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Category Archives: Customer Service

Client services gets a professional development boost

Congratulations to our Client Services Manager Bree Watson on successfully completing the Success Strategies for Leaders and Supervisors course.

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Chinese New Year 2019

Happy New Year and of course, Happy Chinese New Year 2019! The Chinese New Year 2019 is fast approaching. The public holiday in China for Chinese New Year (CNY) is from 4 February to 10 February 2019 (week 6).

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Chinese New Year 2018 – Plan Ahead

Happy New Year and of course, Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

China’s most important festival, also known as Spring Festival will be here before you know it. Most businesses in China and Hong Kong (as well as many other Asian nations) close for a week and sometimes longer in order for staff to travel to be with their families for the celebrations. This can cause delays in obtaining Customs Clearance documentation for Australian businesses importing cargo from China and elsewhere in the region.

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Merry Christmas 2017

We’d like to take this opportunity to offer our thanks to all our clients, partners and agents for yet another wonderful year.

This year we celebrated our 20th year of operations in international freight forwarding and customs broking and it has given us the opportunity to look back and reflect.

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Adverse weather affecting freight in India & USA

Adverse weather in India and USA is affecting freight movements.
Mumbai and other cities in the west coast of India have been experiencing heavy rainfall for the last week. Since this morning, rain has intensified and caused flooding in most parts of Mumbai. The regional meteorological department is predicting the heavy rains and flooding to continue to worsen over the next few days.

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SERVICE TAX ON CARGO LANDED IN INDIA ON / AFTER 22 JAN 2017

It appears that a significant service tax (4.5%) is to be levied by the Indian Ministry of Finance for all cargoes landed in India on or after 22 January 2017. The tax is to be collected by the foreign-owned shipping lines, who have already attempted to start collecting the tax from Australian exporters. Up until recently an exemption was given on pre-paid ocean freight.

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AMSA to commence SOLAS compliance activity in earnest

Wondering what has been happening since the implementation of the SOLAS provisions on 1 July this year? We understand that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has not yet conducted major SOLAS compliance activity, consistent with MSC.1./Circ 1548.

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G20 China dates announced – implications for Australian importers

Following the release of the summit dates the G20 control measures have also been announced for 2016.  This year’s summit will be held in Hangzhou on the 4th and 5th of September.  Hangzhou is within 2 hours drive of Ningbo and Shanghai ports.

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Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) – Verified Gross Mass (VGM) shipper’s declaration – Compliance date 1st July 2016.

Effective for vessels sailing on or after 1st July 2016 from most export ports globally, all containerised seafreight shipments submitted for export will need to have a Verified Weight Declaration (VGM) submitted by Shippers.

For Australian exports, Verified Gross Mass (VGM) compliance actually starts on 22nd June 2016, which is the opening of the wharf terminal window for receivals for vessels sailing on/after 1st July 2016.

This is an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) global regulation, that in Australia is covered under Federal Government legislation administered through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), it requires shippers of containerised seafreight cargo to make a lawful weight declaration.

Attached to this email is both an explanatory fact sheet from Shipping Australia Limited (SAL), and a Magellan presentation which gives a more detailed explanation of the new Shipper responsibilities. In these documents you will see references and an explanation to the only 2 methods which can be used to identify the “gross mass” of a container, or its contents. Should you need further information, clarification or advice on utilising either of these methods, please feel free to contact myself, or any member of our Export Team.

We have also updated our Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) to include a Verified Gross Mass Shipper’s declaration. For FCLs, a separate declaration is required for each packed container. Any shipments departing on or after 1st July 2016 will need to have the shipment details submitted via this updated SLI.

The SLI and VGM weight declaration must be submitted to us prior to any FCL or LCL cargo being received at the wharf terminal and/or depot. Please note the process for us to receive that declaration from the shipper, then retransmit it in the prescribed manner to the parties receiving the cargo at the terminal/depot can take at least 2 hours during normal working hours (Monday to Friday).

FCL Cargo:

For FCL the document that needs to be submitted to the wharf terminals is the PRA, which cannot be completed or transmitted without the compliant weight declaration. No containers will be accepted at any of the wharf terminals in any Australian port without a PRA having been submitted and accepted prior to any container arriving at the terminal gate.

LCL Cargo:

For LCL cargo, there is an allowance at some receiving depots to weigh the shipment upon arrival in the depot, however this is not the case for all depots, and does come at a significant cost.

Should method 1 be used by a Shipper to declare the weight, we need to make sure that adequate time is allowed for the container to go via a compliant weighing facility.

As the verified gross mass is now a lawful declaration of weight, estimations of weight are not permitted.

  • We can receive the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Shipper’s declaration via any of the following means;
  • Original signed document via post/courier
  • Scanned signed document via email (PDF format).
  • Faxed signed document.
  • Transmitted XLS document, where the name of the person declaring the weight, is the same as the email address that the SLI/VGM is submitted to us on.

Should you need to discuss this process, get clarification on this new responsibility as a shipper, or just need advice on the options for getting your cargo weighed, please do not hesitate to give meor any of our Export Team a call on 1300 651 888.

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China: Plan well ahead for Chinese New Year in 2016.

Christmas probably seems all encompassing right now, but Chinese New Year (CNY) in 2016 will be upon us before we know it. Next year the Chinese holiday for Chinese New Year is from 7 Feb to 13 Feb, 2016 (week 6).

To minimise the rush and avoid potential disappointment in the movement of your freight from China, please take some time to consider your shipping needs well in advance of the holiday.   Please see below for details

 

FCL Shipments

Most factories shut down between 7 Feb and 22 Feb and some for even longer.  While the factories make every effort to process as many orders as possible before the holiday, we recommend booking shipments at least 14 days in advance to avoid disappointment.

As there is already one cancelled sailing in January before CNY, space will become very tight in the two weeks leading up to the holiday.   During this time, ports will become congested and some shipping lines may accept container bookings in excess of the capacity of some ships, and roll these over to the next available vessel resulting in delayed movements.

For Pearl River Delta ports (PRD) – such as Guangzhou, Huangpu, Foshan, Rongqi, Beijiao…etc, the last feeder sailing before CNY will depart on or round 2 February.  Again we recommend booking this at least 2 weeks before sailing.

 

LCL Shipments

As for above FCLs, however please add a further week.

 

China Customs

The duty schedules of Chinese Customs during CNY will only be announced by the Government around 1 February 2016.  Typically, Chinese Customs arranges a skeleton staff or half day duty during the CNY holidays, so processing delays with export Customs clearance should be expected.  Also, most customs brokers and LCL warehouses will close. Therefore, we suggest the following:

  • All shipments must be handled and customs clearance completed before CNY.
  • For PRD ports origin, the customs office will be closed during CNY, all Customs clearance processes must be completed before 30 January.
  • For emergency or special cases which may be encountered during the holiday, advance notice (including full and complete customs documents) will be required to determine feasibility.

 

Trucking Service 

Most of the transport companies will stop services one week before the CNY.  As with the ports, the trucking companies will be at capacity in the two weeks leading up to CNY.  During this time, trucking arrangements will need to be booked at least 10 days (FCL) & 7-10 days (LCL) in advance of requirements.

There will also be increases in trucking costs during and before CNY.

Last dates for trucking services before the holiday:

Last dates for trucking services before CNY

If you have any queries or would like more information, please call me or one of our Customer Service team members on 1300 651 888 or send me an email.

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