The Australian Government has advised that while the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) continues to be a targeted, temporary emergency measure, businesses should use this time to adjust to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
Reports suggest that air travel is unlikely to return to pre-COVID conditions until 2024. International Freight Coordinator General, Michael Byrne, suggests businesses should consider the following:
1. Aggregate and consolidate – With COVID-19 still impacting flights, businesses need to work together with other exporters and freight forwarders to consolidate loads.
2. Deal in facts – Consider new options for how you could get your goods where they need to go, but have a clear understanding of the realities of the situation.
3. Plan – With flight numbers down approximately 80% from last year and freight capacity filling up weeks in advance, it is no longer feasible to book freight on the same day you’re intending to ship. Businesses need to be forward planning their freight movements and business operations.
4. Adjust and evolve – Use this time to adjust, look at the structure of your business, your product and your supply chains. For example, are there insufficiencies in your supply chain? Can you re-negotiate third-party contracts? Change your packaging? Export by sea rather than air? Use this breathing space to plan for your long-term financial profitability.
Full details on the latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website.
Exporters should speak to their freight forwarder and visit the IFAM webpage for further assistance. If you have any questions or need more information, please email Airfreight@austrade.gov.au, or Austrade State Director WA, Jane Caforio, on email@example.com.
Exporters may also contact Terry Burnage, the WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development's Principal Business Development Manager / Agrifood Air Freight Coordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org. More... Source: Austrade / DPIRD | Photo: Azlan Baharudin / Unsplash