Why do you need to consign your cargo?

All cargo movements must be reported through the AAD’s electronic consignment system, eCon. The AAD Supply Chain Operations section facilitates the import and export of cargo for the Australian Antarctic Program (AAP). The consignment information, entered in eCon by the cargo consignor, is used to meet regulatory and legislative reporting obligations.

All cargo consignments must be submitted and delivered prior to the Cargo Required by Date for the relevant AAP flight or voyage. Cargo Required by Dates can be found on the shipping and flight schedules page.

Cargo returning from the Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean, is subject to compliance with the Customs Act 1901 upon import into Australia. Cargo returning from these areas as well as Macquarie Island, is also subject to biosecurity control (Biosecurity Act 2015) upon entry into Australia. Cargo must be cleared by regulatory bodies before it is released to the AAD; after cargo is released it can be on-forwarded to the destination listed on the eCon consignment. Cargo consignors are obligated to describe the goods correctly and accurately before delivery to the AAD. If consignments lack detail or are inaccurate, they may be precluded from being packed to the nominated transport and may cause delays in cargo clearances or delivery.

If you need assistance with creating your consignment, go to our eCon System webpage.

Cargo delivery deadlines

Why do we have Cargo Required by Dates?

The AAD has contractual and legislative obligations for cargo reporting, both to the vessel/aircraft operators as well as to Australia’s Border Force for the import and export of cargo. It also takes time to prepare and pack cargo for transport, each piece of cargo is assessed for biosecurity risk material, weighed, measured and packed into an appropriate cargo transport unit. Receiving late cargo reduces the capability of Supply Chain Operations to appropriately consolidate cargo in alignment with activities and delivery points on station, which increases the likelihood of delays to project activities and increases workloads on station to unpack and sort cargo during the busy resupply period.

Similarly, cargo returning to Australia (RTA) must also be reported within a set timeframe and must be packed safely and securely for transport, often by a single Station Supply Officer. Cargo Required by Dates (CRBD) are set for each transport leg and provide Supply Chain Operations with the necessary time to process, pack and report cargo.

Any cargo that will be delivered after the CRBD is considered late and will require approval from Supply Chain Operations.

Cargo Required by Dates can be found on the shipping and flight schedules page.

What is Late Cargo?

If you have cargo that will be delivered late, please submit your eCon consignment as soon as possible to start the approval process. You will need to provide a justification as to why you are unable to deliver your cargo by the CRBD and an accurate delivery date so that Supply Chain Operations can assess whether it will be possible to process cargo within that timeframe. Supply Chain Operations will do their best to accommodate reasonable late cargo requests, however, this may not always be possible.

What is Closed Cargo?

Cargo that is not submitted in eCon until after the CRBD is considered ‘Closed’ and will also need to go through an approval process. Due to processing constraints, we may not be able to accommodate closed cargo requests. If you have identified that your items will fall into the closed cargo category, please submit your eCon consignment as soon as possible to start the approval process.

Is your cargo packed and ready for transport?

Ensure your cargo is transport ready:

  • Items should be packed in sturdy fibreboard cartons or durable plastic bins, ensure you use adequate packaging materials, so your cargo survives the high seas or air turbulences on a flight.
  • If you're headed to Macquarie Island, ensure your items are packed in waterproof containers or bags.
  • Cartons containing glass or delicate items should be packed out with soft materials or bubble-wrap, we recommend using your clothing where possible to reduce station waste.
    • Minimise glass – if you are consigning alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, consider purchasing cans over glass bottles where possible.
  • Consider station storage when packing and avoid using items such as suitcases that are hard to pack away.
  • For manual handling purposes, each item should not exceed 15 kg where possible.
  • Each item should be clearly marked with the receiver's name, contact details and package number (e.g., 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3).
  • Don’t pack a pest; ensure your gear is clean and free of biosecurity risk material and sufficiently sealed to avoid pests gaining access.
  • Take it new or take it clean; ensure your clothing and footwear is clean prior to packing.
    • Check areas such as Velcro straps and pockets for seeds, grass and other biosecurity risk materials.
    • Shoes should be new or thoroughly cleaned, including the soles, insides, under the laces and in any folds and creases in the material such as around the tongue.