February Connected

21st February, 2024

Welcome to the February edition of Connected, we hope you enjoy our updates. If there are global trade matters, you would like us to check on or write about, we would love to hear from you.
DP World Ports Resolution
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and DP World reached an in-principal agreement recently, subject to endorsement by the MUA membership. The agreement is in place for 4 years, which the MUA advises delivers fair pay, safety, fatigue management measures and provides job security.
What was missed in the MUA announcement is that workers are now one of the highest paid in the world for this kind of work, reportedly earning twice as much as comparable workers in the UK and Canada.
Whilst there are relief services making their way back to normal, the costs will be worn by those owning cargo that moves in and out of the port, and then ultimately by the consumer.
Red Sea Update
As we head towards the 10th week of the Red Sea attacks, shipping lines have adapted their schedules to the new routing around the Cape of Good Hope. As a result, there are less operational issues, however lead times are longer, and costs are higher due to the extended journey. Some merchant and bulk vessels are still routing via the Red Sea, and several have faced attacks this week, the presence of the USA and other military is not proving to be a deterrent. The SCC team continues to monitor the situation closely and will update immediately should the service change in anyway.
Lunar New Year Holiday Over – Back to Work
Our friends and colleagues in China, Vietnam and other countries are essentially back to work after celebrating the Year of the Dragon. We wish all of them our very best for the wonderful year ahead.
The Lunar New Year is kind of like the end of season for ocean freight rates from China, they tend to stay up to this point then we see reductions as we enter what is commonly known as the off-peak season. We have already seen a few reductions and will see further as we enter March. Shipping lines will do there best to maintain rates as high as possible, they have already announced further blank sailings and cancellations. The market will settle into a new pattern over the next few weeks.
USA Air Rates
At SCC we are very proud of our USA air consolidation services, principally flying consols from Chicago and Los Angeles to all AU states, it is the most cost effective and efficient way to manage your air cargo needs from the USA. The location of your supplier determines the best consolidation option.
USA air rates like all rates globally spiked considerably during covid times. We have seen a consistent decline in the rates over the last 6 months and are pleased to report on further significant reductions coming in to play from March 1st, 2024. If you are wanting to check in on our air rates and services from the USA, please contact our sales team on sales@sccargo.com.au    
EU Air Rates
A similar story is playing out for air freight shipments form EU countries, whilst we can always secure rates direct from the airport of origin the most cost-effective way to manage cargo from many EU countries is to book on our EU consolidation, which departs every weekend from Amsterdam (AMS). Lead times do need to be considered on this service, however currently the costs savings compared to flying direct form origin of the supplier are very attractive. The service is very reliable and consistent.
Please reach out to our sales team when you are requiring air freight services from EU countries, they will work with you for the best solution each and every time.  
SCC Customs Update
We are very pleased to welcome our new Customs Manager Simon Pepper to the SCC team. Simon has extensive customs and commercial experience, bringing a wealth of knowledge to SCC. Simon extends the number of Customs Brokers at SCC to 3, with Director’s Paul Angel and Greg McKillop also being Customs Brokers. Simon will be working closely with Alice Allen, who I might add is taking great steps to also becoming a licensed Customs Broker. We are pleased to offer our extensive customs experience to all customers. For any customs matters you are requiring support, please reach out to Simon on simon@sccargo.com.au
A few customs points of interest:

  • Australia is now party to 18 Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) following the entry into force of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) and the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA)
  • With the growing number of FTAs and other arrangements, it can be difficult to identify which may apply to a particular country or place. For instance, importers of goods from Malaysia may consider up to six different arrangements. However, given that AANZFTA, CPTPP and the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement all provide ‘Free’ rates of duty; the importer may focus on the rules under a particular agreement including the documentation requirements or the product specific rules of origin. 
  • Australian Border Force (ABF) Operation JARDENA Operation JARDENA is working with industry to harden the supply chain against criminal infiltration Operation JARDENA is a nation-wide ABF effort to ensure Australia’s supply chain remains secure. The operation disrupts and removes criminals and their internal conspirators from supply chains, ensuring Australia’s border remains well-regulated and safe for all. The operation seeks to address longstanding vulnerabilities in the supply chain through legislative and systems reforms. 

WCA Global Freight Conference

At SCC, we are very proud members of WCA, the world’s largest membership group for International Freight Forwarders. We were fortunate to join the WCA when we took over SCC 6 years ago. It proved to be integral in the success and strength of our international freight services. At our first meeting, we established fantastic partnerships with outstanding businesses that remain active partners to this day.
Next week Greg and Elise McKillop will be attending the annual conference in Dubai, with +50 meetings booked in with current and potential freight partners it will be an opportunity to network, learn, and continue fostering these fantastic business relationships.
Our regular business partners from countries including USA, UK, China, Germany, Netherlands, France, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, UAE, Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, and many others are attending, this provides us with a great opportunity to develop further these trade lanes and many more.
We would like to thank all of our customers for your great support, the team at SCC very much enjoy assisting and taking care of your international trade needs.



 Southern Cross Cargo Pty Ltd

+61 7 3899 6466
Unit 4, 24-26 Ellerslie Road
Meadowbrook QLD 4131


Suite 23, 349-351 Kingsway
Caringbah NSW 2229


PO Box 245
Capalaba QLD 4157