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DOWN TO BUSINESS
Shipping delays Santa’s sleigh
much of the
Importer stores in Hobart, Launceston and
Burnie said it was the worst situation he had
experienced in his more than 15 years with
“We have had orders waiting in China for
two, three, four months, you just can’t find
space for all the goods,” Mr Beaumont said.
“We are not the only ones affected by this
and it means Tasmanians will struggle to
buy imported items, particularly as we head
“I have Christmas stock that won’t arrive
Mr Beaumont said while customers had
been understanding, some were starting to
ask for refunds after waiting 10 to 12 weeks
“The reality is not everyone can afford
something that is locally made so many will
wait but we are having major stock issues,
it is incredibly frustrating, particularly
team will work
community to help re-build
across the economy.
NTERNATIONAL shipping delays are
threatening to disrupt the usually busy
peak Christmas period for retailers.
Agility Logistics state manager Brett
Charlton said it was “chaos out there” as
space on vessels was limited and services
“We have recently seen significant union
action in our ports, especially NSW, as
well as weather events that have seen our
importers and exporters face significant
delays,” Mr Charlton said.
He said the international service into
Bell Bay has had more omissions than
calls, either in Tasmania or Sydney and was
currently reduced to one vessel a fortnight.
“Import containers in Sydney and export
containers in Tasmania are held up for
weeks at a time,” Mr Charlton said.
“Most ports around the world are
suffering capacity and equipment restraints
with delays of up to three weeks not
Importers are experiencing delays of up
to three months.
“Reports from builders or retailers that
they are awaiting shipping will be a more
familiar narrative for some time yet.”
The problems have been compounded by
recent industrial action in Australian ports
and a significant reduction in airfreight
options due to the restriction of international
Charles Beaumont, owner of The
Labor Shadow Treasurer
1/17 Bligh Street, Rosny, TAS 7018
when there are last minute cancellations for
The Importer currently has five containers
on the water heading to Tasmania, which
Mr Beaumont said was promising.
Mr Charlton, who is also the chairman of
the Tasmanian Logistics Committee, said
planning ahead freight requirements was
crucial for businesses with exports.
“There is a 67 per cent reduction in this
capacity from 2019 to 2020 for obvious
reasons,” he said.
Mr Charlton said freight costs were also
increasing and unlikely to get better. He
said it would worsen before March 2021.
“Importers in Tasmania are facing the
most difficult period of their existence and
this will be felt by many in the community.
“Coming off the back of a year of
reduced vessel capacity with little reduction
in volumes, there has been a significant
increase in freight rates from most countries
Parents have been urged to shop early and
to not make promises for Christmas gifts.
“If you have got kids I would be buying
things now,” Mr Beaumont said.
Mr Charlton also had a dire warning for
those who usually leave their gift buying
until the last minute.
“Don’t expect to get the Christmas
presents that your children want this year –
they will still be in transit.”
Small business advice
for recovery grants open
The $1.5 million round of the Small Business Advice for Recovery Grant
program has opened for applications.
Grants of $750 are available for small businesses to engage the services
of a consultant to provide advice or services that will assist with business
recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These grants can be used for business advisory services such as
development of marketing plans, business plans or legal advice and/or
support in applying for the Business Growth Loan Scheme.
Assessment of applications will commence as applications are submitted
and they will be assessed in order of receipt.
Applications will be assessed on applicant and project expenditure
eligibility, and evidence provided in support of the application.
Applications close 12 noon on Monday 22 February 2021 or when
available funding has been allocated.
For more information visit the Business Tasmania website
www.business.tas.gov.au or contact Business Tasmania at
email@example.com or on 1800 440 026.
The Small Business Advice for Recovery Grant program is part of
the Tasmanian Government’s $20 million COVID-19 Small Business
Sustainability and Recovery Assistance Package.
Department of State Growth
TASMANIAN BUSINESS REPORTER, November 2020 13