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  • Australia’s Transport & Logistics Specialists

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 cancellation of a proposed tax increase on truck fuel;
  • The Federal Government’s new partnership with Etihad Cargo;
  • The 90% increase in parcel deliveries for Australia Post;
  • Answers from the Freight & Logistics Council of WA on border crossing requirements;
  • The introduction of the new Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020; and
  • New dates for key equipment and machinery expos.


  • The Federal Government has cancelled a proposed increase in the tax on truck fuel in order to help trucking businesses delivering Australia’s essential food, medicine, and other goods, during the pandemic.  The Government was looking at increasing the tax on truck fuel, known as the road user charge, by 2.5% from 1st July, and another 2.5% from 1st July 2021.  Our Partners at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and other industry groups were heavily involved in this decision, which has been welcomed by transport operators.  Read more.
  • This week (4th May) has seen the introduction of the new Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 and Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020.  These new awards replace the previous versions from 2010.  While the new awards are widely considered to be a common-sense change, it means that transport operations will be required to review employment letter templates, wage rate sheets and payroll records.  If any of your clients are unsure of what the changes mean for them, they can contact their local transport association.  Read more.
  • The New South Wales Government has removed almost one-third of oversize overmass (OSOM) permits under updated Class 1 notices in order to cut red tape and allow increased mass and dimensions.  In Class 1, the allowable mass has been increased up to 115 tonnes and the width has been increased up to 5.0 metres.  To support the decision, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has release updated Operator’s Guides for New South Wales and South Australia, as well as support information sheets.  Read more.
  • The Freight and Logistics Council of WA have provided answers to the most common questions that truckies and operators are asking before they cross state lines.  The answers cover use of the Good to Go (G2G) app, as well as documentation requirements.  This is an important one for your WA clients!  Read more.

Marine and Cargo

  • Etihad Cargo has partnered with the Australian Government to deliver critical aircraft services to Australia as part of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.  Under the agreement with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, will provide dedicated cargo services between Abu Dhabi and Australia.  This will ensure continuity of fresh exports to the UAE included meat, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables.  Read more.
  • International logistics company CH Robinson is reporting a 20% increase in Australian costal shipping.  The company is encouraging shippers to consider air-sea cargo and coastal shipping to send goods to Australia and New Zealand, due to the current instability of the airfreight market.  According to CH Robinson, this strategy is already being used successfully for many food and beverage suppliers during COVID-19.  Read more.
  • Australia Post has reported that parcel volumes have doubled over the last four weeks, up by 90% compared to last year, as more householders shop online as they self-isolate.  In response, the organisation has repurposed and opened 15 new processing facilities and commenced recruitment for 600 casuals into the network and call centre to assist in managing the demand from across the country.  Read more.

Construction and Equipment

  • UK-based equipment and machinery manufacturer JCB and repurposed factory lines to manufacture personal protection equipment (PPE) and ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In mid-March, JCB had to suspend production at its nine production plants after a significant drop in global demand for machinery.  However, the company has partnered with the UK Government to manufacture ventilator housings to address a ventilator shortage.  Read more.
  • A number of popular industry events, postponed due to COVID-19, have announced rescheduled dates.  The AgQuip field days, scheduled to take place in Gunnedah, NSW from August 18 to 20 this year, will now run from November 10 to 12.  The National Diesel, Dirt & Turf Expo has moved its event to October 16 to 18.