A Change the Rules rally scheduled for today at DPWA Swanston Dock in Victoria marks the beginning of a heavy period of industrial action that will begin to impact importers in the lead up to Christmas.
History suggests that the Christmas ‘striking period’ begins as early as October, proven to be true of 2018 with this latest news.
Pre-Christmas strikes are likely to affect the ABF, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWAR) and ports across the country over the course of the next two months.
Strikes are so effective at Christmas simply because businesses have the most to lose. It is therefore a critical time to ensure that your business doesn’t lose out.
Getting caught in strike disputes means heavy costs to importers:
- Stock can be late to shelves, missing critical early sales
- Stock sitting in containers during strikes could accrue daily container rental charges from the shipping lines
- Containers sitting on the docks awaiting collection could mean daily wharf storage fees.
In effect, the total sum to the importers is paying for stock that cannot be accessed or sold.
The most at-risk importers for customs clearance delays are new importers. These businesses can expect additional checks on shipments which can set back clearance as much as three to five days, even before considering risks of any Australian Border Force strikes. This is unavoidable, so new importers in particular should always work forward.
Strategies to avoid delays and therefore unnecessary costs include:
- Be organised and keep tight shipping plans
- Opt for a pre-clearance – before the stock arrives in Australia
- Ship no later than mid-November – earlier if possible
- Get your paperwork right the first time
Knowing the facts can help you avoid falling into a mess of delays.
Now is the time to finalise your orders and shipping plans. We are here to help if you need a specialist to negotiate with shipping companies or suppliers on your behalf.
If your stock is caught in the strike action, we will do everything we can to influence fastest release for our clients.