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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Ross Radich is back with our team at Depth Logistics

In the past month I have been extremely happy to have re-joined forces with +Ross Radich who is back working with the familiar team and clients at Depth Logistics as our Biosecurity Consultant.

Ross was originally a New Zealand Quarantine officer before joining my team about 12 years or so ago. He is a true gentleman, very reliable, diligent and always gets even the most difficult jobs done in a good humored manner. It's a sincere privilege to work with him.

During this time Ross has lived and travelled literally all over the world working with our clients and their suppliers making sure that cargo destined for Australia and New Zealand is prepared before shipping to minimise quarantine risks and achieve the smoothest possible clearance on arrival. In fact Ross has a perfect record on cargo he has inspected and prepared with not a single re-export order ever being issued.

The characters he has met, the places he has gone and the stories Ross has collected along the way are often amazing and funny. Ross written a book of them in fact and it's available on Amazon.


I really enjoyed reading the book and recalling many of the situations and stories. It's a great and entertaining read with good insights into the great work Ross has done not only for our clients, but in the big picture, in helping to minimise quarantine risks for Australia and New Zealand.
I hope you might buy a copy so we can help add "Best Selling Author" to Ross' list of accomplishments.
All for now,

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The 20-Year-Old With a Plan to Rid the Sea of Plastic

As the branding of Depth Industries suggests the team and I all have a strong affinity with the ocean.

I came across this amazing project that promises to clean up the oceans of the estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic floating out there that is even gradually entering our own food chain through seafood. Check out this YouTube clip.



A simple but brilliant idea!

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Please help me to help the homeless at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 105,237 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness, with 60% of those under the age of 35. Perhaps surprising to many people is that 44% of these are women, 13% are under the age of 12. These figures in a lucky country like Australia are disgraceful.

On 23 June 2016 I will join with Brisbane’s community leaders and CEOs to spend one night on the streets as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. We will experience homeless life in an endeavour to raise awareness and crucial funds for St Vincent’s homeless services.


Last year I raised $1,520.00 through donations from clients, suppliers, family and friends. This year I am aiming to better this amount and hope you will join with me to do so. Please click here to sponsor me and donate to support this great cause.

Thank you!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Global ship traffic as seen from space

I came across this fascinating (1min 40sec) YouTube clip of one weeks global shipping traffic as seen from space courtesy of Fleetmon.

Take a look...


All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Freight forwarders quotation trick #69

My team and I at Depth Logistics always give our clients comprehensive and fully transparent quotes that they can reliably budget on. This is a non-negotiable thing for us.

That being said, increasingly we are competing against operators who are at best convenient in how they present their quotations, or at worst, plainly try to mislead shippers about the true landed costs just to secure the booking.

One trick we see nearly every day relates to Australian Customs and Quarantine import charges charges which are published on government websites. Specifically EEC(Electronic Entry Charges) and DAWR(Dept of Agriculture and Water Resources) entry and inspection fees.



Unscrupulous freight forwarders will not quote these actual charges in dollar terms to a client as if they did it increases their quotation per shipment by sometimes A$2-300.00+ depending on the cargo type and import declarations required. Instead they say things like "Plus government charges" or "Plus EEC and DAWR fees" if the client is lucky.

Price is an important driver of most clients decisions as to who they trust to move their cargo. When they are making their decision they innocently compare quotes where a professional forwarder actual identifies the exact costs, because you can, against another operator who intentionally is vague(Plus Govt charges). They total the various dollar amounts listed in the quotes and compare who is the most competitive.

It is not until they get billed and find that these charges were not identified specifically in the original quotation that they realise they have actually paid too much overall.

To make matters worse operators who do this usually add EEC onto the import duty and GST on their invoice to disguise the charges further which they know will often go unnoticed by the client. If they get found out and queried later they hide behind "But our quote said Plus Govt charges" and the poor client is snookered.

So be aware of this freight forwarders quotation trick and insist that whoever you get quotations from always identifies all charges in dollar terms so you can compare apples with apples.

If you need any further clarification or want to check what you might have been billed previously, I'd be pleased to help.

+Brad Skelton 

Monday, 4 April 2016

How many containers can ships carry?


The larger container ships can now carry up to 19000+ 20' containers!

The economies of scale and lower fuel costs are driving rates down. Please contact me if you want to check if what you are paying now is at current market levels.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Coal still has a future

The local economy in Queensland is currently hurting badly as coal miners falter with coal prices having fallen more than 60% over the last five years. Majors such as US owned Peabody Energy are going into administration or Chapter 11 which is threatening thousands of jobs in mines they operate here.


In November 2015 the OECD agreed to restrict coal fired power stations being financed by government while about two years earlier the World Bank also decided that they would only provide finance for coal in rare circumstances. These types positions are driven by the fact that environmentally coal is a dirty energy source compared to others such as gas, solar wind and nuclear. Nobody could logically argue against this.

Despite this there are some inescapable facts about coal that means it still will be a massive energy source for the world for many years to come. 

These are:
-It is still the cheapest source of fuel for base load electricity and currently accounts for about 40% of global electricity supply. Huge!
-In the third world coal demand is still growing as the need for electricity rapidly grows with urbanisation in countries such as India and China.
-While demand for coal in developed countries is decreasing the global demand overall is still growing.
-For the third world, coal is also a source of energy that is safely, easily and cheaply transported and stored. You can literally pile it up in heaps in a yard whereas gas for example needs extremely expensive infrastructure that these nations struggle to afford.


McKinsey & Co forecast that despite the boom in renewable energy fossil fuels like coal and gas will still be the dominant source of energy. Their forecast is that by 2040 renewable energy sources will only contribute about 17% to global energy needs and coal will still be meeting 31% of demand. 

Inevitably coal prices will recover and could do so quite spectacularly from where they are now in my view. Clearly demand will be strong for the next few decades while at the same time the supply side will reduce with action the World Bank, OECD and green groups are taking.

Therefore shares in low cost miners of thermal coal look like pretty good buying at the moment if you adopt a long term view.

All for now,
+Brad Skelton
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