
TEU Cosco Korea appeared. Now, with A3C partly downsizing for
the southbound low season, Cosco Indonesia is replaced by the 5762
TEU former MSC charter E R Sweden, Cosco Thailand by the former
5668 TEU ANL/AAX charter Xin Qin Huang Dao and Cosco Korea by
the 5446 TEU Cosco Hamburg. Nevertheless, the addition of A1X –
“which wasn’t needed”, the marked upsizing of A3C and the usual
capacity creep elsewhere resulted in a 19% increase in space in
2018 – which was never going to be filled.
er and Biosecurity Compliance Program
/20 - CPD and CBC
rade Alliance (FTA) is accredited by both the Department of Home Affairs and
WHAT OF OTHER N&EA SERVICES?
tment of Agriculture and Water Resources to deliver Continuing Professional
ent (CPD) and The Continued A3 partners Biosecurity have migrated Competency the Northern (CBC) loop training. vessels up
incrementally, from the 4250-4500 TEU mark to just over 5000
es the following high quality, practical, cost effective and flexible solutions
TEU average, with ANL providing four, Cosco one and OOCL one.
ur annual customs broker licensing and import Biosecurity accreditation
nts. A3S (the southern loop) has remained relatively constant, anchored
by five ships of c.5800 TEU provided by Cosco and OOCL.
The CAT service has also been fairly consistent. In early June
the heavy-weather damaged YM Efficiency was replaced by the 4253
ing the following conference-style FTA offers extensive material via
TEU YM Vancouver, while YM Portland suffered engine damage near
e you will obtain 24 CPD points
www.ComplianceNetFTA.com.au with course,
te the mandatory PNG 2019/20 during CBC a southbound resources voyage in and late online July assessment and was replaced available at by
Session: the 4253 TEU Navios Dedication. listed prices. After just one trip back in CAT
.30am to 4.30pm) YM Portland was again withdrawn, FTA members to are be replaced offered unlimited by the CPD 4253 and TEU CBC
2019 – Novotel, Brighton Le Sands content for a price of $150 (excl GST) per person
Navios Delight but was back per after accreditation one missed period trip. (1 April Fleet to 31 composition
(8.30am to 4.30pm
remains at Yang Ming x 3, and one each from Evergreen, TS Lines
2019 – Novotel, Brisbane Airport Further discounts are offered to businesses with
and Sinolines. At the end of multiple March purchases CAT dropped with the calls option at for the an
E (8.30am to 4.30pm)
all-inclusive invoice for FTA Premium Membership
e 2019 – Hyatt heavily-pressured Place, Essendon Fields Ningbo market.
and CPD / CBC training – price on application to
mber and early bird member
, FTA will also offer additional CPD
BC training through a series of legal
kshops and online courses.
and Biosecurity Compliance Program
Border & Biosecurity Compliance Program
2019/20 - CPD and CBC
2019/20 - CPD and CBC
Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) is accredited by both the Department of Home Affairs and
the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to deliver Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) and Continued Biosecurity Competency (CBC) training.
FTA provides the following high quality, practical, cost effective and flexible solutions
to meet your annual customs broker licensing and import Biosecurity accreditation
Freight & Trade Alliance provides the following high quality,
practical, cost effective and flexible solutions to meet your
We are hosting the following conference-style FTA offers extensive material via
events where you will obtain 24 CPD points
www.ComplianceNetFTA.com.au with course,
and complete the mandatory 2019/20 CBC
resources and online assessment available at
Information annual Session: customs listed broker prices. licensing and import biosecurity
SYDNEY (8.30am to 4.30pm)
FTA members are offered unlimited CPD and CBC
Tues 9 April 2019 – Novotel, Brighton Le Sands content for a price of $150 (excl GST) per person
per accreditation period (1 April to 31 March).
BRISBANE (8.30am to 4.30pm
Thurs 2 May 2019 – Novotel, Brisbane Airport Further discounts are offered to businesses with
multiple purchases with the option for an
MELBOURNE (8.30am to 4.30pm)
all-inclusive invoice for FTA Premium Membership
Wed During 19 June 2019 – Hyatt Place, 2019, Essendon Fields FTA and CPD will / CBC training also – price on application offer to additional CPD points and
Student, member and early bird member
discounts apply -
refer CBC www.ftalliance.com.au/upcoming-events training through a series of legal forums, workshops
During 2019, FTA will also offer additional CPD
points CBC training through a series of legal
forums, and workshops online and courses. courses.
NEAX has seen some tonnage shuffling, dating back to December
2017 when Hapag-Lloyd’s Seoul Express was involved in an incident
near Shanghai and was replaced by the 4620 TEU RHL Constantia
for one round voyage; Seoul Express departed NEAX again in
October to join the ‘new’ OVSA between ANZ and WCNA, with the
5060 TEU MP The Brady taking its place; in turn that ship has now
been replaced by former MSC/ANL/Maersk/APL charter SC Mara
(5050 TEU). In June CMA CGM Eiffel (4404 TEU) suffered a hull
crack and after repairs in Melbourne was replaced by the 4353 TEU
Cuckoo Hunter for one voyage. In September 2018 ONE’s Brooklyn Bridge
left NEAX, to be replaced in succession by the 5026 TEU Tianjin
Bridge and 4975 TEU RDO Favour before returning in February 2019.
The rest of the NEAX fleet comprises Evergreen’s 5652 TEU sisters
Ever Lirica and Ital Libera and Yang Ming’s 4253 TEU YM Seattle.
Maersk’s ‘premium’ Boomerang service fleet has seen a number
of substitutions, to be expected in a 13-strong deployment (an
extra ship was added after the SE Asian leg was extended to include
Laem Chabang in April 2018). Size has remained approximately
constant, at an average c.5500 TEU, although at the time of writing
Maersk had replaced two other c.5750 TEU units with smaller
4258 TEU-4544 TEU ships, in what may have been a seasonal
downsizing. Contrarily, also scheduled was the 6976 TEU Northern
Magnum. As for Maersk’s YoYo (more commonly known as AAUS
until Maersk replaced December 2017 acquisition Hamburg Süd as
the novated carrier under Part X) the fleet deployment can best be
described as bizarre, with only the MSC contribution, the 5043 TEU
MSC Anya, reliably employed. Maersk has scheduled everything
from the 2824 TEU Aldi Wave to the 6622 TEU Cap Arnauti, and
used the service to reposition five 3028-3364 TEU ships from the
OC1 service to China for drydocking and return. The YoYo service
is completely suspended from end-March until July, but not before
one voyage by the 6732 TEU Northern Magnitude, likely scheduled
with empties evacuation in mind. Maersk is covering YoYo’s
absence through slot purchases on A1X, A3C and A3C.
The two N&EA services that call only Brisbane, southbound en route
to New Zealand, have seen only modest changes. The ANL-led ANZEX
currently employs four ANL-supplied ships and one each from Cosco,
OOCL and PIL. In ANZL, where Maersk has taken over Hamburg Süd
rights as per YoYo and a number of other services, the 4658 TEU Maersk
Garonne and 4650 TEU Safmarine Mulanje have displaced the 4868
TEU German charters Cap Coral and Cap Cleveland. ONE supplies two
vessels (4538 TEU) as does Cosco (4178 TEU).
We are hosting conference-style events where you will obtain
24 CPD points and complete the mandatory 2019/20 CBC
BRISBANE Thurs 2 May 2019 – Novotel, Brisbane Airport
MELBOURNE Wed 19 June 2019 – Hyatt Place, Essendon Fields
Student, member and early bird member discounts apply
FTA offers material via www.ComplianceNetFTA.com.au with
course, resources and online assessment. FTA members are
offered unlimited CPD and CBC content for a price of $150 (excl
GST) per person per accreditation period. Discounts are offered
to businesses with multiple purchases. Price on application to
36 April 2019
COSCO SHIPPING LINES
Proud winners of the Liner Trade Award | Australia – North East Asia
At the 2018 DCN Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards
On track to a
Aerial view of Swanson Dock container
terminal, Port of Melbourne
38 April 2019
With recent record
trade figures and an
expanding freight task,
Victoria’s two largest ports
want to grow their businesses
sustainably, writes Paula Wallace
thedcn.com.au April 2019 39
Brendan Bourke presides over what
is widely accepted as the largest
container port in the nation.
Following the release of recent trade
growth figures, it was no surprise that
he was in a bullish mood during a recent
conversation with Daily Cargo News.
“In the 2017-18 year we saw our total
trade grow 8.5%, the strongest recorded
in six years which is consistent with the
city and region’s population growth and
Victorian economic growth,” he said.
Based on this growth and future
projections, the Port of Melbourne is
preparing for a future where it will handle
almost 9m TEU by 2050.
“Our business focus and strategy for
2019 is preparing the port for growth
to meet the future freight demand and
working across the supply chain to drive
efficiencies and productivity,” Mr Bourke said.
In the first half of the 2019 financial
year, total port trade was up 4.6% with
commodity trade up 0.9%, with full
container imports the largest contributor.
Other cargo types contributing to the
increase were wheeled unitised cargoes (an
increase of 14.5%), liquid bulk imports (up
7.2%) and dry bulk imports (up 4.6%).
A RAIL SOLUTION
Mr Bourke emphasised rail would be crucial
in the future.
“Whilst our trucking transport sector is
coping with our current freight needs, rail
must play an increasing role in servicing
the port if this future growth in demand is
to be efficiently serviced,” he said.
Port of Melbourne is currently focused
on its “port rail solution” which aims
to provide a modal choice by improving
cost competitiveness and rail reliability.
The plan aims to improve rail access and
efficiencies into and out of the port, and
promote investment in outer metropolitan
intermodal rail terminals.
Late last year the Victorian government
made a public commitment to work with
the Port of Melbourne on a proposal to
progress a comprehensive “on-dock rail
solution”, providing efficient port access for
all container supply chain users.
“We are proposing a ‘port rail solution’
that includes infrastructure investment
from us and a new commercial and
operating framework that will meet
industry expectations and deliver a long
awaited rail solution,” Mr Bourke said.
“We want to take the cost out of the
supply chain and provide improved service
levels in order to maintain a competitive
supply chain,” he said.
“We also see our ‘port rail solution’
as a means of dealing with community
concerns over the increasing numbers of
trucks as the port’s volume grows.”
A LARGE CATCHMENT
The Port of Melbourne services a
geographically diverse trade catchment.
In the context of a port that services
farmers, exporters and importers, Mr
Bourke reinforced the necessity of rail.
“We have positioned ourselves
historically with strong infrastructure
investment to be competitive in contestable
trade regions,” he said.
“We need to keep pace with competing
investments,” he said, adding the Port
of Melbourne had determined rail as a
more competitive choice to keep pace with
import and export demand.
“We are currently engaging with
industry in regard to the operating
framework of our proposal,” Mr Bourke
said, adding that rail was an immediate
solution, not one decades away.
THE PERSPECTIVE OF FREIGHT
Greater utilisation of rail at ports is also
supported by the Victorian Transport
Association, which counts among its
members freight operators across road, rail
Such a large freight task around the
port throws up a host of issues for landside
operators as well.
“We applaud the fact that we’re building
the infrastructure and putting rail into
Port of Melbourne has
propsed a comprehensive
“on-dock rail solution”
40 April 2019
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The removal of Toll’s shore
ramps at Webb Dock
WEBB DOCK UPGRADE TO BOOST BASS STRAIT TRADE
Enhanced capacity and reliability are key objectives of Toll
Group’s investment in wharf infrastructure, allowing its two
new 700 TEU vessels that traverse Bass Strait to operate at
Toll executive general manager Tasmania and shipping
Steven Borg, said the company’s motivation in investing in
ships and terminals was to provide capacity for customers all
year round and not just provide a day-in, day-out service.
In February, Toll unveiled new ships Victorian Reliance II and
Tasmanian Achiever II.
This marked the latest stage in its $311m investment in the
Bass Strait trade, including $172m on the two new ships and
major upgrades to Webb Dock at Melbourne.
The 210-metre vessels were commissioned by Toll to move
freight between the Australian mainland and Tasmania,
increasing cargo capacity by more than 40% on each voyage to
meet anticipated demand for the next two decades.
The improvements to Webb Dock enable more efficient
docking and loading of the new ships and include upgrades to
the wharf infrastructure and terminal space.
“Toll has been fortunate to secure an additional seven
hectares of land, where we are currently undergoing
reasonably large civil works to expand the shipping terminal’s
footprint,” Mr Borg said.
“The terminal expansion will be finished by the end of
this year, while the upgraded wharf and shipping operation
commenced in March.”
Toll upgraded the wharf structure to suit the new vessels,
replaced the link spans, installed additional wharf furniture and
increased the size of the berthing pocket, which required some
dredging and installation of a new scour protection system.
In port, the new ships will connect to the local power
grid, eliminating the need to generate power from their
A new wharf management system and customer booking
software will improve terminal operational procedures to
minimise traffic congestion and enable better freight tracking
and monitoring of refrigerated cargo.
“There was significant strengthening of the wharf,” Mr
“Link spans were replaced, and civil works were required in
the foundation to cater for those size ramps and link spans.”
A 350-tonne crane was needed to lift the new shore ramp
into place, which is 27 metres wide, 24 metres long and weighs
almost 100 tonnes.
In total, around 72,000 construction hours have gone into
the wharf upgrade at Webb Dock which also involved 100
hours of drilling, the demolition of 270 tonnes of concrete and
the excavation of 6750 cubic metres of soil.
Toll currently services a multitude of industries operating
across Bass Strait and Mr Borg expects the balance of cargo to
remain largely the same.
“From Melbourne to Tasmania we carry a significant
amount of FMCG and retail cargo… raw materials, packaging,
automotive, earthmoving and civil equipment.
“What we’re saying and what we’re building is the vessels
and the infrastructure to cater for all customer demands for
52 weeks a year, for many years to come,”he said.
“Customer and industry feedback suggests there are
restrictions on growth and this will provide greater opportunity
for those customers to grow and get more products to their
markets, more quickly.”
42 April 2019
Whilst our trucking transport sector is coping
with our current freight needs, rail must play
an increasing role in servicing the port.
Brendan Bourke, Port of Melbourne CEO
the network more strongly than it is,” VTA
chief executive Peter Anderson said.
“We’ve approached the government
with a landside project for ports that
would make operations more efficient and
The VTA also has a focus on reviewing
heavy vehicle licensing.
“We made a decision some time ago that
licensing is an impediment to our industry
because we want young people to get license
and they can’t do that under the current
system,” Mr Anderson said.
“With government we have initiated
a program where we put people under
instruction for eight days and then straight
into a job. Within eight days they have
enough skills to work professionaly in our
Some of the current issues for VTA
members include fees and penalties, asset
utilisation, vessel bunching, local rules,
container handling, duty payment process,
local community amenity and truck queue
“The industry has struggled immensely
with an unpredictable increase in costs
which has put pressure on businesses to
plan for the future,” Mr Anderson said.
“That has been interpreted through
industry charges, a doubling of tolls and
unregulated processes in ports that allow
individual stakeholders to put pressure on
certain elements of the supply chain.
“The landside sector of the port supply
chain is at the bottom of the food chain,
that means they are a taker of direction,
not a giver.”
Mr Anderson said access was another
“The general population don’t
understand how supply chains work which
means there’s a natural tendency to dismiss
the truck on the road as an impediment,”
“A truck is a workplace… and to curfew
trucks off the road is like telling people
they can’t turn up to their office.”
A plan brokered by the VTA and the
Maribyrnong Truck Action Group is
intended as an example of the freight
industry’s strategy to address community
concerns about heavy vehicles and raise
“It demonstrates the values and
efficiencies that can be gained by transport
companies renewing their fleet with
younger vehicles,” Mr Anderson said.
The Maribyrnong Cleaner Freight
Initiative, which requires government
support, is aimed at helping the transport
industry transition to permanent truck
curfews the state government plans for
roads after the West Gate Tunnel is built.
Under the plan, accredited operators
would have an additional hour every day
during the week to use roads where there
are truck curfews, with no change to access
on weekends. Unaccredited operators
would have their access reduced by two
hours per day during the week, and by two
hours on weekends.
To qualify, operators must use prime
movers that have low emission Euro 5
compliant or greater engines. Exhausts
would be fitted with emission control
systems, and dangerous goods placarded
vehicles required to increase visibility.
“We’ve come down the environmental
line…and this puts commercial pressure
on the industry to comply with what the
community really wants,” Mr Anderson
said. “We’re not banning trucks but better
Mr Anderson said the real issue for
industry going forward was sustainability.
“The road freight industry is going
through major reform, there has never been
so much pressure on operators to do the
right thing,” he said.
As the second largest port in Victoria,
Geelong handled more than 12m tonnes of
cargo last year, an increase in tonnage of
around 8% year-on-year.
The facility now trades under the name
of GeelongPort and chief executive Brett
One of the issues for VTA members is
truck queue waiting times at ports
thedcn.com.au April 2019 43
and manufacturers freight-cost efficiencies.
“It’s all about giving the importers
options. The use of the ‘blue highway’ as a
complementary mode to road and rail will
provide a positive national outcome,” Mr
Geelong is the second largest port in Victoria
and does an impressive bulk trade
Winter told DCN they had ambitious
“We have strong growth targets which
will see GeelongPort handle 18m tonnes
per annum by 2025… a decade earlier than
previous forecasts,” Mr Winter said.
This year, GeelongPort is focused
on developing and implementing an
environmental strategy to ensure plans
are in place to improve environmental
outcomes for Corio Bay, the community
and the region.
“We are also continuing our rollout of
our critical risk-control program which is
designed to ensure we are addressing those
risks in our business that can do the most
harm to our people,” Mr Winter said.
“We are also very keen to ensure that
there is a focus from all stakeholders on
improving freight connections across the
The port freight links are currently under
review with the view of strengthening links
with road, rail andthe channel.
“This will require upgrading to facilitate
changes in the mode of transport, for
example larger ships, trucks and rail
connections into and out of the port,”
Mr Winter said.
“These upgrades will ensure we protect
the port’s connections to regional Victoria,
Avalon Airport and the west of Melbourne
as the Australian and global freight tasks
change over the coming decades.”
GeelongPort has also done a long-term
deal with Boral involving the construction
of a new clinker-grinding facility on
land near Lascelles Wharf. This is to be
commissioned by late 2020,” he said.
“GeelongPort has partnered with
wind farm companies such as Goldwind
Australia and Vestas to support renewable
energy projects in Victoria.”
The port already plays a crucial role in
the transport of cargo such as giant wind
turbines and blades, crucial for wind farms
in the south-west of Victoria.
One of the challenges for GeelongPort
is the limitation of the channel and it
is working with the Victorian Regional
Channels Authority on a channel
We have strong growth targets which will see Geelong
Port handle 18m tonnes per annum by 2025.
Brett Winter, GeelongPort CEO
“Increasing channel width and depth
will allow two-way movement and lead
to additional shipping activity providing
efficiencies for our customers, having
economic benefits for the community and
the region,” Mr Winter said.
One of the significant opportunities for
the port is the potential introduction of
smaller vessels for coastal shipping to move
between states thereby giving importers
The latest forecasts for Victoria predict
unabated economic growth over the next
two years, according to Deloitte Access Economics’
December Quarter Business Outlook.
It says Victoria can expect a rising
employment rate and solid business
investment growth, led by private
engineering, commercial construction and
Deloitte has upgraded its own
employment expectations and forecasts
employment increases of 3.1% in 2018-19
and 1.6% in 2019-20.
The report says household consumption
and government infrastructure investment
will also be major contributors to the
Victorian economy this financial year.
Manager of macroeconomic policy and
forecasting at Deloitte Access Economics
Ben Guttmann said infrastructure
investment was key.
“Infrastructure investment is a
key driver of Victoria’s strong growth
performance. But growth is broader than
that,” he said.
“Business services, tourism and health
care are also contributing to Victoria’s
strong growth performance and continued
He noted business conditions had
improved, corporate profits had soared and
borrowing costs remained low, particularly
for large businesses.
“In addition, businesses are also starting
to hit capacity constraints following the
recent period of strong economic growth,”
Mr Guttmann said.
“That said, businesses may be slow
to start investing due to an increasingly
uncertain global economic outlook.”
Victoria also took out the number one
spot in the recent CommSec State of the
States report, a result underpinned by
high job numbers, a thriving construction
industry and buoyant retail trade.
The latest quarterly report shows the
state government’s infrastructure spending
as a major factor in bolstering job numbers
and construction levels, while delivering
important roads and rail infrastructure,
hospitals and schools.
44 April 2019
46 April 2019
Alexis Cahalan explores the circumstances where
shipowners and carriers can limit their liability and the
impact this can have on the marine insurance market.
thedcn.com.au April 2019 47
Shen Neng 1
The concept of limitation of liability is an important feature
in marine insurance. Not only does it regulate responsibility
between parties participating in a maritime adventure, it also
influences the cost of insurance to ship owners, charterers
and non-vessel operating common carriers.
LIMITS OF LIABILITY IN POLLUTION EVENTS
Monetary limits of liability for shipowners are of particular
significance for vessels operating in environmentally sensitive
regions. In Australia, for example, there are a number of
marine environments that have been designated to be of special
significance. The Great Barrier Reef was listed as an UNESCO
World Heritage Area in 1981 and in 1990 the IMO declared the
Great Barrier Reef as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area. In 2005,
the Torres Strait was also declared a PSSA. A similar designation
came into effect in respect of passage in the Coral Sea in June 2015.
This designation allows coastal states to environmentally manage
coastal areas while complying with the duty to provide freedom of
navigation through their Exclusive Economic Zone.
However, vessels operating in and through such areas
undoubtedly face an increased risk of exposure to damages in
the event of a casualty or vessel incident causing pollution. The
grounding of the vessel MV Solomon Trader in February 2019 near
Rennell Island in the Solomon Islands, highlights only too well this
exposure. The vessel is reported to be leaking 80 tonnes of heavy
fuel oil over a raised coral atoll located in a World Heritage Area.
With about 600 tonnes of fuel oil remaining on board, it will be a
costly exercise to remove the remaining oil and prevent further oil
spilling onto the reef.
Such increased exposure also starkly came to light on 3 April 2010
when the vessel MV Shen Neng 1 ran aground about 120kms east
of Rockhampton within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. At the
time the vessel sailing from Gladstone was a fully laden bulk coal
carrier. About 10 tonnes of bunker oil leaked from the vessel across
the reef. The Commonwealth Government commenced litigation
in 2013 against the vessel’s owners claiming up to A$194m or
alternatively the cost of remediation for the Douglas Shoal, the
area in which the vessel had run aground. Owners applied to limit
their liability for the bunkers spilled under the Convention on the
Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1996 in accordance
with the limitation amount at the time based on the tonnage of the
vessel in the amount of A$25m.
The Commonwealth argued there were three separate incidents
and that therefore, three separate limitation amounts applied.
The Commonwealth asserted the first incident was the initial
grounding of the vessel due to navigational error, the second when
the master failed to notice the dragging anchor that led to vessel
movement and thirdly, the master’s decision to re-float the vessel
off the reef. Even if three limitation funds were held to apply, this
amount fell well short of the Commonwealth’s claim for damages.
The largest component of damages sought was in relation to the
costs of remediating the reef.
Ultimately the issue of the number of funds held to apply
in relation to the Sheng Neng I incident was never judicially
determined as the claim was settled when the Commonwealth
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
48 April 2019
accepted a payment of A$35m for the
remediation costs claimed and an
additional A$4.3m to cover costs incurred
in dealing with the incident immediately
after it occurred. Nor did it become
necessary to consider the fact that damage
was not solely caused by the release of
bunker oil, but also by noxious chemicals
from the vessel’s hull, together with
the action of the vessel on the reef. For
insurers, this situation potentially creates a
situation where damages for environmental
damage may not be caught by the existing
pollution limitation mechanisms.
a very limited range of complete defences
available to ship owners and thus their
insurers including where the incident is
caused by an act of God or act of war. The
limit of liability under the CLC 92 is set
according to the tonnage of the ship. For
example, a bulk carrier oil tanker with a
200,000 gross tonnage would currently
have a limitation amount of about
A$176,804,349 (SDR 89,770,000).
SDR is a reference to Special Drawing
Rights, a form of international money
created by the IMF and defined as a
weighted average of various convertible
currencies. This means that the SDR value
The principal source of establishing
a compensation regime in an oil spill
situation from an oil tanker is the
Alexis Cahalan, principal lawyer,
Thomas Miller Law
changes marginally in accordance with
global currency trends.
If damages exceed this first tier of
available compensation then claims can
be met from a second tier of compensation
International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution
Damage 1992 (the CLC 92), its precursor CLC 69 enacted into
Australian law by the Protection of the Sea (Civil Liability) Act
1981 (Cth). Liability under this legislation is strict but in exchange,
it is limited, except in certain circumstances. For example, the
limitation can be challenged where the incident is caused by an act
or omission committed with “knowledge that such damage would
probably result”, essentially wilful misconduct. There is otherwise
arising out of the 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation
Fund enacted in Australia by the Protection of the Seas (Oil
Pollution Compensation Funds) Act 1993. The fund is created with
a levy imposed on oil companies calculated on oil imports and
exports. In the event that the claims exceed the limits under the
first and second tiers of compensation fund, a third tier is available
under the International Oil Pollution Compensation Supplementary
Fund 2003 given effect in Australia by the same Act.
Training for the barrier clearance, freight forwarding & international trade community
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of
Australia, is one of the true innovators of online learning.
With the International Trade and Logistics College
(ITALC) it delivers interactive diploma courses, with
world-class virtual classroom technology. These courses
service the increased training needs for all participants
in the broader international trade community.
ITALC courses include:
Diploma of Customs Broking (TLI50816)
Diploma of Freight Forwarding (TLI50316)
ITALC also provides access to the Continued
Professional Development Program, short courses
providing commercial skills for busy professionals.
Why choose the CBFCA for your study?
The CBFCA is dedicated to ensuring the skills and
knowledge of graduates are at the highest standard.
The CBFCA, as a not-for-profit entity exits solely for
the good of its members. CBFCA recognises that the
best pathway is through the development of upcoming
personnel, preparing to move into senior positions
of the future. The pursuit of commercial return from
training is not what drives us.
CBFCA recruits the ’best of the best’ industry
personnel. Employers know CBFCA graduates have
the skills & knowledge required to perform their current
task and to be ready to take on the next level of
responsibility as required.
Students have access to leading edge technology,
24hr access to interactive learning
materials plus video and audio
conferencing. All courses are facilitated
by some of the most experienced
educators in the industry.
PO Box 3525, RAMSGATE NSW 2216
Phone: 02 9587 1986
thedcn.com.au April 2019 49
The types of damages recoverable can include clean-up costs,
damage to property, economic loss consequential on property
damage, pure economic loss, such as from a tourist hotel
operator and the reasonable costs of restoring the damage to
property. Some jurisdictions that take a narrow approach as
to what can be compensated under the CLC 92 have adopted
a narrow interpretation of such losses. In Landcatch Ltd v.
International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund the Scottish Courts
considered whether Landcatch Ltd, whose business involved
the rearing of juvenile salmon for sale to salmon farmers
in Shetland suffered compensable loss. An oil spill from the
The Great Barrier Reef was listed as a
UNESCO World Heritage Area in 1981
and in 1990 the IMO declared the Great
Barrier Reef as a Particularly Sensitive
tanker Braer caused by the vessel running aground of the coast
of the Shetland Islands resulted in the prohibition of the sale
of Shetland salmon by the United Kingdom government. This
had an effect on Landcatch’s business in that the market for
juvenile salmon was severely reduced due to the ban. However,
the Scottish Court ruled that the claims were not compensable
under the CLC 92 in that “secondary” or “relational” damage
was not compensable for “reasons similar to those that have
led to the development of a rule against such claims under the
Ultimately the number of funds held to apply in relation to
the Sheng Neng I incident was never judicially determined as the
claim was settled when the Commonwealth accepted a payment
of A$35m for the remediation costs claimed and an additional
A$4.3m to cover costs incurred in dealing with the incident
immediately after it occurred. Nor did it become necessary to
consider the fact that damage was not solely caused by the release
of bunker oil, but also by noxious chemicals from the vessel’s hull,
together with the action of the vessel on the reef. For insurers,
this situation potentially creates a situation where damages for
environmental damage may not be caught by the existing pollution
IMPACT OF LIMITATIONS IN MARINE INSURANCE
There are other instances where limitations can apply in the
maritime adventure. For example, the Amended Hague Rules as
enacted in Australia by the Commonwealth Sea Carriage of Goods
Act 1991 (Cth) imposes package and weight limitations in the
event of damage for goods carried under a bill of lading or sea
carriage document. This is not to say, however, that there is always
certainty as to how such package limitations might apply, is it per
container or do the words “said to contain” (STC) record the true
number of goods, packages or units for the purpose of calculating
the package limitation?
The leading decision in Australia, El Greco (Australia) Pty
Ltd v Mediterranean Shipping Co SA had to determine which was
the relevant unit when assessing the limits to apply where
“200,945 pieces posters and prints” were damaged without any
salvage value. They were packed in one container and were made up
of 2000 packages and shipped from Melbourne bound ultimately
for Greece. The lack of sufficient enumeration of the packages in
the bill of lading meant that the container was the applicable unit
for the purpose of calculating the package limitation. The case does
serve to illustrate, however, that uncertainties can still arise when
trying to calculate the relevant package limitation.
Insurers also look outside the limitations which apply by reason of
statute to those which may contractually apply, take for example,
commonly seen NVOCC’s standard terms and conditions. The
importance of such limitations successfully responding to cargo
claims is an important consideration for marine insurers in their
assessment and characterisation of risk and as a result in the
calculation of insurance premiums bearing in mind that premium
reflects risk. An understanding of the circumstances in which
liability can be limited either by way of legislation or contract is as
important for the insurer as it is for the consumer of the marine
insurance product in assessing the overall costs and risks of the
INSURANCE AND A SHIPPING LINE’S PERSPECTIVE
Making the international shipment of
goods “simple, seamless and efficient” is
the aim of an insurance product recently
launched by French liner company CMA
CGM. CMA CGM CARGO INSURANCE
was announced as part of company
chairman and chief executive Rodolphe
Saadé’s Shipping the Future strategy in
2017 and introduced to the Australian
market in October 2018.
A CMA CGM spokesperson said this
product was realised in partnership with
“one of the largest marine insurance
companies in the world”.
Features include covering damage
and loss due to almost all kind of
risks from door-to-door even in case
of merchant haulage and up to the
full insured value with no excess/
“Shipments in transit are subject
to many perils that could impact our
customer’s business operation, and
this is often beyond anyone’s will,” the
“Should loss or damage occur to
customer’s cargo, they will have to
go through a difficult and lengthy
administrative process with no
guarantee of the final outcome.
“Many of our customers are looking
for solutions to run their business
operation more effectively with reliable
partners. As their global shipping
partner, we know best their shipments
and how to secure it.”
According to CMA CGM, freight
forwarders would gain an advantage
partnering with a carrier that offered
more than just freight services because
they could propose different services
50 April 2019
DON’T PANIC: LOST BILLS OF LADING A CHALLENGE NOT A DISASTER
Such is the crucial nature of the bill
of lading that some may unduly panic
over its loss or misplacement. The bill
of lading has three primary functions:
evidencing the contract of carriage,
acting as a receipt for the cargo and
facilitating transfer of title to the
There are occasions where documents
are lost and, given the functions of the
bill of lading, this has the potential to
give rise to some significant exposures
if not handled correctly.
The contractual nexus surrounding
any given bill of lading can be complex.
Care must be taken, therefore, when
handling situations involving lost bills
of lading to understand this nexus. In
maritime trade, the original bill of lading
effectively represents the cargo itself.
At its simplest, the shipper receives the
bill from the carrier, and transfers it to
the consignee in return for payment
for the goods. “Negotiable” bills may
be transferred between entities for
payment, together with the right to
receive the goods, while the goods are
in transit. The consignee or transferee
hands the bill of lading to the carrier
as evidence of the right to collect the
goods and for cancellation.
THE ROLE OF BANKS
Equally, a bank may also have an
interest in the cargo, under a letter
of credit, holding the original bill
of lading until the debt is
satisfied. In this context, the bill of lading
represents the bank’s security for that
debt. This also serves to illustrate the
care required; release of goods without
an original bill of lading can lead to
financial liabilities to entities other than
the direct contracting parties. Shippers
or alleged transferees of the original bill
of lading may seek to press the NVOCC
to issue a duplicate for the purpose of
taking delivery; such requests must be
handled with great care. Anybody who is
holding an original bill of lading acquired
in good faith can claim delivery. Where
two sets of bills exist there is risk of two
entities with apparently equally valid
claims demanding delivery of the cargo.
Additionally, if the shipper has not been
paid he retains the right to dispose of
As the NVOCC or freight forwarder,
you can never be 100% certain what has
happened to the original set of bills. Have
they genuinely been lost or has someone
overlooked paying the seller? In releasing
cargo without firm evidence of the right to
take delivery, you act entirely at your peril.
As a matter of law, there is no
exception to the simple working rule that
delivery without production of a bill of
lading is at the NVOCC’s own risk. You
are not bound to deliver cargo to any
person other than the lawful holder of
the original bill, unless a court so orders.
Where a bill is absent and the importer
is demanding delivery, a recommended
solution is to require a bank
guarantee (or a company letter
Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club
of indemnity countersigned by a bank)
in your favour. It is always a sensible,
practical precaution to check with the
exporter/shipper to make sure he or
she has been paid and has no objection
to the cargo being released.
One vital step, often overlooked,
is to communicate to the delivery
agent any new arrangement for the
release of the cargo, precluding the
risk that the agent meanwhile delivers
the cargo to a party in possession of
the void or cancelled bill of lading. In
the alternative, cargo interests may
apply for a court order, often known
as ’interpleader’. However, this course
of action inevitably takes more time
and increases costs, including potential
storage costs. Ultimately a claimant will
still be required to demonstrate their
entitlement to take delivery.
If there is a request for delivery but
the original bill of lading is unavailable,
take utmost care. Implement
appropriate training and escalation
procedures to ensure the approval for
irregular releases is authorised by a
senior manager. The whole question
of the delivery of cargo without
production of the corresponding
original bill of lading, whether lost or
otherwise, is fraught with potential
exposures for the NVOCC or other
issuer. No matter how strong or
important your commercial relationship
may be, simply do not accept promises
or bow to pressure. The law (and TT
Club) will support you if you refuse to
deliver until a valid bill of lading has
thedcn.com.au April 2019 51
Technology key to
evolution in logistics
Thomas Hansen from Röhlig examines the influence of evolving customer
demand on logistics technologies
IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND,
a limited manufacturing base means our
business is unique. We are predominately
driven by imports, yet we still face the
same challenges as the rest of the world: a
rising population with an increasing need
for logistics services, omnichannel growth
and a demand for 24/7, real-time, solutions
from both clients and consumers. For the
most part, it is technology that is driving
these changes, and it will be technology
that creates the solutions, both in the short
and long term.
GETTING SIRIUS WITH TECHNOLOGY
It will be technology that underpins our
strategy over the next three years at Röhlig
Australia and New Zealand. In our efforts
to further streamline logistics processes
and the supply chain, as well as deliver
better service and solutions to customers,
we’re continuing the roll-out of Sirius VM
in the Australian/New Zealand markets.
Sirius is our cloud-based software as
a service platform for shipment tracking
and end-to-end supply chain management.
Developed by a company in Hong Kong,
we’ve redesigned this vendor management
system for the logistics industry, so it can
co-ordinate shipments, manage suppliers
and purchasing, as well as monitor and
report on KPIs/SLAs. While it’s still only
being trialled with a few customers, we are
already seeing a return on our investment.
Omnichannel retail is becoming ever more
prevalent and, in doing so, is creating new
challenges for logistics companies, but
we’re already seeing how those challenges
can be solved using the system.
It is also making life much easier for
customers, especially those who need to
manage a large numbers of suppliers and
sales channels. The online portal gives our
clients the visibility they need to distribute
goods much more effectively for the needs
of their business.
We believe that this type of system will
become the standard for managing logistics
requirements in the future.
EVOLVING CUSTOMER DEMAND
More than ever, customers expect fast,
round-the-clock, real-time access to
shipping data. This can only be achieved
by developing technology that allows users
to track shipments in real time wherever
they are. It also can be used to pre-empt
bottlenecks and breakdowns before they
happen. Using technology to digitise,
automate and streamline these processes
isn’t only good for customers, it’s good for
the industry. It is pushing down the costs
of doing business and providing a better
service to end-users – all while responding
to new challenges being created by
It makes sense that, as consumers
embrace new technologies, our industry
does the same in order to continue to offer
The online portal gives our clients the visibility they
need to distribute goods much more effectively.
services that are relevant. One example
of this is mobile app adoption. This is
continuing to grow and we must stay
abreast with developing trends so that
our services integrate with the devices
and end points used by customers. To this
end, technology has already given us the
capability to answer the ‘24/7 on-demand’
culture consumers expect.
LOOKING AFTER BUSINESS PARTNERS
Creating these solutions is one way in
which we can help our clients serve their
Thomas Hansen, regional director Australia
and New Zealand, Röhlig
own customers better, but they also help
us with our 3PL partners – they are already
being programmed to monitor agreed KPIs
and SLAs. It is important too that this
development is done in-house. The lazy
solution would be to outsource, but we
need to be able to customise these solutions
to the specific needs of our business. By
doing so, we will be enablers for our clients,
giving them better visibility over the
important aspects of their supply chain.
Regardless, other challenges lie ahead in
the form of 3D printers and driverless
vehicles. Soon we will feel the impact of
these on our industry. Big data will play its
role here. Advanced analytics solutions and
services will give us the insights we need
to make informed business decisions, so
we can create the systems required to meet
Ultimately, it is up to the private sector
to continuously innovate and push the
boundaries of what technology can do to
help us to deliver better services to our
clients and help them with their own
52 April 2019
NOW JUST A TOUCH AWAY
An agenda for digital trade
Lawyer Andrew Hudson writes about proposed developments in digital
transformation and enhancement of trade to assist the position of SMEs
TECHNOLOGY HAS CONTRIBUTED
to improvements in trade and is seen as
one means to facilitate improvements.
For example, many parties are looking to
blockchain as a means to enhance both the
speed and safety in the movement of goods.
Most contemporary free-trade
agreements include provisions to facilitate
customs procedures and trade as well as
chapters on assisting e-commerce. In one
excellent example, the DFAT Free Trade
Agreement Portal comprises up-to-date
information on the terms of our free-trade
agreements in a way which makes it easier
for parties to understand the agreements
and take advantage of them.
THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Government and its agencies are not
the only part of these initiatives. The
private sector is also involved, not only
in its commercial self-interest in selling
technologies, but to share in the benefits
from a secure and rapid supply chain.
Further, the government and its agencies
are working collaboratively with the private
sector to advance these initiatives.
One place that can be seen is through
the National Committee on Trade
Facilitation, which is convened by the
Department of Home Affairs to include
agencies operating in and around the
border and the supply chain such as the
Australian Border Force; the Department
of Agriculture and Water Resources; the
Department of Industry, Innovation
and Science; Austrade; the Department
of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and other
agencies. I am the chair of the privatesector
group at the NCTF comprising
associations and entities such as the
Australian Industry Group; the Australian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ports
Australia; Shipping Australia; the Customs
Brokers and Forwarders Council of
Australia; the Export Council of Australia;
and the Food and Beverage Importers
Association. The NCTF has a number of
advisory committees including the Trade
Facilitation Initiatives Working Group.
TFIWG has a number of items in its
agenda, including the Australian Trusted
Trader program and the development of
the single window for trade and other
trade facilitation initiatives. At the most
recent NCTF meeting late in February
2019, the private-sector group proposed
several topics to be advanced as part of the
NCTF work program including a review of
recent reports and inquiries which have
recommended initiatives to enhance trade,
with a specific focus on bringing home
advances in the trading environment to
small and medium enterprises. This would
require review of the recommendations of
the parliamentary inquiry into trade and
the digital economy, the findings of the
joint research report Growing the Digital
Economy in Australia and New Zealand:
Maximising Opportunities for Small Medium
Enterprises (SMEs), as well as the report
from the parliamentary inquiry into access
to free-trade agreements by small and
Relevant starting points are the
recommendations of the parliamentary
inquiry into trade and the digital economy:
• Recommendation 1 - The Australian
government, as a matter of priority,
should create a single portal of
information, with particular regard to
exporting digital goods and services.
• Recommendation 2 - The Australian
government, as a matter of priority,
should create a single window trading
system, with particular regard to
exporting digital goods and services.
• Recommendation 6 - The Australian
government should continue to promote
54 April 2019
There is a need to continue with the free-trade
agreement agenda with an emphasis on the
interests of SMEs and to embrace technological
change to assist SMEs
Andrew Hudson, partner, Rigby Cooke Lawyers
digital trade standards, both technical
and regulatory, with an emphasis on
openness, technological neutrality and
• Recommendation 10 - The Australian
government investigate ways to assist
Australian SMEs to improve their cyber
security awareness and resilience levels.
• Recommendation 11 - The Australian
government should require all agencies
when developing policy, legislation or
trade agreements to consider whether
what is proposed is technologically
neutral and if it could create barriers to
the digital economy.
The review by the New Zealand and
Australian productivity commissions
subsequently endorsed similar recommendations
with a focus on assisting access for
SMEs by way of a single window and similar
The recently released report of the
parliamentary committee into access
to free-trade agreements by SMEs again
endorsed similar recommendations
including the following:
• Continuing to embrace an expanding
network of high-quality free-trade
agreements (recommendation 1).
• Minimising non-tariff barriers affecting
SMEs (recommendation 2).
• Making free-trade agreements more
relevant to Australian SMEs by including
specific SME chapters or specific
obligations to assist SMEs to access
trade opportunities in future free-trade
agreements (recommendation 3).
• Reviewing the resourcing of agencies
and programs to assist Australian SMEs
(recommendation 5) including funding
for Austrade and assisting access to
export market development grants.
• Establishing a single trade window
for SME exporters to guide them to
education, products and services that
meet their needs, and improves the
access of SMEs to a centralised source
of trade resources, from government
agencies such as DFAT, Austrade,
DoHA, DAWR, EFIC, DIIS, and the
Department of Jobs and Small Business
• Inviting the active participation of
industry representative bodies, such
as those representing customs agents
and freight forwarders, in free-trade
agreement awareness and education
programs to educate SMEs about the
export services their members provide
• Embracing e-commerce as a key enabler
of trade and including e-commerce
as a key feature in future free-trade
agreements including delivering
simplified, user-friendly digital resources
and trade technologies to assist SMEs
by making it easier to find the export
information required for each trade
agreement (recommendation 9).
There are some consistent themes, there
is a need to continue with the free-trade
agreement agenda with an emphasis on
the interests of SMEs and to embrace
technological change to assist SMEs in
taking advantage of those benefits.
The crucial issue then becomes how
government and the private sector can
secure those outcomes.
There are certainly various technologies
available in the marketplace that assist the
providers of cargo movement services but
they are probably too sophisticated, too
complex and too expensive.
As a starting point, what is needed are
technology tools and procedures to assist
SMEs and to ensure they can secure the
benefits of free-trade agreements and
These are not easy outcomes but the
private-sector group has referred the issue
to TFIWG with a specific recommendation
to develop a form of single window
containing all the basic necessary
information for SMEs on the regulation of
trade to allow them to engage in import
As an outcome it would be a starting
point before developing or facilitating more
AGENDA IS SET
The groundwork has been researched and
the agenda has been set.
It is now vital for government, its agencies
and the private sector to continue to invest
and work in the work program with the
view of delivering the best outcomes for all
in a way which will survive political and
This friendly neighbourhood customs
and trade lawyer will continue to work
towards that end including spending lots of
otherwise free time on these issues, as the
outcomes are important for all those in the
supply chain and the wider economy.
thedcn.com.au April 2019 55
Preparing for failure
Looking on the dark side of life has legal benefits, writes Alison Cusack
IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS, WE HAVE
seen general average declared on three
vessels in the Asia Pacific region: APL
Vancouver, Yantian Express and most
recently the E.R. Kobe.
When it comes to business, there are two
types of control for risk management. You can
control your internal processes which produce
your business output; and you can control how
your business responds to risk and disasters
outside the business control, but which have
financial and reputational risks.
There are two methods of control:
• Controlling internally - business processes,
data input, supplier selection etc.
• Controlling how you respond to the
inevitable downside to the marine
adventure - timely decisions, making the
right and cost effective decisions for all
While you may have done all you can
internally to optimise your supply chain
and mitigate risks the marine adventure
element still comes into play. But have
you really done all you can do internally
to prepare to fail? There have been several
reports of uninsured cargo on these
GA-declared vessels, leaving businesses
and their owners and directors at serious
financial risk (see the GA article in DCN
February edition co-authored with Kerryn
Women’s International Shipping and
Trading Association Australia recently
hosted a panel at the New Retail ’19
convention covering these topics. One
example was where the key person who
usually looked after documentation was
away on leave. The person covering for
them was cutting and pasting from the
sale documents including the Incoterms.
By chance, when requesting the need for a
marine insurance certificate, the error was
uncovered by an external party. If it hadn’t,
there would have been $2m plus worth
of cargo being exported from Europe into
Australia completely uninsured by
Is all your knowledge locked up in a few key
people’s heads? What happens if they are
sick, travelling, leave or retire?
Answer: Have a checklist for actions and
relevant people to contact and notify.
Have in place basic procedures for known
problems (abandoned cargo, damaged
cargo, GA events, cargo liens).
Do you have an external events checklist
that triggers a review of your key
Answer: Critical points that should trigger
56 April 2019
Sheila Fitzgerald; David Sexton
Alison Cusack, principal of Cusack & Co and
president of WISTA Australia
a review of procedures and checklists:
1 Have you sourced a new supplier?
2 If so, are the Incoterms the same (for
updating your insurance coverage)
3 Annual review of your freight forwarder
policy prior to renewal (yes – read all
the fine print terms and conditions and
more importantly, understand them)
4 Have any staff left, taking valuable
knowledge with them? If your de facto
claims handler has left, who is now in
charge of monitoring files and actioning
Do you have a disaster recovery plan and
checklist when things in the supply chain
go wrong? When it’s in your control to
make a decision, mitigation is a key factor
to your recovery success. Mitigation is not
only making the right decision, but making
the right decision at the right time.
Answer: Sit down with your team and
workshop the ‘top five’ ways you supply
chain could fail whilst the cargo and/or
ownership is still in your control. Once
you’ve pin-pointed the top five scenarios
(that may have already happened to
you or to a fellow merchant) then work
out what decisions you’d make in those
situations. Also work out why you’d make
those decisions. This can be impacted by
contractual obligations, quarantine and
inspection permits, insurance, constraints
of letters of credit or requirements to make
certain ETAs for greater supply chain.
Note: Don’t forget that ownership under
the Incoterms is different to ownership as
defined under the ocean (master) bill of
lading and can be different again when it
comes to the definition in relation
Are you all speaking the same language?
Aside from actual different languages
spoken across your international supply
chain, are the shorthand and abbreviations
(not to mention acronyms) being used and
understood by all parties in the same way?
Anwswer: Whether you write your
definitions into a contract (giving your
certainty), or you use long hand in all your
correspondence, it is worth periodically
checking you are all speaking the same
language. When you factor in all the
various parties to your transaction - your
ocean carrier, freight forwarder, buyer,
seller, customs broker, haulier, insurer,
broker - there is a lot of opportunity for
information to be lost.
Insurance. Does your insurer (and broker)
truly understand your business and do you
truly understand the scope and limitations
of your policy?
Answer: Make an appointment to sit down
with your broker and/or insurer and work
out in the event of a claim, what is required
of you (the insured) to be able to make
timely claims. There is no point paying for
insurance that doesn’t provide coverage
when the fires start burning.
Many thanks to Vanessa Rice (NTI) and Brodie
Collins (Mondiale) for their contribution to this
article via panel input.
SPATE OF FIRES
The international shipping
community and insurers are wrestling
with an unusually high number of
fires aboard vessels at sea - four in
the past four months. The fires have
damaged several big cargo ships, cost
companies millions and taken the
lives of a number of seafarers.
The latest fire occurred on the
Grimaldi Lines-operated Grande
America, on March 10. The container
and automobile carrier caught fire
in the Bay of Biscay off the coast
of France and sank two days later,
carrying more than 2,000 cars with it.
Grande America was carrying 365
containers of which 45 contained
materials deemed to be hazardous
including 10 tonnes of hydrochloric
acid and 70 tonnes of sulfuric acid.
Another blaze occurred on board
the post-Panamax container vessel
E.R. Kobe (5,700 TEU) on its way
from Vietnam to China, when three
containers on deck loaded with
charcoal caught fire.
Although some are putting it down
to coincidence, others have raised
questions about the number of fires
and the safe handling of the large
quantities of goods that move on
increasingly big ocean-going vessels.
After the fire on board the Maersk
Honam in 2018, Maersk changed its
guidelines to improve the stowage of
Transport and logistics insurer
TT Club estimates that a major
containership fire at sea occurs, on
average, every 60 days. And, of the
60 million packed containers moved
each year, 10%, or 6m, are declared
as dangerous goods. The TT Club
says, “information from published
government inspections suggests
that 20% of these are poorly packed
or incorrectly identified, translating
into 1.3m potentially unstable DG
containers travelling around the
world each year”.
Across the intermodal spectrum,
some 66% of incidents related to
cargo damage “can be attributed to
poor practice in the overall packing
process”, according to the TT Club.
It says that poor practice is not
just in securing cargo but also in
cargo identification, declaration,
documentation and effective data
transfer, which costs insurers more
than $500m annually.
thedcn.com.au April 2019 57
Labor’s election platform and
plans for the Fair Work Act
A change of government at the next federal election is likely to result in considerable
changes to the industrial relations landscape, writes Chris Gianatti
IF SUCCESSFUL AT THE NEXT
federal election, the Australian Labor Party
has proposed several changes to the Fair
Work Act (refer to boxed out section). If the
proposals successfully pass the Senate, this
will change the industrial relations landscape
dramatically, back to a pre-1993 era.
Taken in combination, these proposals
would significantly re-regulate the
workplace in a way that will, I argue,
entirely defeat any capacity to compete on
the basis of cost arising from anything to
do with labour.
Modern award conditions and minimum
wages rates apply to all participants in an
industry. To have an enterprise agreement,
then the agreement must provide that all
employees are better off compared to the
Award. If you wish to resist pay rises under
enterprise agreements, protected action
will be simpler to obtain by employees to
compel you to give a pay rise or improved
Once an agreement is made, then it will
never be allowed to go backwards and will
always be just the new base platform for
further increases. If you don’t agree to an
“agreement”, the Fair Work Commission
will have more power to arbitrate the
agreement for you. If you wish to start
a new enterprise and go directly to new
employees for a new enterprise agreement,
this will be seen as a “sham” and you will
have to go to a union to get a “greenfields”
agreement. If you wish to outsource or get
labour hire, then transfer of business rules
Chris Gianatti, director, KHQ Lawyers
THE ALP’S KEY PROPOSALS
• A new definition of “casual”
employment to ensure that casual
work is strictly unpredictable and
• Standardisation of long service leave
• A ban on pay confidentiality clauses
in employees’ contracts.
• Restoration of, and protection
against, further changes to penalty
• A greater emphasis on the needs
of the low paid in the setting of
minimum wages. (NB: A formal “living
wage” policy has not been set out,
but the ALP has made some noises in
• Strengthened requirements for good
• Industry-level bargaining to be
permitted in at least low-paid sectors.
• A prohibition on employees going
backwards via the termination of
• A ban on “sham” agreements – eg.
agreements made with three or four
• Simplification of the procedural
requirements to take protected
• Query whether the Fair Work
Commission will be given new
discretion(s) as to whether
unprotected action should be
ordered to stop and/or whether an
employer can sue a union in tort for
causing unprotected action.
• Abolition of the Australian Building
and Construction Commission and
repeal of the Building Code 2016.
• Likely restoration of the Road Safety
• Strengthened provisions against
• Greater powers for the Fair Work
Commission to be able to arbitrate
(rather than just conciliate) disputes.
will ensure that your enterprise agreement
goes across to the outsourced provider. The
outsourced provider will also need to be
licensed and forever be at the mercy of the
licensing body. If you try to go offshore, you
will have to satisfy the government that
you have done local labour market testing
first. If you try to close the doors, this
could be a breach of general protections for
taking adverse action against the employees
because they were simply exercising their
workplace right to be in a union and
seek pay rises. A court can then issue an
injunction against your business to prevent
it terminating the employment of any
WAIT AND SEE
Until we know the timing and outcome of
election, it certainly pays to review your
enterprise agreement portfolio. Continue
to review your arrangements with your
casual employees in light of “Skene’s
Case” last year and the further expected
changes from the ALP. Also stay close to
your employees with the things that are
important to them.
58 April 2019
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Fatal heavy truck accidents
on the decline
Fatal accidents involving heavy trucks have decreased,
but more research is needed to prevent numbers from plateauing
FATAL CRASHES INVOLVING HEAVY
trucks decreased by 20.5% in the 2018
calendar year, compared with 2017, from
171 crashes to 136 crashes.
The quarterly bulletin on fatal heavy
vehicle crashes in Australia published by
the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and
Regional Economics also revealed that fatal
crashes involving heavy trucks decreased by
an average of 6.1% per year over the three
years to December 2018.
Over the 2018 calendar year 154 people
died from fatal crashes involving heavy
trucks, including 89 deaths from 78
crashes involving articulated trucks, 74
deaths from 65 crashes involving heavy
rigid trucks and nine deaths from seven
crashes involving both a heavy rigid truck
and an articulated truck.
Taking a closer look at the data, we
find it reveals fatal crashes involving
articulated trucks decreased by 15.2% in
2018 (compared with 2017) from 92 to
78 crashes, and decreased an average of
7.8% per year over the three years to the
end of 2018.
And fatal crashes involving heavy rigid
trucks decreased by 26.1% in 2018 from
88 to 65 crashes, but decreased an average
of just 1.5% per year over the three years
to December 2018. Over the past 10 years,
fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks
showed no regular trend either up or down,
with an average increase of 1% per year
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE
The National Road Transport Association
noted the numbers released in the BITRE
report, but the industry association said
more detailed research was needed to help
decrease heavy-vehicle road deaths further.
NatRoad president Allan Thornley said
the overall trend is in the right direction,
but there is a need to better understand
why improvements in the fatality rate for
rigid trucks is plateauing, decreasing 1.5%
per year over the past three years.
“The path to a better road safety
outcome is paved by evidence-based
research so we need to know a lot more
about the causes of heavy vehicle fatal
crashes,” he said.
“The government has underway a review
of who should be responsible for road safety
in Australia. That is a step we applaud.
Mr Thornley said government must
invest in research and data collection that
would help the heavy vehicle industry to
better understand the fatality rate and
what is behind it.
“Government agencies across Australia
must make a commitment to the more
effective collection of and easier access
to information provided by accident
investigations,” he said.
Measures which will help the community achieve
fewer road fatalities must be introduced and they
must be based on proper analysis and a deeper
understanding of what is behind the trends the recent
Allan Thornley, NatRoad president
60 April 2019
ALL HEAVY TRUCKS
BY STATE &
“At the same time greater scrutiny of the
causes of those accidents is needed, as well
as education of light vehicle drivers who
are at fault in more than 80% of fatalities
involving a heavy vehicle. A government
agency such as the Australian Transport
Safety Bureau or a newly created road safety
body should be given power to promptly and
fully investigate serious truck accidents.”
FATALITIES IN CRASHES INVOLVING HEAVY TRUCKS BY CALENDAR YEAR
Articulated truck invovled
Heavy rigid truck involved
MORE SHARING NEEDED
Mr Thornley said there is a need to share
the results and recommendations publicly
so all industry participants can take the
appropriate action to reduce the road toll.
“That role should also encompass better
research on trends and causal factors.
Currently both data and research are
inadequate to formulate benchmarks for
heavy vehicle incidents. That must change
and a government agency that is created or
re-structured must take on that task.”
“NatRoad has a deep commitment to
improving road safety,” Mr Thornley said.
“Measures which will help the
community achieve fewer road fatalities
must be introduced and they must be
based on proper analysis and a deeper
understanding of what is behind the trends
the recent statistics highlight.”
FATAL CRASHES INVOLVING HEAVY TRUCKS BY CALENDAR YEAR
Articulated truck invovled
Heavy rigid truck involved
thedcn.com.au April 2019 61
OUT & ABOUT
Opposition leader Bill Shorten (left) and
Toll Group chairman John Mullen
Crowds flock to naming
ceremony for Victorian Reliance II
Victorian Reliance II and sister vessel Tasmanian Achiever II are part of Toll Group’s
investment in Bass Strait shipping
BRIGHT SUNSHINE GREETED GUESTS AND VIPS WHO
flocked to Webb Dock for the official naming ceremony of new Toll
Group ship, Victorian Reliance II.
Indigenous elder Aunty Caroline gave a welcome to country
address before the presentation continued with addresses by
Opposition leader Bill Shorten, Japanese vice minister for foreign
affairs Norikazu Suzuki and Maritime Union national secretary
Paddy Crumlin, among others.
The ritual of cutting a rope to smash a bottle of champagne
against the ship was performed by lady sponsor Jacqui Mullen
(whose spouse is Toll Group chair John Mullen), ably assisted
by junior sponsor 11-year-old Lexi Rietveld from cancer charity
Ship’s master Captain Christopher D’Sousa later gave VIPs a
guided tour of the new ship.
A musical backdrop to proceedings was provided by the Darebin
City Brass Band.
Captain Christopher D’Sousa
explains the workings of the
ship to Bill Shorten
Toll Group; David Sexton
62 April 2019
Enjoying the opening ceremony
Labor infrastructure spokesman
Anthony Albanese with
MIAL chief executive Teresa Lloyd
On a hot day, it paid to wear sunglasses
Lady sponsor Jacqui Mullen
with junior sponsor Lexi Rietveld
Enjoying a maritime experience
The Victorian Reliance II at Webb Dock
thedcn.com.au April 2019 63
MISSION TO SEAFARERS
Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney
Reverend Un Tay explains efforts to ensure that
cruise line mariners are able to access services
provided to other sailors
THIS YEAR STARTED ON A HIGH
seafarers struggle with isolation, loneliness,
note. It is exciting to see a record number
depression and mental health issues. At our
of seafarers from cruise vessels visiting
Mission Centre, we provide a sanctuary of
out Mission. Since our Mission moved to
hope for those struggling with personal or
Hickson Road in 2013, I was quite puzzled
work related issues and our compassionate
as to why so few seafarers from cruise
chaplains provide pastoral care on personal
vessels visited our centre. I have been
and confidential matters. We also visit
berth overnight. The seafarers on board
visiting the crew on board various cruise
seafarers in hospital.
have no means of travelling to the city or
vessels each year but not more than 10
A happy seafarer is a productive seafarer.
visiting the Mission. Therefore we are ready
seafarers visited the Mission each season.
Understanding the needs of seafarers is
to help them out by transporting them to
During this cruise season, and after
vital. Knowing that, we allow seafarers to
the Mission and allowing them to visit the
much consultation and deliberation, we
use our Mission address where their internet
beautiful city of Sydney.
decided to launch Operation Cruise Terminal
orders can be delivered. But they have to
We will request permission from relevant
on 29 October 2018. Our main objective
pick up their parcels personally from our
authorities to set up a facilitating station there
was to inform and raise awareness among
Mission. We have since had more than 100
to disseminate information regarding Sydney
seafarers working on board cruise vessels -
parcels delivered this season, some are small
Mission to Seafarers. We need volunteers to
who we are, where we are and what services
and some are big - really big.
partner with us in this initiative. If you are
we offer to assist them.
We believe Operation Cruise Terminal
available, contact us at (02) 92413009 or
can reasonably be called a success. Since
email us at Mission to Seafarers Enquiries
CARE FOR MARINERS
launching, we have had more than 150
Our chaplains, staff and volunteers provide
seafarers visit the Mission. From experience
Alternatively, please visit our Facebook at
excellent care for seafarers around the
90% of seafarers on board cruise vessels
Mission to Seafarers - Sydney.
world with compassion. At our Mission, we
have not heard of Mission to Seafarers,
If you are a seafarer yourself or are a
offer an atmosphere of a home away from
the other 10% who have do not know
company connected with the shipping
home where mariners can come to relax
our location. We can proudly say that we
industry, I would like to inform you that
and call their family members back home.
have increased awareness of the Mission
International Seafarers’ Welfare and
We also provide a place of hospitality, by
among the seafarers via our presence at
Assistance Network (ISWAN) are seeking
providing free internet and Wi-Fi services;
the Overseas Passenger Terminal and by
nominees for the Best Welfare Centre and
listening to news updates in their own
visiting them on board the vessels.
Best Welfare Personality of the Year awards.
language; changing foreign currencies
Seafarers can nominate their welfare
or remitting wages to family members;
while enjoying a free cup of coffee or hot
chocolate. We too sell discounted tickets to
places of interest such as Sydney Aquarium,
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Wild Life
Park and Sydney Tower Eye.
Due to long contracts and stressful
working conditions on board vessels,
THE SEASON AHEAD
The next cruise season starts in September/
October 2019. We will continue our
Operation Cruise Terminal 2 at OPT. In the
meantime, we are planning a new initiative
called, Operation White Bay Cruise Terminal.
There are many cruise vessels visiting
White Bay Cruise Terminal and many that
heroes at www.seafarerswelfareawards.
org/nominate. People and organisations
involved with seafarers’ welfare can also
nominate for the two Dr Dierk Lindemann
Welfare Personality of the Year awards. If you
think we are worthy of such an award, we’d
be grateful if you could go to the website
and nominate us.
Mission to Seafarers; Aiyoshi597
64 April 2019
Tom Holyman, vice-president, Oceania at Kalmar,
talks about his new job, Tasmania and his love of rugby
How have you enjoyed your recent
move from ANL to Kalmar?
I am enjoying not only the change in
company, but also the more significant
change into a different industry sector.
It has been, thus far a refreshing change.
Some say a change is as good as a holiday.
Although it could be argued that Kalmar
is an OEM supplying (predominantly)
the ports, stevedoring companies and
intermodal container handling entities,
this business is nevertheless a number of
steps removed from the container shipping
businesses in which I had worked for almost
34 years. Kalmar is a part of a Finnish
company, so I am coming up to speed on
Finnish culture and business practices.
So how did you first get into shipping?
I am the fifth generation of my family
to be involved in the shipping business. I
guess I just followed my natural instincts
into shipping. My great-great-grandfather,
William, was a mariner who immigrated
to Australia from Barton-Upon-Humber in
England and established a shipping business
on the north-west coast of Tasmania
in the late 1850s. The company grew
through subsequent generations of family
involvement, from a Tasmanian coastal
shipping operation to offering services
across Bass Strait (the White Star Line).
Later, there was diversification into landbased
transport, domestic and international
freight forwarding, property ownership
and management of some islands in Bass
Strait (including Robbins Island), as well
as founding one of Australia’s first airlines
– which later became a partnership called
Australian National Airways (ANA) and
eventually, Ansett Airlines. Eventually in
the late 1970s, the shipping and logistics
business known as William Holyman &
Sons was sold to TNT. Despite this change
in ownership, the family name (and family
management of the business) was retained
and it was this company that I first joined in
the late 1980s. It was a great grounding in
the shipping, logistics and ports industries.
Where did you grow up?
After my first eight months living on a ship
at South Wharf in Melbourne, my parents
returned to Launceston, where I grew up.
Launceston was a safe, family-friendly
environment, with great schools and lots
of opportunities. It was safe for children,
whether out on the streets playing or
catching public transport, and our family
holidays were generally spent in Tasmania,
whether on my grandfather’s farm, at the
beach, or – memorably – in my father’s
home-built “recreational vehicle” (a
converted Ansett Airlines truck). Later my
family built a “shack” at the Great Lake in
the central Tasmanian highlands.
I was (and still am!) completely sportsmad
while growing up, so I spent every
moment I could playing whatever was
going – football (Australian rules), cricket,
basketball, swimming, tennis, athletics
and even golf.
How did you become a rugby referee?
I never participated in rugby as a player
(except for one game at university for my
college, as there weren’t enough rugby
players in the college to make up a full
team). However, I loved the game I played
and thereafter took an active interest in
rugby, including during the three years we
spent living in Japan in the early 1990s
where the sport was probably third in
popularity behind sumo and baseball.
In 2004, ANL sent us to London for
three years (we stayed for eight) and I said
to my three sons that if they wanted to
play Australian rules when they returned
to Australia, they should not play soccer
but rather rugby as the skills are more
easily transferred. They did, and through
stepping forward when perhaps I should
have stepped back, I volunteered to
become the referee for my youngest son’s
team at Woodford Rugby Club in northeast
London. This necessitated doing the
referees’ course run by the Rugby Football
Union (England), sitting exams and then
starting to referee on the pitch. Much to
my surprise I absolutely loved it. I am now
a part of the Victorian Rugby Referees
Association and was recently elected to my
second term as association president.
Some of the key attributes of a referees’
performance are skills and characteristics
which are directly transferable to the
work environment, including empathy;
clear and decisive communication; quick
decision-making; teamwork and leadership
(where there is a team including assistant
referees); and – where necessary – executing
As with all sports officials, being a
referee/umpire also helps you deal with
criticism and develop a thicker skin. Of
course it helps that in rugby union there
is a culture developed from a young age
that referees are (largely) sacrosanct. It is
reflective of this culture that referees on
the pitch are only referred to as “Sir”, not
only by the players, but also by coaches,
managers and – sometimes – spectators.
This led to my favourite sledge by a
spectator, who yelled at me from beyond
the touchline after a decision: “For f--k
sake, Sir!”. I even chuckled at that one.
66 April 2019
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