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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 640-tonne ‘superload’ travelling through Victoria this week;
  • The Australian Logistics Council’s push to permanently abolish curfews on freight and logistics activities;
  • COVID-19 tests for truck drivers in South Australia without the need for referrals;
  • The call from Master Builders Australia for a $13.2 billion stimulus plan;
  • Scam warnings for logistics and freight businesses from Australia’s Border Force; and
  • The latest news on the APL England.

Transport

  • The NHVR has indicated it will ease rear marking transition for heavy vehicles.  The three year shift from older, larger rear marker plates to more reflective ones, announced in 2016, was due to be enforced from 31st December 2020.  Our partners at NatRoad gave evidence to the NHVR that full compliance by the end of the year would cost transport operators a great deal of money at a time of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.  The new approach will allow transport businesses to upgrade the plates when they are next due for replacement, rather than by a fixed transition date.  Read more.
  • The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has called on state and territory governments to abolish operational curfews on freight and logistics activities.  This comes in the wake of major efficiency gains seen since curfews were temporarily lifted to boost the supply chain during COVID-19.  Read more.
  • VicRoads has announced a 640-tonne ‘superload’ will be travelling from the Port of Melbourne to Loy Yang in Gippsland this week.  The ‘superload’ is expected to travel in stages across three nights to minimise disruption is due to be completed by 4th June.  The transport vehicle is 100 metres long, six metres wide, and must travel slowly with a top speed of 25km/h.  Read more.
  • Our partners at the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) have partnered with its state health bodies to allow heavy vehicle operators to take quick and easy COVID-19 tests, without the need for prior appointments or referrals.   SA Pathology is already testing at the Bordertown truckstop, with SARTA also looking to have one set up at Tailem Bend.  Read more

Marine and Cargo

  • Australian Border Force’s (ABF’s) Border Watch (BW) division has issued a scam alert to industry after a spate of recent incidents targeting customs brokers, freight forwarders, warehouses and depots, and shipping and transport companies.  The scammers are using sophisticated methods, including some approaching businesses in person, to convince businesses to make payments, transfer money or extend credit.  Read more.
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released figures showing the decline in exports in the first quarter of 2020, with Australia’s exports falling by 3.7% compared to the final quarter of 2019.  The data, which looked trade by G20 nations, shows that, overall, exports fell by 4.3% and imports by 3.9%.  Read more.
  • NTI has released information on the rise of ‘intermodal terminals’, which are revolutionising traditional approaches to shipping, transport and stevedoring by combining road and rail efforts through automation.  Read more.
  • The APL England has now arrived in the Port of Brisbane with the unloading of damaged containers due to commence 2nd June.  NTI’s loss surveyors will be in attendance.  The APL England reported 40 containers overboard and more than 70 containers damaged after losing propulsion in rough seas about 73 kilometres off the coast of Sydney last weekend.  Read more.

Construction and Equipment

  • NTI has released its latest ‘Equipment Spotlight’ highlighting important information for the maintenance and operation of graders.  It event includes a helpful checklist to assist in machine pre-checks.  Read more.
  • Construction has begun on the first of 37 local community projects funded by the South Australian Government’s $65.5 million stimulus package – the Wigley Reserve upgrade.  The stimulus package aims to support local jobs in construction and infrastructure, while delivering more community spaces.  Read more.
  • Master Builders Australia (MBA) has called for a $13.2 billion building and construction stimulus action to create more than 100,000 new jobs.  Economic modelling from Ernst & Young found the MBA’s proposal would create $30.9 billion in new economic activity, create 105,500 jobs and $17.6 billion in expanded construction  activity from new dwelling starts, renovations, and commercial construction.  Read more.