Vic MP launches trial report

Melissa Horne, VIC MP launches ECP trial report

Neil Chambers, Director Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), explains to MHD what the recently launched Victorian Empty Container Park (ECP) Trial Report entails, and its implications for ports nationwide.

The Victorian Minister for Ports & Freight, Hon. Melissa Horne MP, has launched the Victorian Empty Container Park (ECP) Trial Report detailing the benefits to the container logistics sector of moving towards paperless and contactless truck arrivals at ECPs in Melbourne.

The Report is the culmination of a year-long Trial conducted by the Victorian Department of Transport & Planning (DTP), in close collaboration with Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA).

Trial Report Findings:

The Trial has proven that truck servicing at ECPs is greater than 30 per cent more efficient if pre-receival electronic data is provided by shipping lines and ECPs take steps to automate truck in-gate processes.

Not only are the ECPs with medium to high levels of automation more efficient they service more than double the number of trucks per hour than ECPs categorised as low automation.

The Report finds that by improving Truck Turnaround Times (TTT) on average by 6 to 10 minutes per truck per visit would save the container transport industry in Melbourne over $5 to $6 million in truck operating costs alone.  That’s before accounting for cost savings from streamlined administration, greater in-gate servicing capacity (leading to more time slot availability and less delays), and better heavy vehicle fleet utilisation by transport operators.

CTAA recognises that several ECPs in Melbourne have introduced optical camera recognition (OCR) or other technologies to enhance truck gate-in processes, while others have investments in the pipeline.  Transport operators are keen to continue to work with those ECPs to improve transport logistics performance.

For the ECPs in the low automation category, CTAA looks forward to discussing opportunities to change their operational practices to benefit the whole supply chain.

Shipping Line Data is Key:

The Report also highlights the need for ALL shipping lines to provide electronic pre-advice messaging that can be seamlessly loaded into the ECPs’ depot management and truck slot appointment systems.

It’s extremely unfortunate that after years of discussion there are still several shipping lines servicing Australia’s container trades who do not provide this electronic information in a format that can be used seamlessly to verify valid empty container location instructions.  This costs the container logistics chain dearly, and ultimately raises landside logistics costs for importers and exporters.

CTAA believes that if shipping lines don’t provide the necessary electronic data on empty container location, they should be made to do so through regulation.

The benefits to the landside efficiency of empty container management are unassailable, and the ability of the landside sector to automate processes are held back if the shipping line data is not provided in a seamless format.

CTAA has thanked Minister Horne for her unwavering support and strong commitment from the Victorian Government to undertake the Trial.

We are also pleased that the Minister strongly supports the continued role of the Victorian Department of Transport & Planning (DTP) to monitor key indicators of empty container management performance in Victoria, and to help facilitate further industry and government dialogue aimed at promoting continued improvements.

Neil Chambers, Director Container Transport Alliance Australia

For more information on Container Transport Alliance Australia, click here.

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