What is the International Freight Assistance Mechanism?

On 1 April 2020 the Australian Government announced the $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) as a temporary measure to help restore critical global supply chains which have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 containment measures around the world.

IFAM is necessary to ensure essential imports such as medicines and medical supplies can be transported to Australia. It also provides the opportunity, on the outbound legs, for producers of high-value agricultural and fisheries products, and other items of national interest, to resume servicing supply contracts with their international customers.

A network of 15 freight forwarders and air freight service providers has been established to support the delivery of the IFAM.

To access the IFAM you need to register your interest.

Register your interest in IFAM

IFAM outbound flight information

To gain priority access to IFAM flights you should submit an EOI.

Register your interest

Please see the table below for available IFAM flight routes.

Airfreight service provider IFAM flight routes and schedule Freight rates
(perishable/ general cargo at +1000kg break)
How to access these flights
Qantas Sydney – Narita
(SYD – NRT)
$1.60 AUD / kg For flights from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney:
  • Contact one of the six IFAM freight forwarders directly (see the list below), or
  • Contact your own freight forwarder, who can then work directly with one of the six IFAM freight forwarders.
  Brisbane – Singapore
(BNE – SIN)
  Melbourne – Singapore
(MEL – SIN)
  Brisbane – Auckland
(BNE – AKL)
$1.35 AUD / kg
  Melbourne – Auckland
(MEL – AKL)
  Brisbane – Hong Kong
(BNE – HKG)
$1.10 AUD / kg
  Sydney – Shanghai
(SYD – PVG)
Speak to your freight forwarder
  Melbourne – Hong Kong
(MEL – HKG)
$1.40 AUD / kg
  Brisbane/Cairns – Hong Kong
(BNE/CNS – HKG)
$1.10 Loading BNE AUD / kg
$1.60 Loading Cairns AUD / kg
For flights from Cairns contact your usual freight forwarder. This leg is operated through normal booking mechanisms.
  Qantas Schedule    
Singapore Airlines Adelaide – Singapore
(ADE – SIN)
Speak to your freight forwarder For flights from Adelaide contact your usual freight forwarder. This leg is operated through normal booking mechanisms.
  Singapore Airlines Schedule    
Etihad Airlines Melbourne to Abu Dhabi
(MEL–AUH)
$3.15 AUD / kg For flights from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney:
  • Contact one of the six IFAM freight forwarders directly (see the list below), or
  • Contact your own freight forwarder, who can then work directly with one of the six IFAM freight forwarders.
  Etihad Airlines Schedule    

Please note: The above rates are for the air freight component only, they do not include freight forwarder fees or rates.

For flight numbers, days of operation, and departure and arrival times see the airline flight schedules.

I am interested in these flights what do I need to do?

Eligible exporters who have submitted an EOI have priority access to these flights. To access flights from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney, you can either:

  • Contact one of the six IFAM freight forwarders directly (see the list below) OR
  • Contact your own freight forwarder, who can then work directly with one of the six IFAM freight forwarders.

The six IFAM freight forwarders will work directly with the airfreight service provider to get your produce on these flights.

For flights departing from Adelaide or Cairns contact your usual freight forwarder. These legs are operated through normal booking mechanisms.

For information on how to get your produce to a port serviced by IFAM flights, please see the How do I get my produce to departure points?

How will IFAM work?

The Government has appointed one of Australia’s most experienced logistics professionals, Mr Michael Byrne, as IFAM Co-ordinator General. Mr Byrne, will work with IFAM appointed suppliers to establish efficient and timely logistics processes. 

The diagram below outlines the process for outbound transport of agriculture and fisheries products.

IFAM process diagram

Note: IFAM also uses data on demand for imports of medical supplies and export of other items in the national interest, to determine routes.

A competitive tender process was undertaken by Austrade to select the network of air freight service providers and freight forwarders listed in the table below.

Freight forwarders Air freight service providers
CT Freight Pty Ltd Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd
Schenker Australia Pty Ltd Emirates
Kuehne & Nagel Ltd Etihad Airways PJSC
Air Menzies International (Aust) Pty Ltd Federal Express Corporation
Toll Group Japan Airlines Co. Ltd
DHL Global Forwarding (Australia) Pty Ltd Singapore Airlines Ltd
QANTAS Airways Ltd
Qatar Airways Group (Q.C.S.C.)
Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd

 

The networks of these Freight Forwarders and air service providers will link Australian businesses trading internationally to overseas hubs.

IFAM will identify demand for freight space on outbound flights and inbound flights, and work with airlines and industry to increase flights and restore supply chains broken as a result of COVID-19.

The Mechanism intends to use a range of approaches including charter services and block purchases of capacity.

Do businesses have to pay anything towards the IFAM flights?

Yes. The Mechanism will temporarily assist in reducing the impacts of COVID-19 on key international supply chains. To this end, the government will help businesses get their products on flights and to international customers quickly.

Exporters will need to make a financial contribution towards the increased cost of their freight. This cost will be more than pre-COVID airfreight rates. Importers may be charged a market rate to access freight capacity on return IFAM flights. IFAM is not a retrospective mechanism and commitments are negotiated and agreed with IFAM Freight Forwarders before cargo uplift.

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More information is available from the IFAM fact sheet.

What products are eligible for IFAM support?

On outbound flights we have prioritised those products, in particular perishable products where businesses have important and established international customers. Eligible products include:

  • Seafood (including lobsters)
  • Premium red meat (including beef, lamb and pork)
  • Dairy (such as fresh milk and yoghurt)
  • Horticulture (such as premium fruits and packaged salad or vegetables).

On inbound flights we have prioritised critical medical supplies and medicines including:

  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • Pharmaceuticals and consumables
  • Medical equipment and consumables
  • Inputs to health industries.

Given the cost of airfreight, not all products are eligible at this time.

Businesses looking to export products should register your interest in IFAM.

Businesses looking to import products should seek further information at I want to import medical supplies what do I need to do?

How do I get my produce to departure points?

A number of domestic services are operational including Qantas and Virgin Australia, Australia Post and Toll. They are operating a minimum domestic network servicing the most critical metropolitan and regional routes in Australia, transporting freight and people.

To access these flights, please follow your standard freight operations channels, including contacting your freight forwarder.

For more details contact:

Tasmanian Air Bridge

Twice weekly freight flights between Hobart and Sydney to facilitate access to IFAM and other freight flights will commence on 27 May 2020.

Route

Departure day and time*

Freight cost/kg

Hobart - Sydney

Mon and Fri 1300

$2.30

*The frequency and timing of flights may vary depending on demand and the need to align with freight flights departing Sydney.

Please note: The above rates are for the air freight component only, they do not include freight forwarder fees or rates.

To access these flights and for more details contact DHL.

I am an exporter what do I need to do?

Exporters should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to be eligible to access IFAM flights. Where businesses are found eligible, they will be notified and may choose to use their own freight forwarder (a non-IFAM freight forwarder) or an IFAM freight forwarder listed below.

Can I still use my own freight forwarder to access IFAM flights?
Yes, but if you use your own freight forwarder (a non-IFAM freight forwarder) that freight forwarder will need to work with one of the six IFAM freight forwarders to access IFAM flights.

IFAM Freight Forwarders

Air Menzies International (Aust) sonya.ashcroft@airmenzies.com
mike.pattinson@airmenzies.com
CT Freight wade.bollard@ctfreight.com
DHL Global Forwarding Bernie.cooney@dhl.com
Kuehne & Nagel Exports: wes.mcdiarmid@kuehne-nagel.com
Imports: roman.degen@kuehne-nagel.com
Schenker Australia Johan.Sandahl@dbschenker.com
Toll Group quentin.masson@tollgroup.com

 

Please register your interest by completing and submitting the Expression of Interest form.

IMPORTANT: If you submitted an EOI before 16 April 2020, you will need to resubmit the form with additional information. This additional information will inform which air freight routes are prioritised by the IFAM. 

In addition to IFAM flights, there are alternative air freight options available. Please see the Additional Freight Capacity.

How can I reduce the risk of my goods being held up at destination ports?

Please include all your relevant physical export documents, including government-issued phytosanitary and health certificates, with your consignment.

Disruptions to air and courier services due to the COVID-19 crisis are delaying the delivery of airmail. Including your export documents with your consignment will avoid delays between the arrival of goods in overseas markets and the arrival of documents sent via airmail.

This will help ensure your goods are processed and unloaded in a timely manner.

For information on how to get your produce to a port serviced by IFAM flights, please see the How do I get my produce to departure points?

I am a non-IFAM freight forwarder what do I do?

If an exporter has submitted an EOI and found to be eligible for upcoming IFAM flights, they will be notified. The business can choose to use their own freight forwarder, or engage one of the IFAM contracted freight forwarders directly.

If you are contacted by an eligible business to assist with an IFAM flight (and you are not an IFAM contracted freight forwarder), you must contact one of the IFAM freight forwarders below to be able to access the IFAM flights.

Who are the IFAM Freight Forwarders and how do I contact them?

Air Menzies International (Aust) sonya.ashcroft@airmenzies.com
mike.pattinson@airmenzies.com
CT Freight wade.bollard@ctfreight.com 
DHL Global Forwarding Bernie.cooney@dhl.com 
Kuehne & Nagel  Exports: wes.mcdiarmid@kuehne-nagel.com
Imports: roman.degen@kuehne-nagel.com 
Schenker Australia Johan.Sandahl@dbschenker.com 
Toll Group  quentin.masson@tollgroup.com 

 

If you are contacted by an importer of medical supplies wanting to access IFAM flights, normal booking mechanisms apply. Details of available routes and flight schedules are available in the section I want to import medical supplies what do I need to do? 

Not all businesses will be able to access IFAM flights.  If you are contacted by an exporter that has not yet registered their interest in IFAM please do ask them to complete an EOI and register their interest.  If you have a client that is unable to access IFAM flights, they will still need to work with you to access other freight capacity available. Please see the section below for more information.

I want to import medical supplies what do I need to do?

If you are an importer of medical supplies, medicines and equipment seeking to access IFAM flights contact your freight forwarder.

There is capacity on the following inbound flights:

Qantas

  • Tokyo (Narita) - Sydney
  • Singapore – Brisbane
  • Singapore – Melbourne
  • Auckland – Brisbane
  • Auckland – Melbourne
  • Hong Kong – Brisbane
  • Hong Kong – Melbourne

For more details see Qantas schedule.

Virgin Australia

Route

Departure Day and Time

Arrival Day and Time

Date Range

Price

AUD/kg*

Los Angeles – Melbourne

(LAX – MEL)

Sat 2300

Mon 0745

Sat 23 May – Sat 27 Jun

$9.30

Los Angeles – Brisbane

(LAX – BNE)

Tue 2310

Thu 0610

Tue 26 May – Tue 30 Jun

$10.30

*These rates may be subject to change and will be reviewed weekly. These rates apply to medical supplies only. These rates are for the air freight component only, they do not include freight forwarder fees or rate.

In the case of freight space reaching capacity, prioritisation of government health supplies will be undertaken.

Importers may be charged market rates for using IFAM flights – contact your freight forwarder for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding IFAM email: airfreight@austrade.gov.au

Additional freight capacity is available now - contact your Freight Forwarder

In addition to IFAM flights, there are alternative air freight options available.

Domestic network flights – To help you get your produce to air freight departure points

Qantas and Virgin Australia, Australia Post and Toll are operating a minimum domestic network servicing the most critical metropolitan and regional routes in Australia, transporting freight and people.

To access these flights, contact your freight forwarder or for more information contact:

Tasmanian Air Bridge

Twice weekly freight flights between Hobart and Sydney to facilitate access to IFAM and other freight flights will commence on 27 May 2020.

Route

Departure day and time*

Freight cost/kg

Hobart - Sydney

Mon and Fri 1300

$2.30

*The frequency and timing of flights may vary depending on demand and the need to align with freight flights departing Sydney.

Please note: The above rates are for the air freight component only, they do not include freight forwarder fees or rates.

To access these flights and for more details contact DHL.

International repatriation flights - Making air freight capacity available on repatriation international passenger services

Qantas and Virgin Australia are making air freight capacity available on repatriation international passenger services to key destinations, which have already commenced.

Contact your freight forwarder or for more information contact:

International commercial freight-only flights - Airlines are continuing to support freight in and out of Australia

A number of airlines are continuing to support freight in and out of Australia on commercial freight-only flights.

The best way to access these flights is through standard freight operations channels, including your freight forwarder.

Airlines who are continuing to run air freight options for exporters include:

Air carrier

Key export destinations and schedule

Contact

Qantas Freight

(MEL/BNE-AKL)
(SYD-PVG)
(MEL/SYD/BNE-HK)
(PER-LHR)
(BNE-LAX)
(SYD-ORD/JFK/LAX/DFW/HNL/ANC)
(SYD-CHC)
(SYD-BKK)

Schedule

freightsalessupport@qantas.com.au

Virgin Australia Cargo Services

(BNE-LAX)
Schedule

syd.cargosales@fly.virgin.com

Qatar Cargo

(MEL/PER-DOH)

Schedule

qrcargodohasales@qatarairways.com.qa

Etihad Cargo

(MEL-AUH)

Schedule

CNicholls@etihad.ae

Air Canada Cargo

(SYD-YVR)

(SYD-AKL)

Schedule

stephane.parrenin@aircanada.ca

Singapore Airlines Cargo

(SYD-SIN)

Schedule

sqcargo_sydops@singaporeair.com.sg

Malaysia Airlines Cargo

(PER-KL)

Schedule

maskargo.syd@mncaviation.aero

Cathay Pacific Cargo

(SYD/MEL-HK)

Schedule

syd_cargo@cathaypacific.com

Air New Zealand Cargo

(SYD/BNE/MEL-AKL)

Schedule

auscgo@airnz.co.nz

All Nippon Airways Cargo

(SYD-HND)

Schedule

gregsmith.syd@worldwidegsa.com

China Southern Cargo

(SYD/MEL-CAN)
(SYD/MEL-SZX)

Schedule

95539@csair.com

Emirates Cargo

(SYD/MEL/BNE-DBX)
(SYD-HK)

Schedule

skycargosyd@emirates.com

China Airlines Cargo

(BNE-TPE)
(MEL-TPE)
(SYD-TPE)

Schedule

vincent.leung@china-airlines.com
cicargo.au@worldwidegsa.com

Polar Air cargo

(SYD-NRT/ICN/NGO/SZX/TPE)

Schedule

polarcargo@wexco.com.au

Air Asia X Freight

(PER-KL)

Schedule

customerservice@airx.com.au

Air China Cargo

(MEL/SYD-PVG)
(SYD-PEK/CTU/SZX)

Schedule

sydddca@airchina.com.au

 

United Airlines Cargo

(SYD-LAX/SFO)

Schedule

cargo@united.com

IMPORTANT: In addition to the above, freight space may also be available with: British AirwaysChina Eastern, Garuda, Kalitta, Pacific Air, Royal Brunei, Philippine Airlines, UPS, FedEx, Condor, Vietnam AirlinesSichuan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. For more information, please visit airline freight websites or speak to your freight forwarder.

COVID-19: Support of Australian businesses

We are working hard to help Australian exporters, big and small, overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. For additional government support visit business.gov.au.

For market insights and latest updates visit Austrade’s COVID-19 page.

Recorded briefing sessions

Briefing session for Freight Forwarders

On 28 April, Tim Beresford, Deputy CEO Austrade and Michael Byrne, the IFAM Co-Ordinator General held an information session for Freight Forwarders. The session covered the aim and objectives of IFAM, how the IFAM panel of providers was established and how all Freight Forwarders can support exporters under the mechanism. The briefing also answered questions submitted by participants.

Listen to briefing
Note the briefing commences around 9 mins into the recording.

 

Briefing session for exporters

On 24 April, Tim Beresford, Deputy CEO Austrade and Michael Byrne, the IFAM Co-Ordinator General held an information session for exporters. The session covered the aim and objectives of IFAM, how it works and provided answers to questions submitted by participants.

Listen to briefing

Latest IFAM news

30 Apr 2020

Freight controller appointed to manage airfreight in the national interest (Ministerial)

Click through to news item