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Shipping to Australia Is Complicated. Here's How to Make It Easy

Feb 7, 2019 1:56:24 PM / by Fauad Shariff

CoLoadX is offering a special promotion for shipments to Australia. Read on for more details.


Valuable trade markets are sometimes overlooked by freight forwarders because of complexities unique to foreign business environments. These can include cultural differences, geopolitical concerns, geographic challenges, and, especially relevant to freight forwarders, infrastructure conditions at the destination that make container shipping transactions incredibly tricky.

Australia is a textbook example of great opportunity obscured by a complex destination. The oceanic nation was one of the world’s top-25 importers in 2017, bringing in nearly $230 billion of import volume.

While Australia is ideally situated to trade with eastern Asia – and its biggest partners are just a short trip up the Pacific – trade with the U.S. is a little more complicated. Although the World Trade Organization lists the U.S. as Australia’s second-biggest import partner nation, many shippers experience difficulties navigating Australia’s unique trade challenges.

Essentially, Australia isn’t a plug-and-play destination. Instead, shipping freight to Australia requires the help of specialists at both ends:

  • The majority of Australian imports are on an ex-works or door-to-port-to-door basis that include special regulatory considerations, such as AUSFTA (Australian-US Free Trade Agreement documentation) compliance, on opposite ends of the world.
  • In the U.S., trucking and railway transport dramatically affect transit time depending on which coast your port-of-sail is on, impacting promised delivery and lead times into Australia.
  • Australia’s environmental policies require special fumigation and container treatment processes that add time to a shipment. Containers will be turned away if protocols to limit the spread of invasive species are not handled correctly.
  • Australia’s size puts added emphasis on choosing the right destination port. Getting “close enough” may not be “good enough” to ensure on-time, economical delivery.

These are special complexities that can trip up freight professionals at every step of the shipping process. But they aren’t insurmountable. Skipping over Australia because of the degree of difficulty would be a mistake: the U.S. accounted for about 10% of Australia’s total import value in 2017. In 2018, the U.S. exported over $23 billion in goods to Australia.

Now is as good a time as any to add Australia to your trade lanes, and CoLoadX can help. With nearly 1,000 rates connecting 11 U.S. origins to 23 Australian destinations, we’ve got experience with standard and non-standard shipments and shipping requirements -- and we’ve got partnerships with specialists who navigate the complexities of shipping to Australia every day.

So if you’re looking to add Australian business to your forwarding practice -- or grow your existing volumes -- please contact us here

And, as a special offer to get you started, receive 10% off your first FCL shipment to Australia from the U.S. when you book via the CoLoadX marketplace.

We look forward to helping you grow your business.


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Topics: Freight Forwarding, Freight Forwarders, CoLoadX, Opportunity, Australia, Expertise

Written by Fauad Shariff

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