While Australians continue to enjoy getting deliveries from overseas, they may not be aware that getting those products delivered carries with it a number of biosecurity risks to our way of life.
One of the primary responsibilities any freight forwarder needs to take on is a dedication to maintaining Australia’s biosecurity.
Though this is a daily process for our freight, customs and government officials, most Australians have no idea of the lengths gone to at our borders to protect our industries and economy.
We see first-hand the hard work that goes in to keeping Australians safe from these tiny – and not-so-tiny – threats.
I think we’ve seen over the last 18 months how fortunate we are to be an island, but also how fragile our accepted way of life is.
Right now, the freight industry is unbelievably busy. We’ve been discussing in the past how you should be doing your Christmas shopping now, for example.
Part of the reason the freight industry is experiencing so many delays is because with the added traffic, comes a stronger focus on biosecurity processes – because one oversight could be devastating.
“For us, however, they are constantly front of mind. Containers are regularly fumigated, checked and checked again. Proper documentation is absolutely crucial.”
Four bugs that particularly give importers nightmares:
The brown marmorated stink bug: Often known as a ‘hitchhiker’ bug, the brown marmorated stink bug can hide in everything from luggage to imported goods. Its ability to breed in large numbers means it could cause dramatic problems for crop growers and a nuisance to the general population. It also looks very similar to a range of other stink bugs already native in Australia, making it hard to spot!
The Khapra Beetle: The khapra beetle is a pest of products like grain, rice and dried food. Any khapra beetle presence in Australia might lead to extensive losses to the Australian agricultural industry as our produce would be rejected internationally. Khapra beetles are particularly dangerous in sea containers, as they can survive in them for a long time.
The red imported fire ant: The red imported fire ant would cause some serious disruption to the Australian way of live, due to its ability to spread incredibly quickly. While some of the bugs on this list don’t cause a direct threat to human health, no such luck with the ant, which can sting humans and even damage machinery!
Exotic Snails, including the Giant African Snail: Five different types of snail have been designated as National Priority Plant Pests by the Department of Agriculture, but the baddest and the biggest is the Giant African snail, which feasts on over 500 plant species. It has caused devastation to the ecology of a number of countries around the world.
Read more here.