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Australia Shipping & Trade Insights – What is Really Going on Down Under?


Australia Shipping & Trade Insights – What is Really Going on Down Under?

The global shipping industry is in a state of flux – unprecedented congestion, delays and unfeasible freight prices have caused chaos beyond anticipation. The entire sector is fraught with uncertainty, with lockdowns and border closures bringing national economies to a grinding halt. The global pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of shipping – everything from large-scale shipping line contracts down to the price of a single freight container.

Australia is no exception. Whilst a smaller market, the shipping industry in the land down under has certainly felt the colossal impact of COVID-19 over the past 12 months. The country continues to battle against some of the most challenging market conditions we have ever had to face, with few signs of normality returning in the near future.

Freight forwarder and licensed customs broker, International Cargo Express (ICE), has felt the impact strongly in Australia. The industry challenges were described as ‘unprecedented’ by the company with over 30 years of experience. Below, they share their reflections on the past 12 months and provide some insight into what the future might look like.

COVID-19 hits Australia

When the global pandemic hit Australia and the world in early 2020, the shipping industry was woefully unprepared.

Demand for shipping services dropped dramatically and carriers introduced numerous blank sailings from Asia to Australia, Europe, and the United States. Lockdowns in China were a major contributing factor to this. There was an increase of 435 blank sailings in mid-April, with the three main shipping alliances showing a 17-24% blank rate across the first 15-21 weeks of the year, according to Analyst Sea Intelligence. Maersk alone issued over 90 blank sailings in Q1 2020, indicating a 3.5% fall in capacity for that period.

As soon as the lockdowns in China eased, the demand from Asia, especially from China to Australia, U.S. and Europe suddenly increased (particularly due to a massive demand for face masks, hand sanitizer, and PPE) – leading to congestion at several ports around the world, including at important transshipment hubs in Asia. Carriers started to increase their rates on a monthly basis and additional surcharges were implemented (such as PSS & Equipment Imbalance Fees), but the situation became tense as insufficient empty containers were returning to Europe or Asia – leading to a global container shortage.

Simultaneously, we were confronted with vessel quarantines, lockdowns, and slow operations. The Australian Government implemented a raft of restrictive border measures, closing the border to all non-Australian citizens and residents. To make matters more complicated, each State and Territory put in place their own local maritime restrictions.

A more detailed look into each aspect of how the shipping industry has been impacted over the past year is provided next.

Constrained capacity and rising freight prices

The combination of increased blank sailings and a sudden increased demand in shipping resulted in many ocean carriers and airlines suffering from constrained capacity.

Shippers would constantly find that there was no room for their cargo on freight vessels, leading to expensive delays and major disruption to their business operations. There was a rise in rolled cargo despite ocean carriers trying to provide as much capacity as possible. Maersk’s rollover ratio increased to as high as 35% in October 2020, according to Ocean Insights. Even as recent as February 2021, Australian meat exporters are reporting 10-day delays to secure the right containers for their shipments.

Things were worse in the air. Agricultural exporters in Australia were substantially affected as passenger air fleets were grounded. With retail air travel virtually ceasing, air cargo capacity fell by 91%.

With the extreme drop in air cargo capacity, air freight prices – especially to and from China – spiked to unprecedented levels. Some shippers have reported the cost of shipments doubling due to rising air freight costs and worst of all, there is no real sign of a significant change ahead.

Surge in container demand: the global container shortage

The sharp, unexpected increase in demand for imports led to a significant rise in container demand at origin ports. There simply aren’t enough containers around – leading to an international container shortage of which Australian importers are still feeling the pinch.

Why has this happened? It’s a combination of factors.

Australia has a largely imbalanced container trade, with more full containers entering the country than empty containers leaving. Couple this with the rise in port congestion caused by the sudden increase in demand, in addition to the industrial action in Sydney (discussed below) and blank sailings, and the ultimate result is that not enough empty equipment is being repositioned back to critical origin ports.

The COVID landscape has made the situation considerably worse.  A demanding peak season with a significant rise in imports, alongside the impacts of the pandemic, has left ports unable to cope with the influx of containers. There are an abundance of exports coming out of China, leading to a huge number of empty containers piling up in Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. We’re now finding a lack of available slots at the empty parks and queues beyond our expectations.

‘Container parks’ in places like Port Botany and the Port of Melbourne are reaching capacity. Struggling carrier capacity has meant empty containers have been left behind, with Port Botany alone suffering an imbalance of over 30,000 TEU since April 2020 of imported containers compared to exported containers. Empty containers once unloaded cannot be de-hired due to the lack of space at container parks and are rather redirected elsewhere – all this coming with added costs to the importer. These empty containers might usually be carried back to China, but the constrained capacity with shipping lines and reduced time allocation for loading at the ports has meant this simply cannot happen.

This is a global problem. Market intelligence states there are about approximately 50,000 containers stuck in Australia, around 35,000 containers in South America, 150,000 in the United States, plus containers are stuck on board of vessels at anchor in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.

So, with all these empty containers just sitting idle, why is there a container shortage? The short answer is a trade imbalance – we are importing much more than we are exporting. But it is not a simple solution. With already constrained container capacity, shipping lines prefer to transport full containers rather than empty ones (despite many ‘sweeper’ vessels deployed to export empty containers). The operational costs of managing empty containers are high, but the profit margins to deal with them are slim.

Industrial action and trade unions

To make things worse, Australia has experienced a wave of industrial action at a time where importing was already at its most challenging. Trade unions have been negotiating the terms of new enterprise agreements with major Australian port players such as DP World and the Patrick Corporation. The bargaining deadlock has caused port workers to stop work across multiple terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle – leading, of course, to increased delays and port congestion.

Across September 2020, for instance, Sydney saw major disruptions due to industrial action at Port Botany – including bans on overtime. Industrial action reduced Patrick Terminals’ operations in Sydney to around 50-60% of usual levels, with a backlog of 90,000 containers. In Melbourne, the union had orchestrated three one-hour stoppages a day. Despite industrial action stopping in October, major delays lingered in the aftermath.

In mid-February 2021, the MUA were once again planning major strikes at the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) in Melbourne. This began on 19 February and involved a series of 12-hour stoppages of work. This would have once again been detrimental to Australian supply chains if the action proceeded as planned.

For now, the industrial action at VICT has been suspended. DP World also announced that it has finalized negotiations with the union after two and a half years of bargaining, concluding agreements in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Fremantle until 2023.

Industrial action continues to be a pressing issue for importers, exporters, shippers, and ports across Australia, leading to ongoing uncertainty across entire supply chains.

Ever-surmounting stevedore charges

A wave of increased infrastructure charges have also been introduced, adding to frustration for both shipping companies and Australian businesses. In July 2020, for instance, Hutchison Ports increased its charges on containers delivered to and from its facility in Brisbane by 9%. VICT in Melbourne also imposed a 7% increase in their charges. Despite container volumes dropping, total operating profit margins for stevedores increased for the first time in a decade, from 5.8% in 2018-19 to 9.9% in 2019-20.

The hike in stevedore fees was vigorously criticized by governments. The Victorian Department of Transport said the decision was “completely unacceptable – especially at a time when everyone should be pulling together to keep businesses open, Victorians in jobs and goods moving across our supply chain”. Indeed, these charges effectively hold transport operators to ransom, forcing them into a non-negotiable position whereby they must pay to collect and deliver containers.

Scaling stevedore charges were then followed by shipping line charges. Around September 2020, shipping companies imposed port congestion charges of up to US$350 per TEU. Shipping line MSC announced a US$300 per TEU Sydney port congestion surcharge, whilst CMA CGM’s ANL announced an equivalent surcharge. As a result, grain exporters, for example, needed to absorb an extra AU$17 per tonne of direct costs. Thankfully announcements were finally made in early March for the removal of congestion surcharges, a promising direction in a challenging landscape.

Government intervention – it can only do so much

The Federal Government has made efforts to assist the industry. In April 2020 the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) was introduced.

IFAM is a temporary measure aiming to reconnect supply chains, supporting the import of medical supplies and other nationally critical products. The agricultural, seafood and healthcare sectors are particularly targeted industries. The scheme received an extra $317.1 million in funding in October 2020 to extend the scheme until mid-2021.

But government intervention can only do so much.

Without a full-scale, nationally co-ordinated response to tackling key issues, such as; constrained carrier capacity, the massive costs of air freight, the unprecedented container shortage, the insufficient infrastructure to cope with imbalanced imports and exports, unpredictable industrial action across the supply chain and rising stevedore and shipping line surcharges, Australian businesses and consumers will be subject to ongoing hardship.

Conclusion – where to from here?

As we look to 2021, the world awaits the results of the COVID-19 vaccine which will no doubt have a dramatic impact on the industry and markets. The Federal Government has entered into contracts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from March, having secured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and just under 54 million doses of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

At International Cargo Express, we’re encouraging clients to turn to ‘air-sea solutions’ (a combination of both quick air freight, and affordable ocean freight) as an alternative to just shipping goods by air. But until we can tilt the scales to introduce more air freight to the market in line with historical prices, the increased demand for ocean freight will continue. In more recent weeks we have received positive news as freight rates from China have slowly started to decrease, and the removal of port congestion surcharges in Sydney has been warmly welcomed.

However, until the market fully resets, we could be in for a volatile couple of years. The only solution is to adapt and think of creative alternatives in our ‘new normal’. There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to surviving, and ultimately thriving, in a post-COVID environment.


This article was written by Alice Farley, Branch Manager and Head of Marketing of the Australian freight forwarder International Cargo Express. If you are looking to move goods internationally, contact ICE to ensure you don’t face unexpected delays and costs.


10 Steps Businesses Can Take to Manage the Risk of Wildfires

As prolonged drought, heat, other climate factors, and population growth trends intensify wildfire risks in the Western U.S., parts of Australia, Europe, South America, Africa and several other industrialized areas of the world, many governments have expanded their precautions to reduce the likelihood or severity of these devastating events, including massive temporary electrical power shutdowns and large-scale evacuations of at-risk residential populations.

The combination of actual wildfires and government preventative measures have made it critical for businesses with operations, suppliers and customers in vulnerable areas to develop comprehensive plans to prepare for and manage power outages and operational shutdowns that can be implemented safely and quickly – especially during seasonal periods when wildfire risks are most severe.

From developing, adjusting and testing a business continuity plan to preparing for and evaluating the impact of potential wildfires, related government-mandated power outages, evacuations and highway closures, business leaders and managers need to assess their potential vulnerabilities to wildfire risk and develop and implement appropriate measures to mitigate them.

Accordingly, here are 10 steps for managing exposures related to wildfires. Note that many of these measures apply to areas where scheduled power outages may occur, but facilities may continue to be occupied and can be operational using alternative or back-up power sources.   

1. Review and update your company’s emergency plan. This includes developing any contingencies that might need to be added to account for the evacuation or residential areas where employees with emergency responsibilities may be located. Ensure that personnel with assigned responsibilities will be able to get to the facility in the event of a power outage. Plan for the possibility that some employees with emergency duties may reside in areas being evacuated and won’t be available for work. If possible, choose back-ups who reside in different areas. Double-check that your communication plan is established and that you have up-to-date call trees so employees can be contacted on a timely basis when emergency situations arise.

2. Assess power-down procedures. Make sure they are up to date with respect to any new equipment or recent facility expansions or modifications. At the same time, be sure your managers understand the steps for restoring your plant or facility to full operation once power is restored.

3. Check emergency power resources. Start by testing and securing any generators available. In addition, make sure your company has adequate fuel to withstand multiple power outages within certain time periods.

4. Evaluate lighting and equipment. Ensure emergency lighting is operational and that computer systems are backed up and current. During periods of high wildfire threats, such as during extended drought conditions, employees with laptops should be instructed to back-up data on a daily basis and make sure they are fully up to date in the event they need to work off-site for extended periods. In the event of an outage, make sure desktop computers, mainframes, servers, and other critical electrical equipment is switched off, so it will not be adversely impacted when the power is restored. If the facility is to be vacated and time permits, consider removing valuable equipment.

5. Check perishable products and vulnerable inventory. Consider offsite warehousing for any products that may be affected by the loss of temperature or humidity controls. Alternatively, consider using reefer trucks and/or dry ice for maintaining appropriate temperature control to protect inventory and equipment during an outage.

6. Revisit facility security measures. Make sure all doors and windows are secure and consider restricting access to the entire property through the use of perimeter fencing. Keep in mind standard security alarm and access control systems may not be functioning in the event of power outages.

7. Request assistance from law enforcement. Notify local police authorities to request additional patrols and increase internal security rounds (as installed CCTV systems may be inoperable during any power outages that result from mandated, preventive shutdowns or those arising from the spread of wildfires).

8. Establish planned fire watches. Whether for preventive purposes or as a result of damage related to wildfires, any electrical power outage may result in impaired fire protection systems. As practical, businesses should designate a safety team member to conduct an ongoing fire watch during any area of power outages to spot signs of potential exposures as well as other system impairments. In areas where wildfires may be expanding, personnel should also continually monitor the news media for civil instructions regarding potential evacuations.

9. Consider options for reporting fires. Designate a safety, maintenance, security or operations team member to contact the local fire department in the event of a fire as a fire alarm system, transmission and notification may be interrupted during any electrical power outage.

10. Check premises for fire hazards. Trim foliage on property and evaluate risks of any combustibles on premises, including any being stored away from the building; if appropriate, consider relocating to indoors or other locations to minimize potential fire hazards. Eliminate any hot work or hazardous operations.

During the past several months, wildfires in various areas of the world have resulted in the loss of life, devastation of wildlife, caused several billions of dollars in damage and had a significant impact on business and industry. By taking steps to prepare for these exposures, businesses can help reduce their risks and speed their recoveries from these perils.


Jeff Borre, a director in Aon’s Property Risk Control Practice, manages the firm’s Field Services group, which provides a wide range of consulting services, including property risk control site surveys, to meet the property risk management needs of commercial and public sector clients. He joined Aon in 2001, after serving with Ahern Fire Protection and Nexus Technical Services Corporation where his responsibilities included designing fire protection systems. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation. A Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin, he is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, American Society of Safety Professionals, and American Society of Civil Engineers. He can be reached at


Christian Ford, a managing director of Aon, serves as chief operating officer – Property Claims Advocacy within Aon’s Global Risk Consulting group. In addition to various leadership responsibilities for the group, he works directly with numerous clients on complex property claims advocacy and resolution. Earlier in his career, Ford served as a multi-line claims adjuster at two large commercial insurance companies. He earned a B.S. degree in business administration from John Carroll University and also holds the Senior Claim Law Associate (SCLA) designation. He can be reached at

Asendia to Utilize Tigers Logistics for Oceania Launch

As expansion takes shape for Asendia, Tigers will maintain local logistics for the soon-to-be launched Asendia Oceania subsidiary throughout Australia. The international shipping and distribution company released information this week confirming Tigers is the provider of choice and will utilize its robust warehousing network to support efforts in B2C and omnichannel fulfillment.

“E-commerce fulfillment and international cross-border products continue to be a major focus for Tigers across the Asia-Pacific region, and builds on our cooperation across the USA into Europe, Russia, and Asia,” said Andrew Jillings, Chief Executive Officer, Tigers.

“Partnering with Asendia as it launches Asendia Oceania across Australia and New Zealand is an exciting moment that reflects Tigers’ ongoing global growth, and our support for the logistics and supply chain industry as it evolves through digitization and e-commerce.”

The companies announced the collaborative efforts will ultimately support increasing demand within the B2C cross-border e-commerce market, while focusing on strategies in supply chain optimizations in the near future. The Oceania launch is representative of Asendia’s global expansion plan and how the company will meet demand while offering fresh digital, logistics, and delivery services.

“The launch of Asendia Oceania is an exciting new milestone for Asendia in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Lionel Berthe, Head of Asia-Pacific, Asendia.

“It’s another sign of our commitment to growth in the region, and partnering with a global logistics player with strong capacities and experience in Australia such as Tigers is a key differentiator for cross border end-to-end services.“

Lords of War: Visualizing the Global Arms Trade Network

Selling weapons to other countries is big business. It’s so lucrative that President Trump famously refused to cancel an American arms deal with Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. So just how big is the international market?

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the World Bank keep detailed figures on international arms imports and exports, counting every major conventional weapon from missiles to radar systems and military airplanes. We used the latest available complete data, sometimes going as far back as 2016 for some countries, to create a unique set of maps. The larger a country appears, the more arms it imports or exports. Plus, we added a color-coded outer ring corresponding to the level of each country’s contribution.

Let’s start by looking at who’s selling the most weapons. The U.S. stands out as the world leader by a long shot, shipping well over $12B in arms to other countries. To be sure, a significant amount of American arms exports go to Israel, but there are several other large customers across the Middle East as well, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

To understand the extent to which Americans dominate the international market for weapons, just look around the world. The second most prolific exporter, Russia, only sees half as much business ($6.15B). France ($2.16B) is the only other country topping $2 billion, with the rest of the major players from Western Europe contributing less. Israel for its part is actually a net exporter of arms ($1.26B exports vs. $528M imports). And China, despite being the second largest economy in the world, only exports some $1.13B. There is only one country from Africa on our map (South Africa at $74M), and only a couple from Latin America. This means that developed countries in the West are, by far, the biggest exporters of arms around the world.

But let’s see who’s buying all those weapons. The world map of importers looks radically different from the exporters. For starters, Saudi Arabia and India are major players, soaking up some $4.11B and $3.36B of the market, respectively. Each country is surrounded by a smattering of other countries making big purchases too.

There are lots of reasons why some countries are major importers. There’s efficiency in a global market where a country can simply purchase weapons as opposed to manufacturing everything at home. Why would Australia, for example, try to build military aircraft when it can simply buy them from the U.S.? There are also lots of regional conflicts pressuring countries to spend top dollar for the latest military technologies, like India and Pakistan. And then there are a number of disreputable countries led by strongmen or oligarchies. They have their own agenda, and clearly they’re willing to spend big bucks for the best weapons.

Data: Table 1.1

DB Schenker’s “Direct Express – Australia” Creates Competitive Speed for Global Shippers

Global logistics and transportation provider, DB Schenker, announced that it now offers speedy and reliable air cargo delivery to Australia through its newly launched “Direct Express” service. Specifically created to offer the fastest and most reliable air cargo service to the region, “Direct Express” begins every Monday morning with departure in Chicago with direct 777-300 freighter service.

“We are very excited about our new service down under,” said Chad Heller, DB Schenker’s Chief Commercial Officer in the U.S. “The U.S. is Australia’s third largest trading partner and represents a significant portion of imports to the country. A large portion of these imports include the automotive, pharmaceutical and industrial manufacturing industries, many of which are located in the Midwest. With speed-to-market becoming more and more critical, our new Direct Express – Australia service is well positioned to meet this need,” he added.

The 777-F has its advantages as well as it’s known as the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft. Additionally, its 102 metric ton plus payload provides more opportunities for increased capacity.

Additional benefits of “Direct Express” include cold chain storage operations, guaranteed lift during heavy or peak periods of the year for shippers, and a variety of shipping solutions for heavy and outsized products.


Source: DB Schenker

Air Cargo Exports Process Expedited with New Technology in Perth

Air cargo exports are now being processed faster and more efficiently following the investment of new screening technology for Tigers Australia Perth facility. This technology enables the company to perform export screenings internally, making the location the only one in Australia with internal screening capabilities. Tigers is a global organization that specializes in technology enabled supply chain solutions. Based in Hong Kong, the company has international locations including Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.

The Perth location will continue staying one step ahead through Regulated Air Cargo Agent accreditation before the March 1 national date for the introduction of new policies for conducting air cargo inspections.

“Tigers Australia has purchased the equipment to support our customer base with the new legal requirements, which will impact all air cargo export commodities,” said Jason Radford, General Manager, Tigers Perth. “At the Perth facility, we operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so we will also offer the service to the entire Perth airfreight market.

“This will allow export cargo screening to be completed after-hours, therefore reducing the need for customers to deliver directly to the Cargo Terminal Operator (CTO) where wait times can be in excess of six hours. The investment in this equipment will ensure that Tigers Perth remains efficient and will be fully compliant with the Australian government’s air cargo security legislation in time for the implementation date.”

Additional features of the new technology include state-of-the-art X-ray equipment, two explosive trace detection units, and an electro-magnetic detection (EMD) machine.

Source: Tigers

Australia, China Ink Major Free Trade Agreement

Los Angeles, CA – Australia and China, it largest trading partner, have inked a preliminary free-trade deal that would give Australia’s service industry unsurpassed access to the Chinese market and hand the Australian agriculture sector some significant market advantages over its U.S., Canadian and European competitors.

Under the terms of the “Declaration of Intent” deal, China will reportedly make 85 percent of Australian goods imports tariff-free from the outset, rising to 93 percent four years later, the Australian government said.

In return, Australia will lift tariffs on imports of Chinese manufactured goods and alter the threshold at which privately-owned Chinese companies can invest in non-sensitive areas without government scrutiny from 248 million Australian dollars ($218 million) to AU$1,078 million.

The pact would be signed soon after the first of the year and could take effect as early as March if it is endorsed by the Australian Parliament. No modeling has been done on the value of the free-trade deal, the government said.

The removal of tariffs on Australian farm products would give Australia an advantage over U.S., Canadian and E.U. competitors while negating advantages New Zealand and Chile have enjoyed through their free-trade deals with China, the government said.

According to press reports, stumbling blocks in the negotiations, which began in 2005, were Chinese protection of its rice, cotton, wheat, sugar and oil seed industries and demands for less Australian government restrictions on Australian companies and assets being sold to Chinese state-owned businesses.

Those specific areas were excluded from the agreement, which will be renegotiated in three years, reports said.

Two-way trade between Australia and China grew from $86 million in the early 1970s to $136 billion in 2013.


US Coal Exports Decline on Lower EU Demand

Washington, DC – US coal exports have continued to decline from their record volumes in 2012 with exports during the first half of this year totaling 52.3 million short tons (MMst), 16 percent below the same period in 2013.


Most of these exports go to countries in Europe and Asia, according to the US Department of Energy.


The decline, the agency said, reflects both lower European demand for steam coal and increased steam coal supply from Australia and Indonesia.


Metallurgical coal supply from Australia, Canada, and Russia has also increased. These factors have led to a cumulative decline of 9.0 MMst in coal exports to Europe and Asia during the first half of 2014.


Coal exports fall into two categories: metallurgical coal, which is used in the production of steel, and steam coal, which is commonly used to fuel boilers that generate steam used to produce electricity. With relatively minor coal imports, the US has been a net exporter of coal since 1949, the earliest year of data collection.


Metallurgical coal production, primarily from the Illinois and Appalachian coal basins, represented less than 8 percent of production but 56 percent of total US coal exports in 2013.


Europe is the leading destination for metallurgical coal exports, followed by Asia. Together, these two regions accounted for nearly 80 percent of US metallurgical coal exports in the first half of 2014.


Steam coal is mainly used to generate electricity, but also has applications at combined heat and power plants to produce steam used in industrial processes.


Steam coal generally has lower heat content than metallurgical coal and can be found at most coal-producing basins in the US. In recent years, steam coal accounted for more than 90 percent of domestic coal production.


During the first half of 2014, Europe received 8.8 MMst of US steam coal exports, a drop of 7.4 MMst from the same period in 2013. Asia’s share of US steam coal exports increased in 2014, but export tonnage to Asia decreased 2.4 percent from the first half of 2013.


In 2013, six US ports shipped 89 percent of US coal exports. Among them, Baltimore and Norfolk represent 55 percent, while Houston, Mobile, and New Orleans make up 30 percent. Seattle accounted for 5 MMst, or 4 percent, all of which was comprised of steam coal exports.


Eastern and southern ports are used to export metallurgical coal because it is produced in the Illinois and Appalachian Basins.



Marketo Opens New Australia Data Center

San Mateo, CA – Marketo Inc., a provider of marketing software, announced the opening of its data center in Sydney, Australia.

The data center, the company said, “is key to Marketo’s international growth strategy and is part of the company’s overall investment in expanding its presence and operations in Australia and New Zealand.”

The new data center “will also mitigate risk for Marketo customers concerned about offshore data storage, enable customers to comply with their own data sovereignty mandates and to better conform to Australia’s new privacy laws,” it added.

Marketo’s last data center was opened in London in 2009 to assist its clients in complying with the European Union privacy regulations.

Earlier this year, the company unveiled a partnership with partnering with the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to develop curricula to prepare students there for careers in marketing.

The program, Marketo said, “serves as the cornerstone of Marketo’s broader strategy to create training programs focused on next generation marketing technology and strategies for students throughout the US.”

Headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in Europe, Australia and Japan, Marketo “is a strategic marketing partner to more than 3,000 large enterprises and fast-growing small companies across a wide variety of industries.”


Bechtel Advances Australia LNG Project

San Francisco, CA – Bechtel has successfully ‘hydro-tested’ two additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks built on Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia.

The tests confirm that the tanks built for the Australia Pacific LNG and Santos GLNG plants are ready to store LNG and follow the successful test of a tank at the Queensland Curtis LNG project earlier this year. Bechtel is the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for both projects.

Hydro testing takes between two and four weeks to complete. Water is pumped into each of the tanks and held for 24 hours while various tests are carried out.

Once testing is complete, it takes about five days to empty the tanks. Hydro-testing verifies that each tank can hold its design capacity of LNG at -260 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each of the QCLNG and GLNG tanks is capable of holding more than 140,000 cubic meters of LNG with Australia Pacific LNG’s tanks each holding 160,000 cubic meters.

In addition to the work on Curtis Island, Bechtel is the principal downstream contractor for the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project in Western Australia.

Bechtel also constructed the LNG facility, in Darwin, in 2005 and is responsible for about half the LNG liquefaction capacity under construction.

International engineering giant Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications, and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas, and chemicals; and government services.

Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents. Currently, the company is involved in diverse projects in nearly 40 countries.