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Weekly COVID-19 Update: Everything vessels, vehicles and gear

During these unprecedented times, we’re giving you weekly updates on how COVID-19 is impacting everything to do with vessels, vehicles and gear.

In this week’s edition we outline:

  • The unveiling of the world’s largest container ship in South Korea;
  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s relaxation of roller-brake testing equipment requirements;
  • The Civil Contractors Federation’s new Trade Ready program of displaced workers and the unemployed;
  • A study from the Victorian Transport Association showing transport operators are upbeat about economic recovery;
  • An update on the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism; and
  • A new ‘delay in transit’ solution from global shipping group CMA CGM.


  • The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) and Victorian Waste Management Association (VMWA) have released a study of their members showing that transport and waste management operators see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and are “reasonably upbeat” about economic recovery.  The insights reveal that three-quarters of the participants have not lost any customers over the past three months, and that relationships with their customers have remained positive over the pandemic period.  Read more.
  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has announced a temporary relaxation of calibration requirements for roller-brake testing (RBT) equipment.  Current procedures require that machines used to conduct tests are calibrated to manufacturers’ standards every 12 or 24 months.  Some manufacturers have reported difficulty in achieving these requirements due to current travel restrictions.  The NHVR has reiterated that while roller brake testing is an important maintenance process, physical inspections are key to identifying many causes of low performance like work linings and defective brake chambers, and that only a small number of testing units will be affected.  Read more.
  • NTI was again represented at the Australian Government’s Land Transport Industry weekly meeting.  Topics discussed included the increase of vehicle finance declines being experienced by transport operators, the increased availability of PPE gear, and the increase in red light and speed limit breaches by all road users despite a 30% reduction in road traffic.
  • Trade Trucks has released details of an industry pulse check it conducted at the BP Archerfield Truck Stop on Easter Saturday.  To find out what transport operators said about how COVID-19 is affecting their operations, click here.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released figures showing that jobs in transport, postal and warehousing dropped by 3% between 14th March and 4th April.  This time period marks the three weeks directly after Australian confirmed its 100th case of COVID-19.  Read more.

Marine and Cargo

  • Lloyd’s List are releasing weekly podcasts focused on the impact of COVID-19 on cargo and shipping.  Last week’s topic – Is shipping sailing into a great depression? – focused on what the coronavirus economic fallout means for trade demand.  You can access the list of available podcasts here.
  • Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has unveiled the largest container ship in the world – the HMM Algeciras – at a ceremony in South Korea.  The vessel has a capacity of 24,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, which means the number of standard 20 foot shipping containers), and will be the first in a new fleet of meg-ships to be delivered by September 2020.  Read more.
  • Worldwide shipping group CMA CGM has announced a new ‘delay in transit’ solution for its clients to temporarily store containers in a dedicated hub until the recipient is ready to receive them at the final destination shown on the bill of lading.  The service is available globally with container storage happening at multiple hubs around the world based on trade lanes.  Read more.
  • A new network of 15 airfreight service providers and freight forwarders has been established by the Federal Government to accelerate delivery of agricultural and fisheries exports in overseas markets.  The network will allow the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism to ramp-up assistance to exporters and re-establish supply chains.  In the first three weeks of the Assistance Mechanism, 650 Australian businesses have registered their interest and agreements for 55 freight flights been secured.  Read more.

Construction and Equipment

  • Tradiepad has released a COVID-19 Trade Survival Pack, collating the latest information that is relevant to Australian trade businesses.  It includes information of the various State stimulus packages, ATO tax breaks, HR tips and more.  Definitely one to share with your trades clients!  Download a copy here.
  • The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) is calling on displaced workers and the unemployed to apply for their new Trade Ready Program.  Participants will engage in a 4 week training program to gain the knowledge and skills to enter the civil construction industry.  Successful completion will result in a formal qualification and a three week work placement with a civil construction employer.  Read more.

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