Cargo and freight

A sling full of boxes dangles over the side of the red ship as it is lowered onto the ice
Cargo is slung and uploaded by crane onto the Aurora Australis from the ice (Photo: Felicity Jenkins)

The Antarctic supply chain for the Australian Antarctic Program is managed by the Supply Services Group at the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

The warehouse at AAD headquarters in Kingston, is the primary cargo delivery point in support of the Australian Antarctic Program. The Supply Services Group carry out numerous supply activities at the warehouse including the storage for equipment, expeditioner personal effects, freight services, biosecurity screening and processing for cargo travelling south by sea or air.

Located on the Hobart waterfront, the Cargo and Biosecurity Centre (CBC) is the delivery point for transhipment, underbond and carnet cargo and is the point of consolidation and dispatch for all cargo that travels south by sea or air in support of the Australian Antarctic Program. The CBC also processes all the Return to Australia (RTA) cargo on arrival.

The AAD is subject to the Customs Act 1901 for all its cargo operations and is required to comply within reporting timelines to allow conduct of its activities.

Cargo biosecurity screening

The AAD is committed to providing best practice cargo, logistical and biosecurity support services to the Australian Antarctic Program. All Australian Antarctic Program cargo being shipped or flown to the Antarctic or subantarctic is processed by AAD’s Supply Services Group, before being loaded to an aircraft or vessel for transport.

All Australian Antarctic Program cargo bound for Antarctica must pass through a biosecurity screening process, to ensure freedom from contaminants that pose a biosecurity risk, before it can be loaded onto the vessel or aircraft. Cargo is inspected to ensure it is clean and free of any biological materials like live insects, seeds, soil, and live plants before export.

The AAD will also use a number of risk mitigation strategies to prevent biosecurity risks from entering Antarctica or the subantarctic. These include the treatment of goods by fumigation, insect spraying and trapping, rodent baiting and fogging.

If you have any cargo that you consider should be exempt from biosecurity treatments, please email Supply Planning before your cargo is delivered to the AAD.

Export – Cargo going south

Cargo is required to be delivered to the warehouse or the Cargo and Biosecurity Centre (CBC) by the cargo required by date for your flight or voyage. The cargo required by date for each voyage or flight is included with other critical information in the shipping and flight schedules in the season shipping schedule.

Cargo required-by dates are set prior to voyage and flight departures to provide necessary time to process the cargo and to relate information to Customs and other stakeholders. If cargo is not manifested correctly then approval to load to either the ship or aircraft cannot be obtained, which will lead to delays in departure.

Details of intended cargo should be entered into the AAD electronic consignment system (external access).

If you are sending cargo that is subject to Customs control e.g. transshipment, underbond, carnet etc, please email the CBC.

Failure to deliver cargo by the cargo required-by date may preclude it from being packed to the nominated voyage or flight. If you know you are unable to meet these deadlines, please email Supply Planning.

Import – Cargo coming north (RTA)

All Return to Australia (RTA) cargo, is entered into the AAD electronic consignment system before it is imported. As with south-bound goods, all RTA cargo is subject to compliance with the Customs Act 1901, and must be cleared through the Customs Integrated Cargo System (ICS) prior to the goods being released to the AAD.

Details of cargo should be entered into the AAD electronic consignment system (external access).