Category Archives: News

ICAL & TGL Medical supporting the community and charities

At ICAL & TGL Medical we are proud to announce our support for charities during times of need over the pandemic.

Every box of face masks that we sell, we will match it with a donated box to select charities. The more we sell the more we will donate.  

We will then send these donations off to one of the following organisations:


We may add more charities over time, if you feel your charity non for profit organisation should be considered as part of our donation program then please contact us for more information and review.

Show your support for these charities by purchasing your face masks directly online via TGL Medical.

March Newsletter

Suez Canal Update

The Suez Canal is set to resume operations today after the successful re-floating of the Ever Given overnight, however there are still several hundred vessels to pass through and continue their voyage.

At this stage it is too early to tell what impact this will have on Australia, however as a worst case we should expect to see the below:

  • Serious Congestion through North Europe ports, Including UK and Ireland, and China
  • Delayed arrivals of vessels, at this stage up to 2 weeks
  • Change in vessel rotations or omission of port calls
  • Equipment shortages in Asia
  • Possibility of Emergency Surcharges, or Fuel surcharges for those re-routing via the cape
  • Demand for air services to increase

However some are indicating the effects will be minimal. Please see the following article  – Australian supply chains to remain unscathed in Suez Canal blockage – MHD (

You can follow the vessel in real time here – EVER GIVEN Current position (Container Ship, IMO 9811000) – VesselFinder

Easter Long Weekend – Container collection and delivery
Please note pending vessel availability and receivals over the coming Easter break, we may have to run trucks into the wharf to drop off/collect containers to meet cut offs and/or avoid storage. In the event we need to arrange any movement of your container over the four day break, a $65.00 + GST surcharge will apply to cover penalty rates for the drivers.

Also please keep in mind in the week immediately following Easter, demand for deliveries and collection will be high. We will endeavor to meet all requested delivery and pick up times however please expect some delays.

Airline CTO’s annual rate increase
Beginning April 1st  2021, the Import / Export Terminal fee will increase by $0.05 per kg and Document Handling Fee by $5.00 per Air waybill.

Important update: Many importers may be affected by the departments new measures to address the risk of Khapra beetle

Dear Customer,

The Department of Agriculture are implementing a range of urgent measures to address the risk the Khapra beetle represents to Australian agriculture.

The Khapra beetle is considered by government to be the number two threat to agriculture after the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

It has become increasingly important due to the betel becoming a “hitchhiker pest’’ on and in shipping containers.

The government has a dedicated web page on the subject of the beetle and the new laws and measures being introduced now and in the near future to prevent the pest coming in to Australia.

It is very important that all importers read the information on the governments web page at this link:

and ascertain if their imported products and/or origin countries will be subject to controls and overseas treatments before being shipped to Australia.

The web page lists the products considered to be high risk plant products; other risk plant products and a list of countries which pose high risk of khapra beetle referred to as target risk countries.

The government actions are being implemented in phases, with changes not only being made to import conditions for plant products (in various raw and physically processed forms) but also general cargo imported from target risk countries. Please note some of the phases indicate different conditions for target risk countries and other risk countries (being all other countries). 

Phase 6A is commencing on 12 April 2021 and will introduce offshore treatment requirements for target risk sea containers.

A target risk container is defined as a Full Container Load/Full Container Consolidated (FCL/FCX) where:

The target of these treatments is the container and not the goods/commodity being shipped within the container. This means that the container must be treated prior to packing, except if using methyl bromide fumigation.

Whilst Phases 3-5 are on currently hold, if they do relate to your imports, please ensure you understand the changes being made and pass these changes onto your supplier to ensure a smoother transition for when the changes take effect.

Phase 6B is expected to commence in late 2021 and will introduce new measures to a broader range of containers. 

Failure to comply with the changes may result in goods being destroyed on arrival or re exported. 

If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact us to discuss.

January Newsletter

Ongoing Empty Park issues and Maersk Empty de-hire surcharge
ICAL received notice late last week that Maersk empty yards near the port of Melbourne are now at operational capacity, and as a result all 40’GP and 40’HC containers will be now only be accepted for de-hire in Somerton. At present, we have not received word if 20’containers will also be affected but this could change at a moments notice. Unfortunately as there is no opportunity for back-loading and Somerton is considerably further away from Melbourne port, there will be a $220.00 + GST surcharge on any container nominated by Maersk to be de-hired in Somerton.

Terminal access chargers – January increases
Both VICT and DP World have recently announced an increase to their infrastructure and slot fees, which is applicable for both import and export containers and compulsory for ICAL to collect and deliver containers through the terminal gates. The increase will be applied immediately for all containers at an additional of $33.00 per container.

Emirates suspends flights to and from Australian East Coast
Citing “operational reasons”, Emirates has announced they will suspend all flights in and out of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by January 20. At this stage there is no further information on when the flights may resume, and unfortunately this decision by Emirates will add some pressure to capacity between Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Continued severe impacts to Global Supply Chains in the US
Customers with US supply chains are facing severe impacts due to a shortage of equipment, continued high volumes, record-breaking rates and gridlock being experienced at US ports. We encourage our customers to notify their ICAL representative once an order with the supplier is placed, so we can liaise with your supplier and ensure vessel bookings are made well in advance to minimise delays. Please be mindful that whilst we do our best to achieve early bookings, this does not guarantee that equipment will be available at the time of the intended shipment and unfortunately as vessel reliability is at all time low, we expect vessel ETA’s to change over the course of the voyage. 

Chinese New Year Holiday
The Chinese New Year Holiday is approaching, with celebrations being held from Feb 11th – Feb 17th. Whilst the holiday officially begins on Feb 11th, we expect operations to begin winding down the week prior. If you have any shipments arriving during the holiday period, please ensure all commercial documents required for customs clearance are received prior to the holiday. 

December Update

Wishing you a festive holiday season!
The team at ICAL would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We would like to thank you for your support in 2020 and we look forward to continuing to do business together in 2021.

Please note our office will be closed December 25th for Christmas Day & December 28th (in lieu of Boxing Day) and will re open on Tuesday 29th. We will be closed on Friday January 1st and will reopen Monday January 4th. 

If you have any upcoming shipments, please let our team know once the order is placed so we can ensure space is pre-booked. Due to current vessel delays and equipment shortages, the sooner our team know of your order, the sooner we can secure the space.

Empty Container Congestion Fee  – Import Containers
Following on from our previous newsletter, an increased and significant imbalance of containers arriving into Australian ports and not enough containers being evacuated are causing significant delays. 

Empty Container Parks continue to operate with reduced de-hire capacity. In some cases, empty containers for dehire back to the terminal are having to be held at the transport carriers yard, pending timeslots, only to receive last minute re-directions to already full empty container parks – again with limited slots for days on end. Empty Container Parks are not allowing containers to be returned, due to a lack of available dehire slots and are also not allowing containers to be collected, due to a lack of pick up slots. 

As a result, Transport carriers in Melbourne have imposed an empty container congestion fee of up to $200.00 + GST per empty container, as of 22/12/20. We anticipate other Australian ports will follow soon. Transport carriers have attributed the levy as a result of staggering empty containers in their yard, additional lifts and the additional staff required to search for empty container dehire slots. If you have any further questions regarding the situation, please contact your ICAL representative.

Shipping Line Detention Policy
Please see the below detention policy received from the noted shipping lines for the Christmas/New Year period. 

Shipping_Line_Detention_Policies_Xmas_2020.pdf (

December Newsletter

Melbourne Container Congestion

Container congestion in Melbourne has reached critical levels due to the strong import volumes well exceeding the numbers of containers being loaded out, leading to a negative discharge/load ratio. Please refer to the below notice issued by Container Transport Alliance Australia, which provides further information on the situation. 

1211-CTAA-Notice-to-Industry-Melbourne-Container-Logistics-Congestion-Critical.pdf (

ICAL is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to notify shipping lines of earliest availability to arrange the dehire of containers and seek out empty containers parks in order to avoid additional costs and minimise the impact on our clients.

If you would like to discuss the situation in further detail, please get in contact with your ICAL representative. 
Victoria Global Gateway Program

The Victorian Government recently announced a new program to support Victorian exporters; including cash support of up to $50,000.
The Global Gateway program will support established Victorian exporters to help them stabilise their business and adapt their export strategies in response to the challenges created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Global Gateway program is a key part of the Victorian Government’s $15.7 million Export Recovery Package.

Eligible Victorian businesses can access a one-off grant of up to $50,000 to identify and engage professional service providers to deliver project activities to support their export recovery. These activities may include marketing and promotion, market access and marketing intelligence. Businesses must make a minimum co-contribution of 20 per cent of the project.

Grant applications are now open and will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 17 January 2021.
To be eligible a business must:Be a legally structured business with significant operations in VictoriaHave an Australian Business Number (ABN)Demonstrate an annual export revenue of at least $2 million in either the 2018/19 or 2019/20 financial yearsMeet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards 
If you like to find out more about the Program, get in touch with the Ai Group, who can help you with your export recovery activities, please send your contact details to and they will be in contact with you to discuss this further.

November Newsletter

Cargo Compliance Verification (CCV) inspections – Experiencing delays
CCV inspections are conducted by the Department of Agriculture on containerised sea cargo imported into Australia. They are randomly applied to containers that would not typically be directed for inspection. During the inspection, biosecurity officers will check the commodity, packing materials and cleanliness of the internal and external surfaces of the container. Due to the number of vessels that have been by-passing Sydney, the volume of containers entering Melbourne and requiring CCV inspection has increased significantly. As a result, the ability to conduct CCV inspections in a commercially acceptable time frame has become difficult and we have been advised of industry members who are experiencing CCV inspection delays of up to 10-17 days. As we lead into the holiday season, volume of containers arriving into Melbourne show no sign of slowing down, therefore, we will monitor the situation and if any of our customers have a container subject to a CCV inspection, we will ensure inspections are booked as soon as possible to minimise any delays. 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) 
Australia, China, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and the ASEAN nations have signed the long negotiated RCEP. RCEP is a free trade agreement that will compliment and build upon Australia’s existing free agreements with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries. The agreement provides greater likelihood of goods satisfying rules of origin, because content from all RCEP members will be counted, in comparison to bilateral agreements, where only content from two parties to that agreement count as qualifying content. 

At this stage, the parties have signed the agreement, however its a long path before it becomes Australian law, as the agreement will need to go through parliamentary approval processes in Australia. The agreement will come into force once at least 6 ASEAN countries have ratified the agreement and 3 other non-ASEAN countries also ratify the agreement (including Australia). The agreement will come into force once ratified.  At this stage, this is expected to happen in either late 2021 or early 2022. We will continue to monitor the progress of the agreement and update accordingly. 

Los Angeles Congestion

Over the past few months the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have experienced record volumes, causing severe port congestion. Whilst the congestion continues to worsen in Southern California, it has now spread to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. The spike in volume has created a deep impact on the export of LCL consolidations ex Los Angeles, leading to equipment shortage, advanced vessel cut-off without prior notice, shortage of drivers, rail delays and vessels omitting ports. We are monitoring the situation and we’ll work with the lines to ensure minimal disruption to our customers.

Thanksgiving Holiday USA

The USA will be celebrating their annual Thanksgiving holiday this year on Thursday November 26th.

Please note many companies will be running limited staff and leaving early on Wednesday 25th , and again many will be closed or have limited staff on Friday 27th

Industry Update

Cosco announce fortnightly service linking Townsville with China and the South Pacific
Cosco have announced their new service this month, called the CAP or China/Australia/Pacific, to run fortnightly and link Townsville with ports in Darwin, Yangpu, Hong Kong, Port Moresby, Cebu and Lae.

Yangpu will act as the tranship hub between Townsville and north-east and south-east Asia, and Hong Kong will tranship cargo to the rest of the world.

ZIM shipping line begin new China – Australia service
ZIM, an Israeli shipping company not seen in Australia for many years, has announced their return to the Australian market with a new service between China and AU.
The CAX service is utilising six vessels with capacity of 2500 TEU on each, and will call Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Container space availability leading into Christmas
An early reminder to our valued customers this year, for any orders required to arrive before Christmas we suggest bookings are placed in early November.
Available space on vessels over the last few months has been the tightest seen in years, and we only expect this to get worse during November as importers Australia wide prepare for Christmas

ICAL will be operating over the Christmas period as usual, only closing for the public holidays. If you need any short term storage over the Christmas period, please feel free to reach out.  

October Newsletter

OOCL Suspend Bookings to Australia

Due to the ongoing industrial action at Australian ports, particularly Sydney, OCCL has announced a stop to all Australian bookings with immediate effect until further notice.

Please see below extract of OOCL’s announcement.

Due to the continuing terminal congestion caused by industrial actions in Australia, the AAA network has been severely disrupted with vessels being held up waiting for berths. To avoid long idling of containers and to minimize the uncertainty of customers’ supply chain management, OOCL regretfully advises that we will temporarily stop accepting new bookings for two weeks with immediate effect from Asia, Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa to Australian ports covered by the AAA1/AAA2/ASA/AWX services.

OOCL is currently reviewing all alternatives to reopen booking acceptance earlier on the AAA network, if possible, and we will advise our customers with the latest update. For reefer bookings, we ask you to contact your local sales or customer service representative to discuss the available options.

MSC extend Congestion Surcharge to Melbourne and Brisbane

Delays of up to 3 weeks in Sydney, and up to 10 days in Melbourne and Brisbane, are causing havoc for shipping lines trying to maintain their schedules around South East Asia, Australia and NZ.

Unfortunately for Melbourne and Brisbane importers, the congestion at Sydney port, initially caused by bad weather and then amplified by industrial action at the ports, has negatively impacted both arrivals at Melbourne and Brisbane and the shipping lines are now beginning to discuss surcharges on the entire East Coast. MSC are the first to announce a fee of USD$300 per TEU (USD$14.00 per m3 for LCL cargo) on sailings from mid-October and other lines are expected follow in the coming weeks

Update on Industrial Action from the MUA

Whilst some positive news has been received yesterday and today from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) regarding a likely end to industrial action at DP World and Patrick terminals, the effect of the disputes over the last few weeks could be felt until at least the end of the year.

Estimates are at up to 3 weeks to catch up on backlogs at the Sydney ports, and as we move into the peak months leading into Christmas, it looks likely we won’t see any improvement until the New Year  

Update: Sydney Port Congestion Surcharge

Further shipping lines announce Sydney Port Congestion Surcharges
Pacific Asia Express (PAE), Hapag Lloyd and TS Lines have followed suit and announced a congestion surcharge applicable from the below dates: PAE (USD$300 per TEU)- Effective 21st September for export cargo departing from this date PAE (USD$300 per TEU) – Effective 1st October for import cargo arriving from this date Hapag Lloyd (USD$300 per TEU) – Effective immediately TS Lines (USD$280.00 per TEU) – Effective for import cargo only arriving from 28th September Unfortunately with the shipping lines implementing a congestion surcharge this will increase LCL rates by approximately USD$14.00 per m3 into Sydney. This increase will only be charged on LCL bookings utilising the above carriers.

Maersk Sydney update
Due to the ongoing congestion issues and industrial action in Sydney, Maersk have temporarily ceased accepting any bookings to Sydney until October 1st . On a positive note Maersk have announced that the free time detention period on containers falling due from September 17 through September 23 will be extended by an additional 7 days.   

Vessels Omitting Sydney
As a result of the issues affecting Sydney port and in an effort to avoid further delays to their schedules, some lines have decided to omit Sydney all together and discharge their containers in Melbourne and Brisbane. We strongly suggest you check with your cargo insurers if your policy will cover such an event and be prepared for additional delays and costs. If any of our Sydney customers are affected, our customer service team will be in touch as soon as possible.