"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan
10 May 2019 

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News Headlines

Warehousing and Distribution Services
The distribution and logistics industry is constantly evolving with a wide range of efficiencies available with 3PL warehousing services. Over the last 5 years there has been a noticeable shift away from importers focusing on having their own warehousing and distribution facility, towards utilising third party operations where cost efficiencies are easily recognisable. Tomax Logistics offers a wide range of 3PL storage, pick and pack, distribution and transport operations all over the country. The Tomax flagship warehouse in Dandenong South is 10,000 sqm of racked and freestanding storage space powered by a state of the art warehouse management system. If you’d like to hear more about how Tomax could save you time and money please call us on 1300 186 629 and we’ll be happy to show you what we can achieve together.

Boosting Queensland Food and Beverages
A range of Queensland businesses including beef producers and beer makers are taking part in a trade mission to Hong Kong and China led by Queensland agriculture minister Mark Furner. Mr Furner said it was an important opportunity to explore and expand opportunities to export Queensland food products to Chinese markets.

Key events of the trade mission will include HOFEX, Asia’s leading food and hospitality trade show held this week at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In Chongqing, China, the delegation will attend the official opening of the Chongqing-Australia Trade and Economic Forum.

“This trade mission is a massive opportunity for the Queensland food and beverage businesses who will take part,” Mr Furner said. Participating businesses include Game Meat Processing from Ipswich, Ballistic Beer Co from Brisbane, Gotzinger Smallgoods from Yatala, Proteco Oil from Kingaroy, Human Bean from Goondiwindi and Brisbane Valley Protein from the Scenic Rim, just to name a few.

Queensland’s total good exports reached more than $80 billion last year. This included significant exports from QLD’s $5.3 billion beef industry. Mr Furner said significant investments and strategic trade missions by the Palaszczuk Government had directly contributed to Queensland’s growing export industry.

Large Concealment in Furniture
A 45-year-old South African National has been arrested and charged after nearly 70kg of cocaine was found within a shipping container arriving to Sydney from South Africa.

Earlier last month a consignment carrying wooden furniture arrived in Sydney from South Africa. The container was taken to the Sydney Container Examination Facility for x-ray, and Australian Border Force (ABF) officers noted anomalies within the shipping crates. The contents of the consignment was deconstructed and 61 packages of a white powdery substance were found concealed within the base of the crate. Further analysis of the packages confirmed a total of 68kg of cocaine with a estimated street value of $34 million.

Detectives from the NSWPF Organised Crime Squad and ABF investigators, with assistance from the Australian Federal Police established Strike Force Warranbool to investigate the matter further. Following extensive inquiries, investigators conducted a controlled delivery of the goods to a storage facility at Campbelltown mid April. The South African National was then arrested after he allegedly accessed the consignment. Following the arrest, search warrants were executed throughout the Campbelltown area where items relevant to the investigation were seized.

The man faced court late last month where he was charged with importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug and was refused bail.

Sunken WWII Freighter Found
An exciting but solemn discovery has been made. Maritime archaeologists from the CSIRO have discovered the resting place of the SS Iron Crown, an Australian freighter torpedoed by a Japanese subamarine during World War II.

The SS Iron Crown, a 100metre ore freighter, was sunk on 4 June 1942 while sailing through Bass Strait with a cargo of manganese ore. The ship went down in less than a minute with only 5 of the 43 crew surviving.

Maritime archaeologist with Heritage Victoria, Peter Harvey, said it was one of Victoria’s worst maritime disasters. “The Iron Crown is historically significant as one of only four World War II shipwrecks in Victorian waters and is the only ship to have been torpedoed by a submarine in Victorian waters,” Mr Harvey said. “There were 43 crew from the Australian Merchant Navy on board the ship and 38 lost their lives in the attack. Locating the wreck after 77 years of not knowing its final resting place will bring closure for relatives and family of those that were lost at sea, as well as for Australia’s maritime community.”

The Iron Crown II was found using multibeam sonar equipment and a special drop camera on research vessel Investigator. Voyage chief scientist Emily Jateff from the Australian National Maritime Museum led the search and said the wreck was located about 100km off the Victorian coastline south of the border with New South Wales.

“The wreck of Iron Crown appears to be relatively intact and the ship is sitting upright on the seafloor in about 700metres of water,” Ms Jateff said. "We have mapped the site and surrounding seafloor using sonar but have also taken a lot of close up vision of the ship structure using a drop camera. This will allow us to create a composite image of the whole site to assist in follow up surveys for its conservation and management.”

“This is an important discovery for Australia and all on board feel honoured to have been involved in this successful search,” she said.

A memorial service is planned for the site. CSIRO research vessel Investigator has discovered a number of historic shipwrecks in recent years, including finding the wreck of SS Macumba, an Australian merchant ship sunk in World War II during a Japanese air attack in Northern Territory waters.

Lizards Discovered at Melbourne Airport
A Japanese national has been arrested at Melbourne International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle 19 native reptiles out of Australia in her suitcase.

The 27-year-old woman was targeted by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers as she attempted to depart for Japan, after information was provided by ABF's international presence in Hong Kong. An x-ray of her suitcase showed anomalies and after further examination, 17 shingleback lizards and 2 blue tongue lizards were found tightly packed inside two mesh packages.

She was subsequently arrested and charged, with maximum penalties for these offences being 10 years imprisonment or a fine of $210,000.

The lizards were seized by ABF officers and referred to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

DELWP Chief Conservation Regulator Kate Gavens said many of the seized reptiles had ticks attached to them, indicating they may have been wild caught animals. After legal processes and a vet check, the lizards will be donated to schools and other not-for-profit organisations if they cannot be returned to the wild.

“DELWP is continuing to liaise with the ABF and Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecution about additional wildlife and cruelty charges related to the alleged offences.

“Thanks to information provided by our international colleagues, we’ve now been able to foil three smuggling attempts across three states, all linked to the same syndicate,” said ABF Investigations Commander Grosse.

Container Volumes Down at Port Botany
According to NSW Ports, container throughput for the month of March was recorded at 195,168TEU, 5.46% down on the same month in 2018.

Import volumes were down by 11.5% with decreases in non-metallic minterals (down 24.2%), miscellaneous manufactured articles (down 17.7%) and textiles, fabrics and articles (down 17%). Export full volumes were up on last year by 3.6% with increases in paper and paper products (up 113%), miscellaneous manufactured articles (up 48.5%) and non-ferrous metals (up 14%).

Export empties were almost the same March this year as they were the same time last year, down by just 0.8%.

There were 91 vessel visits which was down by four visits compared with the same March period last year.

Vessel visits were down by 10 visits in the 2000 to 3000TEU-range, up by five in the 4000 to 5000TEU range and there were three visits in the 8000TEU to 9000TEU range against none in this range last year.

“Other capacity ranges adjusted as required according to blank sailings following Chinese New Year and space management in the off peak season,” NSW Ports stated.

Maersk Announces Digital Ocean Customs Clearance
Maersk's new Ocean Customs Clearance platform is focusing on providing timely and efficient export and import declarations. Maersk is now providing the Customs Clearance online shipping management platform in seven European countries – Germany, France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and Spain – with the goal of expanding across the world by the end of 2019.

Maersk spokesperson said the digital solution was “unique to Maersk” and is expected to be expanded to Oceania, “but at this stage we don’t have a specific timeline for when this will take place”.

The shipping company is seeking to avoid delays in the international trade process that affect importers and exporters.

“The solution provides downstream benefits of full governance and compliance, eliminates the need to provide a quote as pricing is displayed online, saving three to five minutes per quote,” Mr Clerc said.“In other words, it saves our customers time, money and headaches reducing the number of intermediaries they deal with from three or four to just one as well as paperwork which subsequently reduce the time spent on transactional procedures. Time saved they can then devote to grow their businesses.”

He said a good example was Germany where Maersk had piloted this Ocean and Customs Clearance shipping management platform for almost two years.

Robert Weber from the shipping department of German paper mill Neenah Gessner said the Maersk service was perfect for booking without contacting further operational departments.

“We prefer local language and we appreciate collaboration between the responsible departments within Maersk,” Mr Weber said. “Very welcome is the possibility to have all Customs House Brokerage documents uploaded on the internet platform.”

Friday Funnies
We can't guarantee that these jokes are funny but we hope they'll ease you into the weekend!

Why did the old man fall in the well?
Because he couldn't see that well.

How do crazy people go through the forest?
They take the physco path.

My girlfriend and I often laugh about how competitive we are.
But I laugh more.

A limbo champion walks into a bar.
They are disqualified.

What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A gummy bear.

Cosmetic surgery used to be such a taboo subject.
Now you can talk about Botox and nobody raises an eyebrow.