By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

A major system failure at Qantas Freight has severely affected the cargo operations of around 25% of Australia’s inbound airfreight, with a reported estimated cost to industry of hundreds of thousands of dollars so far.   This occurred after Qantas attempted to switch to a new cloud-based management system which didn’t go as planned, causing an outage. 

Importers of perishables, such as food and pharmaceuticals, have not been able to collect the goods required by their clients for up to 10 days.  It has been reported by customers and other freight forwarders to the press that unrefrigerated fresh produce, flowers and pharmaceuticals have been ruined. Even human remains and live animals (mostly beloved pets) have been left waiting.   

The airline has assured its freight customers that all critical freight “has been managed according to industry standards and with utmost care” with some of the delays occurring due to manual processing of shipments, causing backlogs at Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne airports.  Qantas advises that domestic deliveries have been cleared to date, but international deliveries remain affected.  They have also provided assurance that they are working around the clock to clear outstanding items with priority being given to urgent medical supplies and human remains over other items such as fashion goods.

The team at Clarke Global Logistics have also noticed delays in the processing of documentation by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF) – formerly AQIS.  It is currently taking up to 2 weeks for documents to be assessed and reviewed by the Department. 

If you have any concerns in relation to the progress of your air freight shipment or DAFF documentation, please don’t hesitate to contact us on +61 3 9854 3000 or send an email to

Photo by Josh Withers:


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