Insight – December 2023

Update on Ports & Terminals Enterprise Bargaining

DP World Seeks 90-Day Cooling-Off Period Amidst Ongoing Industrial Action: FTA and APSA Stay Informed on Progress

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have been in contact with DP World senior management in order to update members on the latest on the protected industrial action.

With DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) now having concluded 6 days of facilitated bargaining sessions under the watch of the Fair Work Commission (FWC), DP World suggest that while some progress was made, in response to the continued Industrial action DP World has now filed for a cooling-off period of 90 days in the FWC aimed at halting the ongoing action. DP World optimistically suggesting the period would provide an opportunity for further negotiations without further disruptions.

DP World senior management expectation is for the filing to be reviewed by the FWC in a matter of days; the DP World statement reads as follows:

We hope this message finds you well. We are writing to update you on the recent developments in our negotiations with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the potential impact on our services.

Background of Negotiations
DP World has been engaged in facilitated bargaining sessions over six days with the MUA under the oversight of the Fair Work Commission. These discussions are critical, as they involve reviewing over 300 claims put forth by the MUA, which, if accepted, could significantly impact our operational costs, resource deployment flexibility, and decision-making processes.

Progress and Challenges
While some progress was made during these sessions, the MUA has maintained a majority of their initial claims without significant modification. This stance makes it challenging for us to ascertain the full implications of their demands. Our focus remains on making balanced decisions that consider the impacts on our operations, employees, and, importantly, you – our customers.

DP World’s Stance
Our aim is to forge an agreement that reflects the current work environment, enabling us to operate seamlessly 24/7, ensuring the smooth flow of goods and services. Key areas we are focusing on include:

  • Prioritising service delivery and adopting work practices that meet customer demands.
  • Introducing roster flexibility for better skill availability across all shifts. 
  • Managing workforce absences promptly and fairly. 
  • Ensuring the right person is selected for each job and training opportunity. 
  • Enhancing productivity at each terminal.

​​​​​​​Collective Bargaining Principles

These principles are designed to enhance productivity and optimize roster availability. They are crucial for modern, flexible operations that align with the demands of our customers and the nation’s integrated supply chain.

Current Situation
Despite our efforts to reach an agreement, the MUA has shown limited willingness to adjust their claims in a manner that ensures operational certainty and reasonable cost implications. The ongoing Protected Industrial Action initiated by the MUA is a concern, especially given the potential impact on national supply chains and the broader economic context.

Moving Forward
In response to the continued Industrial Action, DP World has filed for a cooling-off period of 90 days in the Fair Work Commission. This step is aimed at halting the ongoing action and mitigating its impact on our business, our employees, customers like you, and the general public. We are optimistic that this period will provide an opportunity for constructive discussions without further disruptions.

Our Commitment to You
We understand the importance of our services in your operations and are committed to keeping you informed of any developments. Our team is working diligently to minimize disruptions and maintain the high level of service you expect from us.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this period. Please feel free to reach out to us with any concerns or questions.

Warm regards,
Ravi Sheshadri
Vice President – Commercial – Ports & Terminals
Oceania, APAC
DP World

In addition to this, DP World have announced another update suggesting the members of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU, MUA Division) have outlined a further series of work bans and stoppages up to and including Saturday 23 December

DP World have further noted that the CFMMEU, MUA Division has verbally indicated the PIA will be withdrawn on the days when local level discussions are occurring. These dates are Wednesday 13 December for West Swanson, Sydney and Fremantle and Thursday 14 December for Brisbane.

Full media statement HERE

Full list of upcoming protected industrial actions HERE

FTA / APSA once again urges all parties involved in the industrial dispute to work together on a resolution to minimise the impact on workers, freight and the nation. 

Indian economy to be third largest by 2030

India Projected to Surpass as Third-Largest Economy by 2030, Emerging as the Fastest Growing Major Economy: S&P Global Ratings

As per S&P, India is expected to grow at 6.4 per cent in 2023-24 compared with 7.2 per cent in the previous financial year. The rating agency said the growth rate will remain at 6.4 per cent in 2024-25 before rising to 6.9 per cent next year and 7 per cent in 2026-27. In November, before the release of India’s GDP data, the rating agency had revised up the country’s growth forecast for financial year 2023-24 to 6.4 per cent from 6 per cent earlier and lowered the growth projection for financial year 2024-25 to 6.4 per cent from 6.9 per cent earlier.

At present, the Indian economy is the fifth largest ranked behind the US, China, Germany and Japan. With the Chinese economy slowing down, Asia-Pacific’s growth engine is expected to shift to South and Southeast Asia from China, the S&P report said. The rating agency has projected China’s GDP growth to slow to 4.6 per cent in 2024 (2023: 5.4 per cent), and then edge up to 4.8 per cent in 2025, and return to 4.6 per cent in 2026.

The S&P report said unlocking the labor market potential will largely depend upon upskilling workers and increasing female participation in the workforce, with both the factors then expected to enable India to realise its demographic dividend. “A booming domestic digital market could also fuel expansion in India’s high-growth startup ecosystem during the next decade, especially in financial and consumer technology. In the automotive sector, India is poised for growth, building on infrastructure, investment, and innovation,” it said.

Read the full article HERE

China’s logistics sector grew rapidly in November

Robust Growth in China’s Logistics Sector in November Signals Economic Recovery and Quality Development Momentum

CHINA’S logistics sector grew more quickly in November, as the economy remained on a recovery trajectory and high-quality development gained momentum.

The index tracking the logistics market stood at 53.3 last month, up 0.4 points from October. The warehouse storage index was 52.2, up 1.3 points month on month, according to data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing on Monday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.

Thanks to the Double 11 shopping festival, the logistics sector reported a further recovery in November, with total transactions and new orders both in expansion territory, He Hui, assistant president of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, told the Global Times on Monday.

Read the full article HERE

Group of ocean container shipping leaders ring the bell for sector decarbonization

Major Shipping Lines Unite at COP28 to Call for End Date on Fossil Fuel-Powered Vessels and Advocate for Green Fuel Regulations

Late last week, at the COP28 conference in Dubai, leadership for some of the largest global container shipping lines banded together to issue a joint declaration for an end date for newly-built fossil fuel-powered vessels, while also calling on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish regulatory conditions needed to move on to green fuels to power vessels.

The container shipping lines’ CEOs collaborating on this initiative include: Vincent Clerc, CEO, A.P. Moller-Maersk; Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group; Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd; Soren Toft, CEO of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company; and Lasse Kristoffersen, President and CEO, Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The driver for this collaboration, according to the executives, stems from how “global temperatures are breaching critical levels, creating more frequent and devastating results,” increasing the onus on the container shipping sector, which accounts for 2%-to-3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to meet the IMO’s 2030, 2040, and net-zero GHG targets. And the CEOs noted that collaboration with IMO regulators is needed in order to “produce the effective and concrete policy measures needed to underpin the investment within maritime shipping and its ancillary industries that will enable decarbonization at the pace required.”

Read the full article HERE

2023 In Review: Let’s turn the page

Industry Experts Reflect on 2023 and Offer Insights for Logistics and Supply Chain in 2024


Amid the upheaval of the pandemic, the touted concepts of agility and resilience were often found lacking when put to the test. Supply chains, in particular, revealed vulnerabilities, resulting in widespread frustration and increased costs across various stakeholders – producers, sellers, logistics service providers, and consumers.

Now that the pandemic is behind us, is everything back to normal? What lessons did we learn, and what actions did we take in response? Looking into 2023, it appears that not much has changed. In a world dominated by brief sound bites and information snippets, the ability to retain lessons seems limited. Memories are short, and the focus remains on the immediate present. As industry veteran Ted Prince notes, ‘Institutional memory half-life is in nano-seconds.’

Read the full article HERE


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SILA Global is an Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) and we encourage our clients to explore the benefits of being an ATT. If you would like to discuss this further or be guided through the process, our in-house customs broker, Nic Demo, is happy to help! 

Nicoll Demo
(07) 3908 1622

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