Coronavirus Trade Update

Our good friends at Freight and Trade Alliance have provided us with the latest update on the how coronavirus is affecting the shipping industry:

China – Update

Our sources from China have provided us with the following updates 

  • As at 19 May 2020 there are 108 cases in 12 cities of Mainland China. Jilin province in North East Area has a local breakout, so currently under a partially lock down
  • To lessen the impacts of COVID-19 the Chinese Customs encourages registered suppliers to use COO self-printing service, as per 2020 Notice No.63 which extends the coverage of the Agreements.  Customs 2019 Notice No.77, also adds this self-printing service to cover the China Australia Free Trade Agreement  effective 20 May, 2020
  • On 9 May 2020, Chinese Customs noted 16 suppliers who were trying to export unqualified and/or bad quality COVID-19 related goods and warned overseas purchasers to be alert.
  • According to, more and more global shipping lines are retreating ships to shrink the size of the fleet to hoard wood for the winter
  • According to China News, 17 May 2020, China has exported over 134.4 billion RMB of COVID related goods between 1 March and 16 May. It has recently reached a daily average of 3.5 billion RMB.

Seafreight commentary

Volumes into Australia differ between states, whilst the west coast is reporting imported full containers higher than last year most east coast ports are showing declines of between 10%-25%.

Economic Update                              
“The Dow settled, after posting record gains, in the previous session. The Dow posted gains over 900 points, largely on the back of a possible vaccine, that had passed their first human trials with flying colours. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Federal Chairman Powell appeared before the Senate Banking Committee and were both full of support for the effort to assist in the recovery of the US economy.”
“The RBA minutes confirmed that emergency monetary policy was working broadly and would be maintained, as required. The Bank confirmed low inflation would continue, that there was spare capacity in the labour market, while the global economy was coming back later in the year.”

  – See the full daily update HERE // see weekly update HERE 

Please view a presentation a presentation by Collinson Forex on 30 January 2020 showcasing latest technology solutions – refer HERE

Airfreight Update
IFAM flights ex Los Angeles  to Melbourne and Brisbane with Virgin Airlines
There is capacity inbound (to Australia) on this flight in which medical supplies will be prioritised. Please note there is not currently capacity on the outbound leg of this flight, as Australia Post is also supporting these flights and will be prioritising mail – see more details HERE

Whilst the IFAM scheme (refer below) is providing access to many of our larger exporters of Agricultural and Food sector producers, there remains a raft of smaller producers out there with lower volumes of still fresh produce that need assistance to move their goods overseas at cost effective airfreight rates. With some airlines, eg; Emirates, now starting to initiate services, albeit essentially ghost passenger flights, back into Australia there are increasing options to access these for export. and import, cargoes. Whilst the rates may not be back at pre COVID levels they are becoming a little more affordable.

IFAM scheme  continues to provide assistance across Australia to a range of exporters in the Agricultural / Food sectors.  As reported in the Australian Financial Review there have been about 50 flights a day of passenger planes filled only with freight leaving and arriving in Australia over the past week, according to the federal government, which has pumped $110 million into a new freight scheme.

If your goods, import / export, do not meet the IFAM guidelines please continue to review the FTA COVID- 19 Air Cargo bulletin board to advertise your space availability or needs.

* IATA Air Cargo action
* IATA – Government measure related to COVID-19 – search country specifics

Australian Border Force
In response to advocacy from Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), the Department of Home Affairs, which manages revenue and payment of liabilities on imports, has confirmed that they will consider requests for payment plans and other leniency measures related to COVID-19.

These requests will be assessed on a “case by case” basis.
“We recognise the impact of the current situation on businesses and cash flows and are responding accordingly. We remain interested in the experiences of your members and their clients through the disruption from COVID-19, and please continue to keep us informed of any developments.”


 Business Operations

Statements from Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash
* COVID-19 UPDATE –  May 18
* Commentary on the Treasurer’s statement ion the economy – May 12
* A COVID safe workplace and the path to recovery 
* Roadmap to a COVID safe Australia – May 8
Assistance available to Small Businesses ( with state links )
Supporting  businesses to retain jobs – Jobkeeker payment

Transport & Port Updates
Transport for NSW
Victoria – Department of Transport – May 15 update 
Port of Melbourne –  Response to COVID-19 – Update 6 
Queensland – COVID-19 freight & export market update bulletins
CTAA COVID-19 Emergency Space Register
Freight & Logistics Council of WACOVID -19 web site 

WCO updates
WCO partners with stakeholders to launch a COVID-19 Trade Facilitation Repository
The repository acts as a platform that consolidates the initiatives on trade facilitation adopted by organizations and stakeholders, seeking to provide access to these resources in a unique and user-friendly database. It contains a useful listing of all such initiatives broken down by organization, type of measure and subject matter. As the situation evolves and further actions are taken, the platform will be expanded to include other key actors working in the area of trade facilitation. to read the full article click HERE to visit the Repository click HERE
* WHO/WCO list of priority medicines & Updated HS classification list for
   COVID-19 medical supplies – see HERE
* Joint WCO-IMO statement on the integrity of the global supply chain
   during the COVID-19 pandemic