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  • Writer's pictureBianca Flint

Navigating the Spooky Supply Chain: October Logistics Insights


Good Afternoon All,

Welcome back to the blog.

September was a rollercoaster month, and the start of October seems to be following similar market patterns.

Grab your bevy of choice, and let's get stuck in.


Chinese Market:

Generally speaking, the global container market is down compared to last year, following the struggling global economy. We can see this as the carriers adjust their rates seemingly every week. It will be a very turbulent peak season, with rates fluctuating with demand and blank sailings being an essential play for the shipping lines to ensure their vessels are full.

One of our agents has advised us that HMM is currently running a 40ft reefer special, as they are re-locating their fleet; the special rates are roughly 300.00 USD cheaper than market rates; contact us today if you need reefer movements, as this special will end 14/10.

China is currently on holidays, celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, between 29/09 through to 07/10. We wish all our Chinese colleagues and all the suppliers we deal with a prosperous and special break with their loved ones.

There are currently around 8 known blank sailings, which is more than usual, and this number is expected to increase due to the national holiday. According to the Chinese Ministry of Transport, China's road freight volumes rose 7.7 percent yearly, a total of 26.12 billion tons of cargo. COSCO Shipping Line is the first Chinese-owned carrier to sign up to a Green Methanol Supply Chain. This is a significant step forward as each nation moves towards meeting Climate Change Initiatives within the trade sector.

US Market:

It was a bit of a scary fortnight for the US market, as threats of a federal shutdown were averted last minute, with the hail mary passing of a stopgap bill. As of date, there has been no reported interference to the trade sector, however, the current economic outcome is grim. Most ports are reporting dips in reported container numbers, with the most significant reported at the Port of New York & New Jersey at 21% compared to last year. The port of Los Angeles defied the national trend and reported a 3% increase.

Domestic infrastructure is a mixed bag. Hightened inspections have commenced along the Texas-Mexico border crossings, in an effort to crack down on illegal immigrant numbers. It's been reported that trucks are taking up to 16 hours to cross the border, where on average, it took 2 hours. Rail has stabilized, which was fantastic timing as Harvest season commenced in September. LTL transport has also stabilized, with most carriers now having absorbed the significant market share of Yellow, which collapsed a few months ago.

The global airfreight market has remained relatively flat. The contracts that are doing well are the deferred airfreight services that generally take between 1-2 weeks and fly via unconventional routes. This will not be the peak season we all anticipated due to US and global economic positioning.

Australian Market:

October is National Safe Work Month supported by WorkSafe & Safe Work Australia. This month a Melbourne-based depot was fined over $40000.00 AUD, when a worker was revered into by a forklift moving cargo. It's a very good reminder to ensure if you are an importer, operating your own depot, to ensure you have an up-to-date safety manual and traffic management plan. You can find further resources here:

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has been very active over the past few months. Last week AMS% A banned the Marshall Islands-flagged containership Big Lilly from Australian waters for a 3-month period, due to safety and maintenance concerns.

Qantas Terminals nationally experienced an IT system crash during a transition to their new operating system on the 24/09, which has caused absolute havoc. To date, there have been excessive backlogs and reports of misplaced cargo within the CTO's. You can read further updates here: FTA News - Qantas Freight - Industrial action impacting some regional WA flying ( & Update to our operation | Qantas Freight. Additionally, Qantas has advised of planned industrial actions, which may disrupt some services, mainly in WA.

DP World has announced MUA Industrial Action, which will effect their shipping terminals nationally. You can find more information here: This is a timely reminder to ensure your suppliers are negotiating a minimum of 14 days free detention and that container turnaround timeframes are as tight as possible. There will be an increase in demurrage charges from transport as trucks get caught sitting at the wharf waiting to be loaded.


News Highlights:


OSCL Updates:

September was an absolute cracker of a month, and quite frankly, I had so much fun. I submitted our entry into the Canberra Women in Business (CWB) - Canberra Weekly Micro Business Woman of the Year.

I was invited to present at the Ficient Global-The 11th Global Trade Compliance (China) Summit on the 14th of September in Shanghai via video conference. I delivered the Customs and Trade Policy Updates of Australia and Customs Clearance in Practice presentation. It was a fantastic experience and an excellent opportunity to present directly to Chinese suppliers and manufacturers.

I have been getting out and about and have been fortunate enough to be able to catch up on-site with some of our Canberra-based clients to watch their containers being delivered.

We have a full calendar of networking events in October, including International Business Connect - Australia- UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), Enterprise Plus and the CWB Awards.


That's a wrap.

Hope you all have a great month.

Looking forward to being of assistance as we head into the crazy season.


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