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About: Jim Merrigan

Recent Posts by Jim Merrigan

Sydney Port Congestion

Last week, the Loadstar publication reported that rolling MUA stoppages at Sydney’s Hutchison, Patrick and DP World terminals had led to an 11-day backlog of cargo across the port, with congestion spreading to Brisbane and Melbourne as carriers sought to offload cargo elsewhere. That backlog has now blown out to a 14-15 day backlog at Sydney port.

It has also led to a flurry of last-minute schedule changes. ANL recently announced that the 9,400 TEU vessel the CMA CGM Ural will skip its call at Sydney on the AAX1 Asia-Australia service “to mitigate delays due to ongoing berth congestion and industrial action”.

Additionally, the carrier Maersk Line has suspended sailings into Sydney until early October, and the rotation of the PCX service between Australasia and North America has been switched to call at Melbourne, prior to Sydney. While the Europe-Australia Nemo service, jointly operated by MSC and CMA CGM, will also skip a call at Sydney this week.

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Vessel Schedule Delays

Recent heavy weather systems off the Australian east coast have impacted vessel arrival dates and turnaround times, creating delays throughout the entire supply chain across all East Coast ports.

In addition to the weather issues, delays to vessels are also being experienced due to Industrial action being taken at major ports by the MUA.

As a result, vessels are currently being impacted by up to 5 days delay in their port rotation times.

Carriers have indicated that if the situation does not improve they may consider imposing a Congestion Surcharge so as to ensure they are able to continue offering Australian shippers a reliable service.

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BMSB Season (20-21) commences on September 1st

The BMSB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug) season commences on 1st September 2020 and will remain in effect through to 30th April, which includes goods arriving up to 31st, May 2021.

The list of Target risk countries has now been extended, and includes all of the following countries

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • France
  • Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied).
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America


Further information can be found here –

Quick Reference guide on BMSB – The who, the what and the where:
20-21 BMSB Seasonal Measures factsheet
20-21 BMSB Target high risk goods factsheet

Please feel free to contact our offices, or email us at for further assistance.


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Ongoing Industrial Action at DP World Terminals

The Maritime Union of Australia intends to continue Protected Industrial Action (PIA) against DP World Australia. The PIA has been amended to include 2 x 24-hour stoppages in Brisbane commencing at 7am on the 13th of August, and at 10pm on the 17th of August, and daily work stoppages in Melbourne for 2 hours, commencing at 4am and for 4 hours commencing at 12pm.

Commencement times for 1 hour daily work stoppages in Sydney have been changed to 5am, 1pm, and 9pm. Work stoppages have ceased in Fremantle, however restrictions on overtime, employees doing work above their pay grade, shift extensions and accepting late call-in’s still apply at all ports, including Fremantle.

We will continue to keep you updated as new information comes to hand. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on +61 2 9700 0100 or email if you need further assistance in this matter.

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Melbourne Qantas Freight Terminal temporarily closed

We have received information that the Qantas Freight terminal in Melbourne has temporarily closed until at least midnight tonight (Tuesday August 4, 2020) following recommendations from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Qantas is working closely with the Department to ensure operations can resume as soon as possible. Freight with Qantas cannot currently be collected.

We will continue to keep our clients updated as to the status of their shipments, if you have any concerns please call us on +61 2 9700 0100 or email

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Australia to inspect cargo securing practices on container ships

In a response to a number of incidents where containers have fallen off freight ships, such as that of the APL England incident in May, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will launch a campaign inspecting the cargo securing practices on every cargo ship calling at all Australian ports between August and October. AMSA said recent incidents such as the APL England incident and the YM Efficiency incident in 2018 caused “significant damage to Australia’s iconic marine and coastal environment”. It also commented that “Incident investigations by AMSA discovered improper stacking and securing of cargo, and poor maintenance of securing equipment is likely to have been contributing factors to these incidents”.
All vessels calling at Australian ports are required to comply with cargo securing standards laid out in Chapter VI of the Safety of Life At Sea convention, which Australia has been a signatory to since 1983.

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Sydney M8 West Connex Tolls

With the recent opening of the Sydney M8 West Connex Freeway, and associated Toll costs, we have been advised by several courier companies that they will be introducing a toll levy of around 5% across the board to cover their toll fees. This toll levy will be in addition to their transport fuel surcharge, which is usually reviewed on a monthly basis.

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VIC Terminals in Melbourne to increase Infrastructure Levy

Effective August 1st, 2020 Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) will increase it’s Infrastructure Levy for all full containers delivered to, or received from VICT to $131.03 per container.

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Shipping Lines looking to increase rates from Asia into Australia

Shipping lines have advised us that they will be seeking a Rate Restoration increase of U$300.00/20′ or U$600.00/40′ ex China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan to Australian ports for shipments sailing on, or after April 1st, 2020.




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Bee imports creating a buzz at the PEQ

A trial is underway at the department’s Post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility in Melbourne to prepare for imports of live queen bees from around the world.

Newly appointed biosecurity apiary officers have been working with industry partners since December to test PEQ operations for managing bee imports.

Head of the PEQ, Dr Peter Finnin, says the Queen bee domestic trial will provide huge benefits to the bee industry. This includes access to important genetics, particularly around preventative resistance to the devastating bee mite, Varroa destructor (an exotic National Priority Plant Pest not currently present in Australia).

‘The trial complements other genetic improvement programs aimed at improving the sustainability of local bee populations.’

‘Our new biosecurity apiary officers have had to learn about bee related functions including how to support the colonies, the inspection process, the hibernation of the queen, introduction of queen to nucleus hives, mite inspections and ongoing daily monitoring.’

Imports are expected to start Spring 2020.

Article courtesy of Biosecurity Matters, as published by the DAWE 11/3/20

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