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Biohazard alert: Stink bugs stall Tesla shipment to Australia

Biohazard alert: Stink bugs stall Tesla shipment to Australia
Biohazard alert: Stink bugs stall Tesla shipment to Australia

A ship carrying Tesla cars was sent back to Shanghai, China after Australian authorities discovered an infestation of Yellow Spotted Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha Halys) on board. 

The ship, Glovis Caravel, was denied entry due to the biosecurity hazard. Customers with vehicles aboard the vessel have been informed that “further processing” is required before it could re-enter an Australian port.

Halyomorpha Halys is considered a threat to Australian fauna and flora. The contaminated vessel has been anchored offshore from Brisbane while the crew fumigates the cargo hold.

Tesla shipment flagged for biohazards

As reported by Drive, the ship has capacity for 6,500 vehicles, but it could not be determined if all vehicles on board were Teslas. Several Teslas were offloaded, checked for pests, and sent to showrooms and clients before the infestation was discovered. 

A spokesperson for Australia’s department of agriculture, fisheries and forestry says “multiple biohazard risks” were identified onboard the Glovis Caravel, of which the Yellow Spotted Stink Bugs were just one red flag. 

Customers with vehicles on board the contaminated ship – which docked in October 2023 – were informed that their expected delivery dates had been moved to the end of January. They were also given a choice to receive a different vehicle from the next batch en route to Australia. 

This comes as Australian ports are still recovering from another quarantine crisis back in March, which, according to Drive, “created a traffic jam of ships anchored offshore or in transit between docks as cleaning teams raced to check and treat incoming cars for other hazards.”

What’s the big deal about stink bugs? 

Yellow Spotted Stink Bugs – among various other species known as ‘hitchhiker pests’, including Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs – are considered a hazard to Australian agriculture and wildlife since these pests feed on fruit and vegetable crops. 

Seeking shelter, these bugs usually infest vehicles, shipping containers, boats, caravans, homes, factories, and even machinery, in large numbers during autumn months.

the agriculture department warns that “stink bugs are more frequently found on goods arriving in Australia between September and April, coinciding with late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere.”

If you see hitchhiker pests in Australia, contain it where possible, and immediately report it to the department of agriculture fisheries and forestry on 1800 798 636.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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