DHL Global Forwarding Australia has revealed that virtually all of its high value perishables exports, including fruits, vegetables, pre-marinated and fresh meat, seafood and dairy products, are now catered to food retail businesses such as supermarkets. This is in contrast to the pre-COVID supply chain distribution dominated by wholesale networks where some 70% of the company’s food exports typically go to food service businesses.
The Australian Department of Agriculture has identified supply chain disruptions as the biggest threat now to farmers and fishermen in the country, where around 65% of agricultural products are exported, with a majority going to China, Japan, United States, South Korea and several Asia Pacific countries.
DHL Global Forwarding says they have been appointed to be part of the new air freight network established by the government to facilitate international freight. The network will allow the Government’s $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) to ramp-up assistance to exporters and re-establish global supply chains, in turn also assisting importers of essential goods, such as healthcare supplies, personal protective equipment, automobile spare parts, and construction and manufacturing materials.
“In perishables logistics, time is of the essence as fresh meats and produce need to arrive with their freshness and quality intact, and that is now possible as we can secure capacity through the air freight network for our customers. We are working towards restoring supply chains for all our customers. We are hopeful that with these measures, we can start to restore some of the pre-COVID volumes for perishable exports, and more if the Asian markets start to open up again once containment measures prove successful,” said Bernie Cooney, Perishables and Livestock Manager, DHL Global Forwarding Australia.
In addition to the export of high value perishables, DHL Global Forwarding says they are supporting the Australian Government IFAM program with the import of critical products like PPE and other essential goods.
George Lawson, Country Manager of DHL Global Forwarding Australia added, “Trade, which is the lifeblood of our economy, has been heavily impacted by travel restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. As the market leader in the export of premium agricultural products and the import of healthcare, technology and infrastructure goods, we are uniquely positioned to support the Australian Governments IFAM program in jumpstarting trade activity. With our team of global trade experts, worldwide network and digital solutions, our aim is to improve lives by keeping Australian businesses running.” Various industries in Australia are experiencing shortages in supplies due to the disruption arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, especially businesses employing a ‘just in time’ production model.