Barenbrug Export Operations Update - April 2020

By Terje Oll

2020 has been challenging and complex for international shipping. 

From 1 January 2020, the new IMO 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation came to in effect – all sea-going vessels worldwide are required to comply and reduce their sulphur emissions. This is resulting fluctuations in fuel-related costs. The shipping lines intend to recover the cost of complying with the Regulation by way of a Low Sulphur Surcharge (LSS), or by an increase to current Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) Surcharges. BAF and LLS are floating monthly and apply at different rates by different Shipping Lines, dependent on routes & port parings.

In light of the current situation with COVID-19 there have been significant impact on international shipping. Starting with China border closure in January that resulted in shortage of equipment availability, vessel space, blank sailings and increase of transshipment time to other countries implementing new rules, regulations and restrictions daily basis. Shipping lines have had to re-route the cargo and this has caused congestion at major transshipment ports. Although international shipping has become more complex and challenging by the day all the shipping lines are working really hard to meet customer deadlines and provide as reliable service as possible in this unprecedented situation. Ocean freight has remained fairly stable however shipping lines have introduced Peak season charge that is now applicable and with conjunction of LSS/BAF has increased overall shipping cost.

Barenbrug Australia comes under the category of the Agricultural Supply Chain and therefore under the COVID-19 legislation we are fortunate enough to be classified as an “essential service” and will still be able to provide our products where there is demand. Now that most of the Chinese ports are almost fully operational and clearing the Chinese NY back-log, we hope to see quicker turnaround times at transhipment ports and faster transit times. Freight and logistics is also considered an essential service and will remain operational, we may still experience some disruptions.

We are currently experiencing challenges and may continue to do so due to severe lockdown/travel restrictions in Europe, America, Middle East and some Asian countries where the movement of goods are restricted, our Sales team continue to communicate with our customers in these parts of the world.

Its re-assuring to receive ‘Pandemic readiness’ notices from our services providers – carriers, freight forwarders, transport providers, etc majority are putting in measures to protect the health of their workers (staff now work remotely)  and that this will not affect the way they conduct business. Authorised officers that inspect seed at third party sheds have also changed their routines by consolidating inspection times trying to minimize contact with other workers.

For any queries regarding shipping please contact:
Terje Oll (Export Shipping Officer):
Theresa Wong (Export Shipping Officer):