Case Study: The playground is an adventure

Case Study: The playground is an adventure

Playrope and Rohlig Logistics: a reliable partnership that drives measurable growth, cost savings and success

The Playground is an adventure

Far from child's play, the outdoor playground sector is a tough business. Appropriate supply chain processes are vital to the business foundation of a company.

In 2013 the Australian-owned company and importer of high quality outdoor playground equipment from the world’s leading suppliers into Australia & New Zealand, Playrope realised that they needed a more reliable and trustworthy logistics specialist to handle their day to day operations for all imports.

“We were looking for a logistics provider who is accommodating and reliable in times of trouble,” says Tracey Pointer, Logistics Manager at Playrope. The playground industry is heavily reliant on orders from local councils, hospitals and recreational parks  and if Playrope's shipments are delayed, local contractor deadlines are missed and installations are held up. Furthermore, product damage can occur during the shipping process. Fragile products such as the intricately designed Spielart wooden animals, which form part of the playgrounds, need special handling considerations.

“A major difference of working with Rohlig is that when something actually does go wrong, Rohlig keeps the lines of communication open and fixing the problem becomes first priority. They also understand our needs and what shipments need to be prioritised. Rohlig understands our business thoroughly. As we do not carry stock, everything in regard to logistics becomes a project, the management of which is Rohlig’s strength”, says Tracey Pointer.

Working with Rohlig has given Playrope the freedom of concentrating on its core business while Rohlig takes care of their logistics, delivering to national distribution centres and installation sites.

“Over the past 18 months, we have improved our customer service, and implemented more efficient processes”, says Graeme Gilson, CEO at Playrope.

“The streamlining of our order processing has enabled vastly improved lead times in line with the demands of our customers. When 3PL/shipper relationships are that strong, businesses can feel confident that someone has their back. Rohlig Logistics wants what is best for our company, and always works hard to achieve it,” states Graeme. “Their professionalism, innovations and flexibility have helped us maintain our position as an Australian market leader”.

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Industry opinion divided on whether falling bunker prices will lower freight costs

Industry opinion divided on whether falling bunker prices will lower freight costs

Industry Topic Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

The impact of lower bunker prices on liner firms remains uncertain.

Analysts are divided over whether a fall in crude oil and fuel prices will prompt carriers to abandon slow steaming.

If bunker prices stay low, could it mean an end or at least a decline in the now commonplace practice of "slow steaming," a technique pioneered by Maersk Lines in which container ships sail at roughly 25% slower speeds than the ships were designed for?

The answer is basically no, say the analysts at Drewry Shipping, due to both how fuel surcharges are handled in the container shipper industry as well as the impact a return to full speed would have on container shipping capacity.

Interestingly, Drewry notes that "carriers generally only recover about half of their fuel costs via BAFs because sought after high-volume customers are often won over with BAF-free "all-in" contracts. This scenario means that carriers are much more exposed when bunkers are riding high, but it conversely means that there are fewer savings to give back to shippers as many customers were not paying a separate, variable fuel cost element in the first place."

Others appear less convinced. Alphaliner argues that falling bunker prices mean the economic benefits of extra-slow steaming are being eroded.

It believes this could lead to increased sailing speeds, which it concedes would subsequently exacerbate continued vessel overcapacity. That is expected to see time-chartered tonnage cut first, especially larger vessels of 5,000 teu and over, it says.

But with port congestion said to have been an issue in the industry over the last year, a number of carriers say that low bunker prices mean they now have the flexibility to speed up if needed, which should result in improved liner reliability.

And so the industry remains divided on whether prices will fall but at the very least shipment times may be faster and more reliable.

Source: TradeWinds news,

Strong German-Australian business relationship discussed at Dr Angela Merkel’s visit to Australia

Strong German-Australian business relationship discussed at Dr Angela Merkel’s visit to Australia

Ivonne Ranisch, National Sales Manager, Rohlig with Dr Angela Merkel at the German-Australian Business Reception

On November 17, the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce hosted a Business Reception in honour of Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, during her visit to New Zealand and Australia. Her program in Sydney followed the G20 Leadership Summit in Brisbane. This reception was part of the first visit of a German Chancellor to Australia in more than 15 years.

One of the topics mentioned by Chancellor Merkel in her Welcome Speech was the importance of a future EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to expand the already strong commercial ties. The FTA was also one of the key topics of the bilateral working group announced by Chancellor Merkel and Australian Prime Minister Abbott the previous night.

Kristian Wolf, Executive Director of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, commented how delighted the Chamber was to host the German-Australian Business Reception with such outstanding guests and welcomed Chancellor Merkel’s initiative for even deeper economic ties between Australia and Germany  “We very much welcome the planning of a future EU – Australia Free Trade Agreement because both Australia and the EU would greatly benefit from such an agreement.”

Ivonne Ranisch, Rohlig Australia’s National Sales Manager attended this exclusive event together with 300 Members of the German-Australian Chamber and key business leaders and said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Dr Angela Merkel and get some insight into bilateral German-Australian collaborative projects. I was especially impressed with Dr Merkel’s address and was honored to get such a close impression of a world leader”.

Dr Angela Merkel  is one of the most influential and impressive leaders on the world stage today. She rose to the position of leader of her political party, the Christian Democratic Union, and in 2005 Dr Merkel became Germany's first female chancellor.

Additional information



Gridlock worsens at southern Californian ports as employers and union leaders wait on word of new contract

Gridlock worsens at southern Californian ports as employers and union leaders wait on word of new contract

International News: Ships stranded outside the southern Californian ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach soared to 22 over the weekend as the gridlock worsened.

This is the highest number since the Marine Exchange of Southern California began monitoring congestion in the area last October.

Of the ships at anchor on Sunday because of lack of berth space, 16 were containerships with a total combined capacity of more than 100,000 teu.

The total was three fewer than on Saturday, but that was offset by the arrival of another three bulk carriers, bringing the tally to five, along with a general cargoship.

The Marine Exchange was forced to open some temporary anchorages last week as the number of ships waiting outside the two San Pedro bay ports continued to grow with no sign of relief.

More ships are scheduled to arrive this week.

The two ports have been hit by a combination of factors that have brought near gridlock to the harbour.

The worsening delays come as word is awaited from employers and union leaders who have been in negotiations on a new contract for US west coast longshore workers since last May.

Source: Lloyds List

Stink bugs are hitch-hiking from US east coast

Stink bugs are hitch-hiking from US east coast

Brown marmorated stink bugs.

Interceptions of brown marmorated stink bugs in breakbulk imports from the US port of Savannah are causing treatment difficulties and logistic issues in Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture said breakbulk cargo from the port and US east coast are now subject to full biosecurity inspection/treatment.

“Consequently, offshore treatment of goods on high-risk pathways is the only feasible measure available to the department to effectively manage significant and ongoing biosecurity risk from this pest,” the department said in a notice to industry.

Pending the inspection outcomes, these emergency measures are expected to be in place until end-April 2015.

On-arrival measures will apply for containerised and breakbulk consignments – vehicles (including boats), machinery, and automotive parts – currently in transit (without a valid treatment certificate) and shipped from the ports of Savannah and Baltimore.

As part of the on-arrival measures, according to the department, consignments without pre-treatments will require assessment in situ on the vessel by biosecurity inspectors and will not be permitted discharge until the inspectors are confident that any residual risks posed by these stink bugs are managed.

“If any stink bugs are found in or on the goods, including goods in close proximity to infested goods that may have been cross contaminated, these goods will require an acceptable treatment on wharf within 48 hours.

“If the risk cannot be effectively managed on wharf, then the goods will not be permitted to land at this or any subsequent wharf in Australia.

“Goods that are permitted to be discharged can only be landed on the wharf and must not be moved from that wharf until the biosecurity officer has released the goods from quarantine following inspection and any treatments required.”

If you see something that could be a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, please recommend that it be reported it to the See, Secure, Report Hotline on 1800 798 636

Source: Lloyds List





Holiday Notice - Chinese New Year

Holiday Notice - Chinese New Year

Dear Valued Rohlig Customer,

Please be informed that our Rohlig China offices will be closed from the 18th February to the 24th of February for the Chinese New Year holiday. Offices will open again on the 25th February.

In order to avoid any delays in receiving your goods, please ensure that you have obtained all the necessary information regarding your shipment before the holiday as supplier contact will be intermittent.

General Rate Increases (GRI)

General Rate Increases (GRI)

Temporary Export  Congestion Surcharge

As a result of the USA West Coast ports continued congestion, work slowdowns, and disruptions in cargo movement,  Rohlig has implemented a Temporary Export Congestion Surcharge. The surcharge applies to LCL shipments via USA West coast from 6th February as follows:

  • Sailings from Seattle US $3 w/m
  • Sailings from San Francisco US $3 w/m
  • Sailings from Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro US $6 w/m

Once a resolution is acheived, this surcharge will be removed and we will update accordingly.

January Global Economic report

January Global Economic report

See attached pdf for details.


We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to service your logistics needs.  Should you have any questions please feel free to contact your Rohlig Australia Account Manager or Customer Service Representative.

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