We have a container blockchain

A new system has been unveiled to link supply chain information through blockchain technology that is expected to revolutionise international trade by removing complexity.
PwC Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Port of Brisbane have collaborated to develop a ‘Trade Community System’.
“To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms that facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,” Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said at the launch of a proof of concept Trade Community System digital application in Brisbane.
“The Trade Community System proof of concept is the first stage in building an innovative end-to-end supply chain that will digitise the flow of trading information, improve connectivity for supply chain participants, reduce friction for business and reduce supply chain costs, providing unprecedented productivity gains for Australia’s international businesses,” PwC Partner Ben Lannan said.
“The port – whether sea or air – is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge. To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports.”
The Trade Community System will address a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities report.
“As a trading nation, Australia relies on efficient and effective international supply chains to drive its economic engine room,” said director of trade and international affairs at the Australian Chamber Bryan Clark.
Australia has been experiencing growth in its volume of trade, which has increased pressure on supply chains, ports and border authorities to process, screen and clear goods as efficiently as possible in to the Australian Economy.
There are roughly 9 million container movements at our five major ports annually. This figure is projected to rise to 15 million by 2025.
“At present, the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container.
“This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1bn in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market,” Mr Clark said.
“It is the right time for industry to initiate a reform and modernisation agenda which will shift the dial for Australia’s international business,” Mr Cummins said.

National transport reforms have led to some improvements in the rail regulatory regime, but much more needs to be done to achieve the full benefits of reform.

Enhancing freight rail efficiency

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Railway Association (ARA) have applauded the announcement that the Federal and Queensland Governments will fund a $1.5 million study that will examine ways to enhance freight rail connections to the Port of Brisbane.
Improving these connections, including the establishment of a dedicated freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane, will be critical to unlocking the full economic benefits of the Inland Rail project, which is now being constructed.
These benefits will be examined at length as part of the Inland Rail Conference being jointly hosted by ALC and the ARA on 18-19 July 2018 in Parkes, NSW.
The Port of Brisbane is a vital economic asset, not merely for Queensland but for the nation, particularly when it comes to agricultural and resource sector exports.
Its importance will increase significantly in the years ahead, with international demand for Australian export products expected to rise.
The economic significance of establishing a dedicated freight rail link to the port was recently reconfirmed by the decision of Infrastructure Australia (IA) to again include the project as a high priority initiative on the 2018 Infrastructure Priority List.
A separate IA report on corridor protection released last year confirmed that potential savings of $66 million could be realised if governments act quickly to protect the corridor needed for the construction of a dedicated freight rail link from the Inland Rail at Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane.
These factors highlight just how critical it is to act now to ensure efficient freight rail linkages between the Inland Rail and other pieces of critical freight infrastructure, including ports and intermodal terminals at key strategic locations along the route.
The Inland Rail Conference will be the first dedicated industry event exploring the opportunities and challenges presented by Inland Rail, and will draw together major political, industry and community leaders to discuss at length the potential benefits of this nationally significant project.

Port of Melbourne potentially limited by containership growth

A report produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the country’s stevedores has suggested that Port Botany has overtaken the Port of Melbourne for container trade due to constraints at the Victorian port, as first reported by The Age.
In 2016/17, Port Botany handled 34 per cent of Australia’s container movements, with 33 per cent going through the Port of Melbourne – down from 36 per cent in 2015/16.
While the report did not directly link the Port of Melbourne’s reduced volume to the increasing size of container ships, it noted that it is the most likely port to put limits on the size of ships visiting the country.
The Age noted that the biggest ship to visit Australia, the 347-metre Susan Maersk that docked at the Port of Brisbane in October, would have been unable to travel up the mouth of the Yarra River to Swanson Dock, and its 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) load may or may not have managed to fit underneath the West Gate Bridge.
In a recent newsletter, industry body Shipping Australia wrote that with only one terminal able to take the larger ships – Webb Dock, with Swanson Dock out of reach – “Melbourne is already the limiting factor for the size of ships coming to Australia’s east coast ports and is preventing Australians benefiting from the efficiencies of larger ship operations.”
“The risk is that shipping lines may consider by-passing Melbourne for Adelaide or Sydney and use rail, or a smaller ship feeder service (possibly from New Zealand) to make the connection,” it added.
“This would ultimately cost the Victorian consumer, the Port of Melbourne and the state economy.”

Brisbane hosts longest containership to visit Queensland

The Port of Brisbane played host to the longest container ship to ever visit Queensland on Saturday, 21 October 2017.
Ahead of the visit, Main Roads Road Safety and Ports Minister Mark Baily said the arrival of the 347-metre Susan Maersk was a clear demonstration of the port’s capabilities in handling an increasing number of large vessels operating in the region.
“The visit of the Susan Maersk is only made possible thanks to extensive studies that have taken place over the last two years, to optimise the port’s channels to accommodate this class of vessel,” Bailey said.
He noted that everyone involved at the Port of Brisbane had had prior experience in operations of that scale thanks to the first visit of a mega-container ship to Brisbane, less than 12 months ago.
“These larger ships are taking a leading role in servicing key trade routes and the state is well positioned to take advantage of the efficiencies these vessels offer,” Bailey added
Joan Pease, Member for Lytton, said the Port of Brisbane marked a milestone event in November last year with the arrival of the containership Lloyd Don Carlos.
“At 334 metres in length it was slightly shorter than our latest visitor which will now takes the title of longest container vessel,” she said.
“More importantly there will be further visits from vessels on this scale which can only enhance the Port of Brisbane’s international reputation and place it in a highly competitive position in the global trade market.
The Port handled a record number of containers in 2016–17, moving 1.22 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) through across its wharves, which was an increase of almost seven per cent on the previous year’s result.
Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said the Port of Brisbane was determined to ensure its capacity for catering for larger vessels continues to grow.
“Congratulations to the captain, pilot, harbour master and tug operators, as well as our own operational team at the Port of Brisbane for successfully overseeing the Susan Maersk’s visit,” Cummins said.

New facility commissioned for Port of Brisbane logistics estate

Pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso has pre-committed to a 5,950m2 purpose-built warehouse facility within the Port of Brisbane’s Port West logistics estate at Lytton, Brisbane.
Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL), CEO Roy Cummins welcomed Stora Enso to the estate and confirmed construction would commence on the on the 1.8 hectare site within a fortnight.
“The Port West location – particularly its proximity to the Port of Brisbane’s container terminals and wharves – will enable Stora Enso to significantly reduce its transport logistics costs,” said Cummins.
Stora Enso’s Managing Director Matthew Wood said, “The decision to select the Port West site was principally made due to the location’s proximity to the port and the associated logistics benefits, which will significantly reduce the cost of our freight movements.”
Construction of the new facility is being undertaken by FKG on behalf of PBPL (owner and developer), with occupation prior to the end of 2017. The site will be designed for the import, storage and distribution of timber products and will include over 8,000m2 of hardstand.
Port West Estate is located 6km from the Port of Brisbane and 5km from the Gateway arterial network.

Bunnings signs 10-year lease at Port of Brisbane’s Port West Estate

The Port of Brisbane has announced the signing of a 10-year lease for a 30,450 square metre Bunnings Distribution Centre at its Port West Estate.

The 7.65 hectare area will be developed by the port, due for completion on late 2013, with an expected value of $45 million.

Port of Brisbane chief executive officer, Russell Smith,. Said the company was pleased the have secured the agreement with one of Australia’s leading retailers.

“Bunnings will be the first tenant to occupy the land at the Port of Brisbane’s Port West Estate,” Smith said.

“The Estate’s prime location provides Bunnings Distribution Centre with access to unrivalled transport connectivity – by road, rail and sea – and immediate access to the Port of Brisbane and Gateway Motorways, to help meet their logistics requirements.

“Tenants also have access to the Port’s world-class cargo handling and warehousing facilities, with over $1 billion invested in capital works during the last 20 years,” Mr Smith concluded.

Bunnings’ general manager of Logistics and Improvement, Rodney Boys, said the port offered an great location for the new distribution centre, catering to the company’s long-term strategy in the sunshine state.

“Bunnings is dedicated to injecting over $730 million of capital investment in Queensland over the next three to five years through new stores. These developments will create over 3,500 permanent positions for Queensland residents and over 5,000 additional jobs during the construction phase,” Boys said.

Image: rscc.com

Strong trade results for Port of Brisbane

The Port of Brisbane saw a trade increase in 2012, up by 11.7 per cent.

 The Port of Brisbane said trade has remained strong despite challenging economic conditions.

General manager of trade services, Peter Keyte, said the diversity of commodities handled by the port helped to sustain strong results with total trade reaching 38.6 million tonnes.

“Container trade increased by 4.3% to reach 1.05 million teus, which is the first time the Port has exceeded one million teus in a calendar year,” Keyte said.

“Import tonnage increased during the year by 1% overall, which was a result of modest economic growth in South-East Queensland over the last financial year.

“Overall export tonnage increased by 22% during 2012, led by strong demand for coal, cereals, scrap metal, and cotton to key markets.”

Major mining and resource projects also meant machinery imports increased. Keyte said that agricultural and mining equipment imports increased by 28% to 671, 000 tonnes.

Keyte expects strong trade results to continue into 2013 due to good growing conditions and continued international demand for high-quality Australian products.

Image: portbris.com

Stevedores warned of duopoly

The Port of Melbourne.

The Port of Melbourne…warned.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned a lack of competition in the stevedoring sector would get in the way of future growth.

According to the ACCC’s latest annual monitoring report of container stevedoring, throughput volumes recorded an increase of 10.7 per cent in 2007-08, with productivity levels jumping almost 47 per cent over the last decade.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said the report showed decade-old waterfront reforms have significantly boosted the stevedoring sector, but a lack of competition in the industry was worrying. 

“During this time, demand for stevedoring services has doubled. The cost of using stevedoring services has fallen in real terms.

“In turn, the stevedoring businesses have become more productive and profitable, even during a period when significant expenditure on assets was made,” Mr Samuel said.

“However, as the ACCC has noted in previous reports, questions remain about the extent to which the stevedores actually compete to win each other’s business. This is important when we look forward ten years and consider the high rates of demand that are forecast to continue.”

Mr Samuel said while the ports of Sydney and Brisbane were well progressed in testing the market for new competitors, the Port of Melbourne was lagging behind with a third container terminal not set to open until 2017.

He said the delayed development at Australia’s largest port would make its two incumbents, Patrick and DP World, settle for the convenience of the current duopoly.

“Any unnecessary delays in establishing additional container terminal facilities could result in lost opportunities for greater competition.

“More intense levels of competition can not only improve efficiency but may also result in a greater share of the benefits being passed on to users and the wider community that reply on the movement of goods into and out of Australian ports,” he said.

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