bradskelton.com theshippingbloke.com

Thursday, 20 February 2020

World's Greatest Shave 2020

Today, blood cancer is an immensely big problem in Australia. It is one of the leading causes of death by cancer in Australia. Every day another 35 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer. That's one Aussie every 41 minutes. Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.

There are 110,000 Australians living with blood cancer or related diseases, and unfortunately, my brother in law is one of them and sadly not the first person I know who has been affected by this awful disease. He has been fighting leukaemia for about six months now and with the support of a wonderful medical team and the Leukaemia Foundation he has it on the run. He and my sister are setting wonderful examples of resilience and determination. I am very proud of them and love them both and am confident this health challenge will soon be overcome completely.

In support of my Brother in law, this year, I have joined the 2020 World’s Greatest Shave campaign to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation on 13th March 2020. Please join us in the fundraiser, no amount is too small to give, every cent helps. Your donation will help the Leukaemia Foundation care for families like mine facing blood cancer and research in advancements in diagnosis, treatments, and ultimately a cure. Please donate here: http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/bradskelton

Being the only national organisation that represents the needs of all people living with any blood cancer in Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation have set a bold new goal to create real change for people living with blood cancer: Zero Lives Lost to Blood Cancer by 2035. This is an incredibly powerful and bold goal that all of us should get behind.

Thank you for your generosity and for joining us in this great cause, together we can beat cancer.



All for now,

Brad Skelton

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Coronavirus Impacts on Shipping

The coronavirus outbreak in China is now playing havoc with global supply chains and is worsening. Many carriers ex China are cancelling sailings and the handful that did depart have left about ten percent full.

As the number of deaths is now in excess of 1,300 and confirmed cases rising over 63,000, some provinces and cities in China have extended movement restrictions until 1 March. This means that most supply chains in China are grinding to a halt.

This week one vessel that is capable of carrying 23,000 TEU departed from China to North Europe with less than 2,000 TEU so the freight contribution is too small to make the voyage profitable. Carriers simply cannot carry on much longer like this and some have begun anchoring their biggest vessels and deploying smaller ships with lower operating costs.


Cargo that is able to be delivered to the port is often not able to be uplifted reliably as shipping line schedules are in increasing turmoil.
Initially there was some discounting of rates but the reality is there is virtually no cargo there so in effect for cargo to travel shippers should really be forced to pay a premium in freight to prevent huge losses on the voyages by the carriers.
Rate levels have become fairly immaterial to most shippers as they just desperately need their cargo shipped to sustain their businesses. Many of them are giving up on China for the time being and trying to source their goods from other countries that are not currently badly affected by the virus.
I predict that as the Coronavirus crisis passes that there will be an unprecedented spike in demand so my team at Depth Logistics and I are proactively trying to lock in rate agreements with carriers for clients now. There will certainly be "peak season" like surcharges carriers will be charging.
All for now,
Brad Skelton

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

What documents are required for customs clearance?

Customs clearance of cargo is required for imports and exports.

To facilitate cargo customs clearance here are the primary documents that you require to prepare an import declaration or an export declaration.

For exported cargo:

  • The vessel name, voyage number for sea freight cargo and the flight number and departure date for air freight cargo
  • The Export Invoice for the goods
For imported cargo:
  • Bill of Lading for sea freight cargo or an Airwaybill for air freight cargo. These are issued by the carrier document showing details of the cargo and the ship or aircraft that is transporting it.
  • Suppliers Commercial Invoice to evidence the price paid for the goods and there value for import duty and GST calculation
  • If your cargo is being imported from a country where a free trade agreement exists then a Certificate of Origin needs to be provided by your supplier so that duty free concessions can be claimed. If this document is not available or your goods originate from a country where no free trade agreement exists then import duty might be payable
  • Marine Insurance Certificate if your cargo is insured
  • Packing List
  • For Quarantine Clearance of goods that might be used or of plant or animal origin to avoid treatment and inspections on arrival various treatment certificates and declarations. These include a Packing Declaration, Fumigation Certificate, Heat Treatment certificate or Biosecurity Import Permit
  • If you are a commercial importer then we need your Business Number/Registration or if this shipment is a personal importation then photographic identification would be required
This is a generalised, non-exhaustive shipping documents guide and you should contact my team at Depth Logistics or I for more specific advice about the goods you are importing or exporting to be sure you have everything you need for smooth customs clearance and delivery.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Monday, 13 January 2020

Marine Insurance & Freight Rates Rise with Middle East Tensions

While tensions between the US and Iran have lessened in recent days the events in the Middle East have made their mark in the insurance industry in particular.

Ships are navigating longer routes to avoid dangerous areas, Ships’ crew wages will rise owing to the heightened risks of attacks to Vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, adding costs to end consumers for commodities transported globally, hampering trade.

The recent tensions are leading to insurers and reinsurers imposing new conditions in policies, significantly increasing the costs of insurance. Industry experts forecast significant increases of about 10% over the coming months.

Similarly as ships need to steam further the owners will need to recover their operating costs in this region of the world.

The attacks on two Saudi Arabian tankers, a Norwegian and a UAE flagged vessel have led to the Joint War Committee, made up of representatives from the Lloyd’s and company markets, adding the Gulf to its list of high-risk waters.

Navy vessels of various nations are now escorting merchant ships through high risk waters to reduce the risks to shipping as part of Combined Military Force. Australia has deployed HMAS Toowoomba, a frigate, to region as part of this effort.



Other participating nations include Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States

If you would like any advice on your situation on shipping through this region please contact me.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Friday, 6 December 2019

Incoterms 2020 coming into force January 2020

The International Chamber of Commerce has made changes to Incoterms to bring them more into line with modern world trade and shipping.

Incoterms are essential for international shippers and consignees to understand and agree responsibilities for shipping arrangements, costs and liability.

The main changes flowing through into Incoterms 2020 are as follows:
  • Incoterms® 2020 provides for demonstrated market need in relation to bills of lading (BL) with an on-board notation and the Free Carrier (FCA) Incoterms® rule.
  • Incoterms® 2020 aligns different levels of insurance coverage in Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP).
  • Incoterms® 2020 includes arrangements for carriage with own means of transport in FCA, Delivered at Place (DAP), Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU), and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP).
  • There is a change in the three-letter name for Delivered at Terminal (DAT) to DPU.
  • Incoterms® 2020 includes security-related requirements within carriage obligations and costs.
If you would like more information please contact myself or my team at Depth Logistics.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

Monday, 2 December 2019

IMO Low Sulphur Regulation Compliance & Freight Increases 1 January 2020

Effective from January 1st, the new IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation will come into force, requiring all sea-going vessels to comply and reduce sulphur emissions by 85%.

In order to sufficiently comply with the Regulation, sulphur in fuel oil must be reduced from 3.50% to 0.50% in addition to the 0.10% sulphur limit already enforced in Emission Control Areas (ECA).

The objective of this regulation is to reduce the amount of sulphur oxide emissions which is expected to deliver major health and environmental benefits, including improvement of air quality and reducing risks of acidification in the oceans.



Ship owners are responding to this and seeking their compliance with some or all of the following solutions:

- Using liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) vessels

- Installing IMO approved exhaust gas cleaning systems(scrubbers)

- Using compliant fuels with 0.50% or 0.10% sulphur as the main solution

The new IMO 2020 Low Sulphur Regulation is impacting the shipping industry globally, with shipping costs set to increase worldwide. The cost of the Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) is expected to be significantly higher than the present High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO).

Projections are that the VLSFO price will be at about US $531/mt in Rotterdam as compared to US $309/mt for HSFO. This equates to a 72% increase in fuel costs.

As a consequence carriers are introducing various sulphur surcharges to recover their higher operational costs. Most are using the BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) as the primary mechanism to pass these costs onto shippers.

For RoRo carriers we are seeing Sulphur Recovery Charges from USD 0.23 to USD 35.00 per revenue tonne plus BAF between USD 5.50 to USD 13.00 per revenue tonne.

Container carriers have surcharges per TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit) ranging from USD 60.00 to USD 260.00 depending on the trade lanes concerned and the vessels serving them.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like some specific advice about your own circumstances and shipping contracts.

All for now,

Brad Skelton