ICE Operations Amid COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to remind our valued partners and customers that ICE has put a remote work schedule in place across all our branches in Australia as part of our efforts to protect our staff and remain servicing you as efficiently as possible.
We remain fully operational and ready to take on any new jobs.
Below is a breakdown of operations in Australia amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Latest Summary – Friday, 7th August
- National Cabinet to discuss Victorian crisis and aged care
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- COVID-19 adds new uncertainty to campaign for White House
- Coronavirus adds uncertainty to White House campaign
- Vietnam turns Da Nang stadium into field hospital amid virus outbreak
- Brazil police bust alleged coronavirus corruption racket in Sao Paulo
Seaports continue to operate as usual across Australia. The impact of blank sailings ex Europe in May have resulted in high demand for space on vessels in June and July and therefore it is important to book early to meet your desired schedule.
Due to the current climate, we are requesting that all sea freight imports are arranged on a seaway bill or telex release. By avoiding original bills of lading we can prevent any delays on arrival due to office closures. If originals are required by your shipper, please let us know prior to arranging the shipment so we can work with you on an alternative solution.
Please place bookings early to mitigate risk.
Airfreight both into and out of Australia is in high demand with somewhat limited flight options. The good news is, as we move into July we are starting to see more flight options become available. Rates are changing daily and schedules are extended. If you have an airfreight request please contact our team and be aware that pricing is at a premium at this current time.
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Across The Globe Updates
- We currently have Seafreight options ex China and availability for bookings but blank sailings are putting pressure on flexible scheduling. Our advice remains to book early to secure space and meet your required timeframes. The outlook to July indicates more blank sailings will be introduced as volume decreases are thought to fluctuate between 10 and 25%.
- According to China ports & harbours association, the key ports in China have reduced container throughput by approx 5% year on year
- Airfreight services are currently available, and pricing is starting to show some signs of relief. Transit times are also improving but please contact us in advance so we can organise your freight on your preferred service.
- the conditional movement control order has moved into a recovery mode providing more opportunity for local suppliers to return to normal operations. Almost all economic sectors will be allowed to open with conditions to adhere to standard operating procedures.
- Some flights are delayed and backlogs are creating scheduling issues leading to a decrease in service options.
- Much longer processing time for Customs Clearance process for imports into Indonesia.
- Trucking services are running smoothly with less traffic and congestion due to working from home arrangements.
- No major impacts on exports.
- Lockdown continues only on containment zones until 30st June 2020 meanwhile new guidelines (Unlock 2.0) have been issued by MHA (Ministry of Home affairs) for factories/Business to open based on
risk profiling of the districts into Red (Hotspot) , Green and Orange Zones except the containment zones. Amid rising cases at Tamil Nadu, State government has announced complete lockdown from 19th– 30th
June at Chennai and its 3 other neighboring districts, however essential services will not be affected.
- Domestic flights have resumed between major cities under new guidelines. All the Incoming Commercial Passenger international Flights remained cancelled effective 22nd March 2020 – 30th June 2020.
However, this restriction does not apply to international freighter operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation).
- All Ports are operational although some delays are expected on vessel operations due to shortage of operators and internal transport vehicles. With acute shortage of drivers and shortage of public transport,
clients should expect delays in port evacuation. Shipping line schedules may have challenges managing the port windows due to delays in transit or change in their schedule.
- Due to the effect COVID-19 is having on the Trade Industry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is accepting requests for duty-payment extensions.
- No major freight changes being experienced. Previous fears of cargo backlogs at the cargo terminals have been eased due the continuing operation of the supply chain and the anticipated downturn in imports from China due to order cancellations.
- Airfreight services are at a premium with charter options being introduced by some airlines
- Blank sailings have been introduced by Cosco and Hapag with CMA reworking their schedule on an ongoing basis. Sea ports continue to operate and sailings are still available but booking in advance is key.
CMA-CGM /MSC is no longer servicing Genova port in Italy on the direct Nemo service to Australia, which is currently the main port of loading utilised for shipments coming from Italy. La Spezia will remain and be the only direct port ex Italy for the Australia lane.
With a significant amount of aircraft currently grounded, there are limited airfreight services operating at current. Qatar airlines opened bookings and then closed shortly after due to a backlog. Singapore airlines can offer some space to Australia but prices are at a premium.
- As per Italy, Sea ports continue to operate and sailings are still available but booking in advance is key. Blank sailings into July have resulted in high demand and potential implementation of peak season surcharges.
- For airfreight, passenger flights are recommencing on selected routes and freighter schedules are becoming more reliable.
- Sea freight into July is in high demand due to blank sailings earlier in May. Customers are advised to book in advance and be aware of pricing at a premium.
- Only charter connections and Cargo flights operate until further notice.
- Airfreight: Operational but still high marked volumes. Full and part charter options, as well as the use of freighter networks, has become key.
- Oceanfreight: can still be fulfilled and advanced booking is advised
- UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and other countries in the Middle East have partially lifted lockdown restrictions.
For the most up to date case numbers and more official information about the COVID-19, visit the Australian Department of Health page.