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.

DPWA announces senior appointments

Container port operator DP World Australia has announced changes in leadership for its Fremantle operations and Continuous Improvement business unit.
Replacing Luke Westlake as Fremantle General Manager Operations will be Stefan Reynolds, effective 11 December 2017.
For the past nine months, Reynolds has led process improvement projects in Melbourne and nationally as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations.
“With over 10 years’ operational experience in the container transport and logistics field, Stefan brings a high calibre of operational and change leadership experience to Fremantle,” said Max Kruse, Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, DP World Australia. “In his recent position as Manager of Capacity, Planning, Gate and Operations Projects with Ports of Auckland, Stefan worked closely with a large team as well as other departments, to continuously focus and strive for exceptional levels of performance and customer service.”
In Melbourne, Troy Sparkman will join the DPWA team as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations, effective 30 October 2017.
According to Kruse, Sparkman has 28 years’ experience in the rail transport and logistics industry, and worked in most states and regional areas of Australia during that time.
“Troy has a significant understanding of supply chain and operational management,” Kruse added. “Having held general manager roles with Aurizon, most recently as the General Manager service delivery for the interstate intermodal business, and Regional Integration Manager responsible for operational optimisation and transformation of the Hunter Valley and West Moreton supply chains.”

Townsville Port expansion gains major approval

A key approval has been granted for Townsville Port’s $1.64 billion expansion – Mark Bailey, Minister for Ports; Coralee O’Rourke, Minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland; and Scott Stewart, local MP, visited the Port of Townsville after the independent Coordinator-General handed down his project evaluation report recently.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Coordinator-General approved the port expansion, with conditions that addressed all concerns over environmental and social impacts.
“The Coordinator-General has been working closely with the Port of Townsville to ensure all potential social and environmental impacts were addressed in the evaluation report, and comprehensive conditions set to manage potential impacts on Cleveland Bay in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” said Lynham.
Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had already committed $75 million in the 2017–18 budget for a channel upgrade that forms part of the first stage of the port’s expansion over the next four years, subject to approvals.
“What we need now is a matching commitment from the Turnbull Government,” Bailey added.
“The channel-widening work will attract future growth in trade and investment, supporting more jobs and lowering freight costs for North Queensland.
Stewart said the Port was a critical trade supply chain handling around 10 million tonnes of produce worth over $10 billion each year and being able to accommodate larger ships at the Port of Townsville would mean the region can continue to attract major investment.
“Deeper and wider channels will accommodate ships up to 300m long and 40m wide, ensuring future growth in trade and expanding an essential trade pathway,” Stewart said.
Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said he looked forward to seeing the economic flow on effect throughout North Queensland thanks to the expansion.
“The expanded capacity at the port work will attract future growth in trade and investment supporting more jobs and lowering freight costs for North Queensland,” Harper said.
The Townsville Port Expansion Project involves four key elements:

  • capital dredging of 11.48 million cubic metres of sediment to widen and deepen the Sea and Platypus Channels and an expanded harbour basin;
  • establishing a 152ha reclamation area;
  • construction of 4km of rock revetments and potentially a new 700-metre western breakwater; and
  • construction of six new berths.

The next stage is the Commonwealth Government’s assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, including any potential impacts to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

DPWA appoints executives to Melbourne and Sydney Terminals

DP World Australia has announced the appointment of executives for the General Manager – Operations position at its Melbourne and Sydney terminals.
Robert Snow joins as General Manager – Operations at the Melbourne terminal, effective 30 October. He brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry. He was previously Chief Operations Officer at APM Terminals for the Aqaba Container Terminal in Jordan.
The new General Manager – Operations for the Sydney terminal is Bas Hokke, previously Vice President – Group Operations at Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI), part of the DP World Group in the Philippines. Hokke brings with him more than three decades of global ports experience. He will enter the role on 22 November.
DPWA Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, Max Kruse, thanked Rowan Bullock and Ray Lee, who have been acting in the roles during DPWA’s global search for the roles.
“Their professionalism, guidance and leadership was invaluable to the teams in Melbourne and Sydney, and to the wider Operations Team, and we are incredibly grateful for their support,” Kruse said. “Rowan and Ray will provide a detailed handover to the new General Managers – Operations, and will continue to lend us their knowledge and experience through an ongoing working relationship with the Operations Team, beyond their respective departures.
“Thank you to Rowan and Ray, and a very warm welcome to Robert and Bas.”

VICT world's first fully automated terminal

Cargo handing solutions provider Kalmar and shipping technology company Navis, both part of cargo and load handling solutions company Cargotec, have delivered the first OneTerminal automation solution to International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) at the Port of Melbourne.
Kalmar OneTerminal provides an integrated automation solution, bringing together Kalmar and Navis software systems, equipment and services. The deployment was completed ahead of schedule, making Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) the world’s first fully automated international container handling facility.
“VICT was designed, and is now equipped, to be fully automated, making it the most advanced container terminal in the world,” said Christian Gonzalez, Chairman, Christian Gonzalez, VICT, and Chairman and Senior Vice President – Asia-Pacific Region, ICTSI. “We chose Kalmar’s cutting-edge technology and equipment and Navis’ software and it is enabling us to reach the highest standards of port safety. The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. This has never been achieved in the port industry for a fully automated terminal. It is especially noteworthy when considering the unprecedented complexity of the civil works requirements, along with the level of pioneering automation governing the design.”
Kalmar’s OneTerminal deployment at VICT includes the Kalmar Automatic Stacking Crane (ASCs) system with 20 ASCs, 11 Kalmar AutoShuttles, Kalmar Automated Truck Handling, Kalmar Terminal Logistics System and the Navis N4 Terminal System. Additionally, Kalmar provided a range of project services required to deploy and support the solution.
“Since signing the contract with VICT in August 2014, we have worked hard to complete the project ahead of schedule and to the full satisfaction of the customer,” said Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President – Automation and Projects, Kalmar. “We were able to deliver our equipment months ahead of schedule. The software solution combining Kalmar TLS and Navis N4 Terminal System was pre-integrated and tested before the delivery, speeding up the deployment.”
Mark Welles, Vice President and General Manager – Asia Pacific, Navis, added: “Our team’s tireless efforts and knowledge have been instrumental in taking VICT from greenfield to fully automated and operational more quickly than expected. The N4 Terminal System will allow VICT to optimise operations, speed turnaround times and deliver a new level of unprecedented efficiency in key areas of the terminal.”

Taskforce established for Kwinana port development

The taskforce that will complete the planning for Western Australia’s McGowan Government’s long-term Outer Harbour freight vision has now been established.
The multi-agency Westport Taskforce will outline a long-range vision to guide the planning, development and growth of both the Inner Harbour at Fremantle and the future Outer Harbour at Kwinana.
The Westport Taskforce will deliver the Westport: Ports and Environs Strategy, for which a team of experts from government agencies responsible for planning, transport, environment, jobs and finances will develop answers to key policy questions surrounding the location, size, operating model and timing for a future port.
Meanwhile, planning for the associated road and rail links to support the new port facilities will also form part of the overarching strategy.
Nicole Lockwood is to be appointed as the independent chairperson of the Westport Taskforce. She is a former director of KPMG, current board member of Infrastructure Australia and chairperson of the Freight Logistics Council of Western Australia.
Lockwood was also recently appointed to the expert panel to lead the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.
The Taskforce Steering Committee will also comprise director generals of six government departments, with the chairpersons of the Planning Commission and Fremantle Ports.
They will be supported by multi-disciplinary project personnel and supplemented as required by external technical expertise.
The taskforce’s governance arrangements will also incorporate stakeholders including government agencies, port users, local governments, community groups and transport industry unions.
The State Government is committed to retaining the inner harbour as a working port and the taskforce will be expected to ensure that the Outer Harbour is planned in a way that achieves an optimal balance between both facilities.
“This milestone step to establish the Westport Taskforce will lay the foundations for delivering the Outer Harbour,” said Transport, Planning and Lands Minister, Rita Saffioti.
“The Westport Taskforce will focus on providing the necessary infrastructure to support the long-term economic development of the state, maximising future jobs, minimising costs and truck movements, and maximising opportunities for innovation.
“Our pre-election commitment was to give renewed priority to planning for the Outer Harbour and the associated road and rail links as part of a long-term integrated transport plan for the state.
“We’ve allocated an initial $6 million in last week’s Budget so that significant further planning work can start, building on existing technical planning.
“The Outer Harbour has been supported by successive State governments and it is vital we get on with this after the previous government put planning on hold to push for its flawed Perth Freight Link project.”

Infrastructure minister commends rail progress

Speaking at the recent Rail Futures Conference held in Melbourne in mid-September by the Rail Freight Alliance, Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, commended the efforts being made to bolster Australia’s rail capability.
“If we look back at the past 50 years of rail freight here in Victoria, it has been a story of decline – at least, up until recently,” Chester said, adding that as a result of the closure of regional lines and the abolishment of freight gates, goods were increasingly being transported by road rather than rail.
“There is now record investment going into rail freight,” he added, citing government support secured for the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project, $8.4 billion earmarked for the Inland Rail project, the $58 million Victorian Port Rail Shuttle and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“Since becoming Minister, I have been pleased to oversee a $20 billion investment in rail,” he said. “These projects will ease urban congestion, grow the regions and create thousands of new jobs.
“The freight and logistics industry identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent…Our government has secured three Free Trade Agreements, and we are building the infrastructure to capitalise on that.”
Chester added that work is continuing on the Inquiry into National freight and Supply Chain Priorities, designed to inform the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“The inquiry will set our understanding of what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, and how we can take advantage of them,” he said.
“It is these investments that are going to set up our nation for the next 100 years. I am proud to be playing a part in delivering these game-changing projects, in partnership with the community.
“These are the projects our kids and our grandkids will thank us for – in the cities and in the regions.”

DPWA introduces Fremantle surcharge

DP World Australia (DPWA) has announced that it will introduce a charge at its Fremantle Terminal as part of the basis for which access to the terminal is granted, for both road and rail operators, from 30 October 2017.
In a media release, Luke Westlake, General Manager – Operations, DP World Fremantle, stated that the charge reflects a “considerable” rise in property costs at Fremantle Terminal in the last five years.
“DPWA has incurred material increases in the costs of occupancy of more than 25 per cent, covering the cost of council rates, land tax and rent,” Westlake said. “DPWA avoided passing these costs onto the supply chain over this period, attempting to offset them through efficiency improvements. Despite, DPWA’s continued efforts, these material step changes in costs cannot be offset.”
He also cited investment DPWA has made in infrastructure to “keep pace” with industry expectations, and to handle greater peaks and troughs in cargo arrival patterns.
The surcharge will be $8.22 (excluding GST) per container and will apply to all full containers received or delivered to/from landside operators at Fremantle Terminal.
Full containers received or delivered via road will be charged to the road carrier through the 1-Stop Vehicle Booking System, while full containers received or delivered to rail will be charged to the rail operator as a separate item on the invoices produced.
“Ongoing access to Fremantle Terminal will be conditional on payment of the charges as per our conditions,” Westlake added.
DPWA noted in an additional statement that the surcharge is necessary to maintain productivity levels at the Terminal.
“This is a modest charge, which takes into consideration not only rising costs but the investment required to ensure our terminals continue to provide the highest levels of productivity,” the statement said. “This comes amidst the greatest levels of competition in Australian stevedoring history.”
Paul Zalai, Director of the Freight Trade Alliance (FTA) and Secretariat at the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) advised that representatives of both the FTA and APSA will meet Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester MP in Canberra on 19 September in a bid for his help in stemming the tide of surcharges.

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Platinum Freight launches first regional office, in NSW

Customs clearance broker Platinum Freight Management will launch its first regional office this month, in Wyong, New South Wales.
Peter McRae, CEO, Platinum Freight Management, sees the area as an attractive and fast-growing home base for importers and exporters who need large warehousing facilities, citing its proximity to major international ports in Sydney and Newcastle.
“Importers and exporters in the Wyong, Gosford and surrounds have enormous comparative freight and logistics costs due to their distance from international ports, so reducing extraneous costs should be a high priority,” said McRae. “Yet until now there has been an undersupply of internationally experienced customs brokers in the local area who can partner with them to offer premium advice in person.”
“We are looking to make strong partnerships with local importers and exporters on the coast and help make a difference to their businesses,” McRae added.
“We have designed our business to deliver a positive customer experience to all clients, commensurate with our motto: Simply no higher level of service,” said McRae. “Being local is an important part of this promise.”

APSA, FTA challenge booking cancellation fee increases

On 30 August 2017, Maersk published an industry notice announcing an increase in Booking Cancellation Fees from $100 to $250 per 20′/40′ dry container.
The Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) and Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) have since received reports that other shipping lines are preparing to announce similar increases, APSA Secretariat Travis Brookes-Garrett reported in a statement.
APSA subsequently engaged senior executives at Maersk Line Australia on 31 August 2017 to challenge the increase, finding that it has been introduced due to an increase in container ‘no shows’. Maersk will reportedly provide data shortly to validate the claim.
“APSA maintains the position that two-way accountability should exist,” said Brookes-Garrett. “If shippers and forwarders are faced with punitive cancellation fees, then they should also be compensated by the shipping lines when bookings or containers are rolled.
“In a competitive marketplace, APSA and FTA encourage other shipping lines to consider the realities of Australia’s agri-export economy before the introduction of punitive fees. If accountability exists then it should exist for both the shipper and the shipping line.”
While the increased booking cancellation fees are in effect, Maersk has confirmed that consideration may be given where there are genuine extenuating circumstances.

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