It’s been another busy week. The Shipping Australia Secretariat has carried out research, consulted with members, and has made submissions to politicians and government officials on a wide variety of matters.
Coronavirus related matters were, of course, very much on everyone’s agenda this last week. We have written to politicians urging the facilitation of seafarer crew changes and the Secretariat also took part in a national conference on the effects of coronavirus on the maritime industries.
We are sad to report that the seafarer crisis continues to intensify and that most Australian governments do not appear to be taking steps to solve the problem. Internal borders are also making the movement of essential specialists much more difficult which could, potentially, affect port operations.
Shipping Australia made a trade and supply chain-related submission to the Federal Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee inquiry into the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade. You can read our submission here.
This last week SAL Secretariat also met with the Australian Border Force on a variety of COVID-related matters such as seafarer visas, border entry issues and matters of readiness for when international borders eventually re-open. During these meetings, the Secretariat also discussed matters of general importance including coastal shipping reform, trusted trader issue, cyber security alongside many more issues.
Optimising the empty container supply chain
An issue of increasing importance is the optimisation of the New South Wales empty container supply chain.
Empty containers make up the majority of export containers from Port Botany and current inefficiencies in the NSW empty container supply chain result in an estimated additional cost to the supply chain of $49 million per year, according to Transport for New South Wales.
The Secretariat is pleased to report that Shipping Australia and its member shipping lines took part in the first meeting in a series of discussions. The program of talks is part of an industry-wide working group on this subject.
No doubt the industry will be hearing more about the empty container supply chain in the near-future.
The SAL Secretariat has also taken part in a variety of other consultations. This included discussions about the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. We also took part in meetings with international bodies about maritime workforce-related matters such as perceived skills shortages.
Our Victorian branch consulted with members by carrying out its regular State Committee meeting about all matters affecting the Victorian maritime industries.
And, wrapping up, the Secretariat also attended a briefing aimed at exporters on reducing export risks in relation to intellectual property, payments and operating risks.
Further details will be published as part of an article in a forthcoming edition of our “Shipping Australia” magazine, due out in October.
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