Tall order for Port Botany

A 15-month-old giraffe recently undertook a journey from Auckland Zoo to Mogo Zoo on the south coast of New South Wales.
The giraffe – Mtundu (Swahili: mischievous one) – arrived at DP World’s Port Botany terminal on the evening of 24 February, Mtundu, on board the Hamburg Sud vessel Hammonia Galacia.
The project to move Mtundu was a carefully orchestrated exercise requiring the cooperation of many parties and port stakeholders.
Having travelled from Auckland Zoo in a specially built enclosure, the giraffe was lifted off the vessel onto a low loader truck waiting on the wharf.
With the assistance of a convoy of transport and logistics professionals, the truck exited the port in the early hours of Saturday morning before hitting the highway, safely delivering Mtundu to his new home at Mogo Zoo, NSW.
A support crew including specialist animal handlers and veterinarian staff accompanied 500kg Mtundu on his journey.
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“NSW Ports manages the ports of Port Botany and Port Kembla and is proud to be able to support the movement of goods on behalf of the people and businesses of New South Wales and Australia – (in whatever shape or size they come),” said NSW Ports in a statement.
“As one of the largest container ports in Australia, Port Botany is used to handling cargo from all over the world, with almost 2.3 million containers transiting the facility annually.”
 
FedEx recently reported that it had successfully delivered a giant panda from the US to China.

Hanjin Shipping declared bankrupt

Months of speculation over the fate for shipping company Hanjin Shipping came to an end on Friday when a South Korean court declared it bankrupt.
Hanjin’s fall from grace from one of the world’s top 10 shipping companies to today has shocked the global cargo movement industry in its speed and finality.
Hanjin’s troubles first emerged in August 2016, when it was revealed that the company had debts of US$5.4 billion ($7 billion) and creditors would not give any more money.
Hanjin – then South Korea’s biggest shipper and number seven in the world – went into receivership and applied for court protection.
At that stage all was not yet lost, with the help of an investor or the South Korean Government, Hanjin could have soldiered on, though no such aid was forthcoming.
The company’s ships were then stranded at sea as ports refused them entry, due to a fear of not getting paid for loading and unloading the cargo.
Over the following months, many of the company’s better assets got sold to other global shipping companies.
The bankrupy court will now handle the liquidation process, selling off Hanjin’s remaining assets and handing the money to the creditors.

New Portland industrial land strategy to benefit logistics providers

Danielle Green, the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, has launched the Portland Industrial Land Strategy, with a $150,000 contribution from the Victorian Government.
The strategy has identified land for future industrial development in the Portland region to 2050, and follows years of industrial zoning issues in Portland, with substantial amounts of industrially zoned land unable to be used because of proximity to sensitive areas, such as housing and schools.
The strategy has now defined and analysed appropriate sites for industrial use and has produced an investment prospectus for the zones identified as ready for development. Recommendations have also been given on action to deal with inappropriately zoned industrial areas.
A statement issued by Green asserts that the Industrial Land Strategy presents opportunity for new businesses to establish themselves in Portland, particularly those servicing the Port along the supply chain, including freight, timber, mineral sands and truck maintenance.
“The Port is critical to the local economy, and many businesses supporting the Port will be able to establish or expand now that the zoning issues have been addressed,” the release stated.
“There is now a way forward to attract new manufacturers and service industries to Portland which will accelerate the growth and employment opportunities of the city,” added Green.

Swings and roundabouts in the logistics industry

Volatile yet potentially very profitable, the logistics industry is full of opportunities to seize, and threats to overcome. Here are some of the current trends to consider and the challenges that port operators face in their quest to become more efficient.
The lay of the land
Consolidation via mergers and acquisitions appears to be the new normal, at least within the shipping line sector as the industry reacts and adjusts to overcapacity and a drop in trade. However, it will not be too long before we witness similar trends in the port sector who are struggling to remain efficient. New modalities such as rail and road and trade routes are emerging and currently being explored for long-haul cross-continental trading.
Rapidly developing economies in the Asian region, together with the prospect of free trade agreements in key markets, are driving strong growth in the global container shipping industry. As a result, port operators of all sizes are on the hunt for ways to improve efficiencies and lower costs.
The much-publicised increase of larger vessels has changed the economies of scale for shipping operators and offers new alternatives for manufacturers keen to boost their distribution capacity.
Such increases in capacity also bring challenges for port operators. For the largest ports, loading and unloading must be completed as quickly and effectively as possible. Even relatively minor delays in turning such large ships around can have significant knock-on effects further along the supply chain.
There are flow-on effects for smaller ports too. Vessels that have been displaced from the largest facilities by the new mega ships are then redirected onto routes that they traditionally have not served. This means smaller ports now have to deal with much larger ships than was previously the case. In turn, this puts pressure on everything from loading equipment to control systems.
The challenge for operators
To meet these challenges, smaller port operators must also find ways to make their facilities more efficient. Traditional methods must be examined and new approaches introduced. Any failure to take these steps will inevitably result in rising operational costs and an inability to compete with more nimble competitors.
There are a range of areas in which port operators can find efficiencies, including:
Ship movement planning: Effective scheduling of vessels can ensure the port maintains a constant level of operation, rather than oscillating from quiet periods to times of frenetic activity.
Such planning will also aid the shipping companies themselves as they will be able to forward plan arrivals and departures much more accurately. The last thing a firm wants is for its freight vessels to have to anchor nearby and wait for a berth to become available.
Labour management: Some industry estimates put the cost of labour at between 40 and 60 per cent of total port operational expenses. This means careful attention must be given at all times to how it is deployed.
Operators cannot afford to have staff rostered on when there are no ships in dock, but at the same time must ensure they are available as soon as loads need to be handled.
They also need the ability to change rosters quickly if ship movements are altered. Adverse weather conditions and delays at other ports can mean ships arrive much earlier or later than planned. Port operators need to have the mechanisms in place to alert staff and ensure they are available when required.
Warehouse management: Many port operators have traditionally relied on paper-based systems or spreadsheets to track the movement of goods into and out of their facilities. While this may have worked in the past, as volumes increase they cannot be scaled to match demands.
Instead operators need to deploy electronic cargo management tools designed specifically for the shipping and logistics sector. These tools can readily handle everything from whole container movements to break-bulk shipments.
Accessed either via traditional PCs or the growing range of wireless mobile devices, the tools can significantly streamline the flow of goods through the facility. Ship turnaround times can be reduced and bottom-line profits increased.
Reporting: Having a real-time view of what is happening within every port is critical. Vessel arrivals and departures, staffing rosters and freight movements all need to be constantly monitored to ensure that any issues can be solved before they have a significant impact on operations.
Real-time reporting tools need to be linked to systems throughout the facility, ensuring they can access data and provide port operators with a clear view of exactly what is going on at all times.
Invoicing: At the end of the day, port operators of all sizes need to generate profits. Having an efficient invoicing and client management system in place is therefore critical to ensure revenue is received as swiftly as possible.
Invoicing needs to be tightly integrated with the cargo management tools to ensure all billable activities and resources are captured and prevent revenue leakage.
An effective invoicing and financial system will also remove many of the manual processes that may exist, freeing up staff to focus on more value-adding business activities.
By focusing on these key areas, large port operators will be able to meet the demands created by new massive ships while their smaller counterparts will also be well placed to deal with the changes this means for them.
Overall, shifting from manual, paper-based workflows to digital tools will drive efficiency and boost customer service levels.
Information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers face unprecedented challenges and opportunities in the maritime logistics space and these are not just simply about ‘automation’ or even ‘digitisation’ – the latest buzz.
The growing democratisation in ICT calls for a rapid paradigm shift in the way ICT is produced, delivered and consumed in our industry.
In the near future, innovations will be largely driven on the basis of a shared economy. It will be a more distributed, trusted, shared and hence more innovative environment”.
Written by Kaustubh Dalvi, President Global Sales at Jade Software.

Kalmar receives straddle carrier order for Port Otago, NZ

Port Otago Ltd has placed an order with Cargotec-owned cargo handling solutions provider Kalmar for an ESC350 and an ESC450 to add to their all-Kalmar straddle carrier fleet, replacing two CSC models.
“Improved economy, performance, reliability, and safety are key facets of this purchasing decision, and the Port welcomes any developments in Straddle Carrier design that reflect genuine safety improvements,” said Bob Smillie, Maintenance Manager, Port Otago Ltd. “The Port is currently conducting a detailed analysis of Kalmar’s HSC350 Hybrid, a design that is expected to be a leading contender for future Straddle Carrier replacement decisions.”
15Feb2016-5AJohn Nash, General Manager, Kalmar Port Cranes added, “Port Otago Ltd operates in a pristine area of New Zealand, taking pride in environmental conservation while undertaking their operations. Kalmar therefore focuses on providing solutions to support their operations while maintaining environmental sustainability. Together we are exploring hybrid technology options for Port Otago – a solution with reductions across noise, fuel consumption and emissions.”
Delivery and commissioning of the straddle carriers is expected to take place in August 2017.

Ports Australia CEO retires

Peak ports body Ports Australia has announced the retirement of the organisation’s long serving CEO, David Anderson, effective 10 March 2017.
“During his time as CEO, David has brought great credit to the organisation and unified the membership behind a strong, well developed policy agenda,” said Ports Australia Chairman and CEO of Flinders Ports, Vincent Tremaine. “David has created a strong awareness of port issues with government and other stakeholders and has worked tirelessly to have these appropriately positioned on the public policy agenda.
“While CEO of Ports Australia, David has developed a reputation for fearlessly advocating for the interests of the members.”
Anderson’s retirement brings to a close a career of over 40 years in the field of transport policy and advocacy.
Commenting on his decision to retire, Anderson said, “My tenure as CEO of Ports Australia has been highly rewarding, in serving one of the most significant of Australia’s economic sectors and a membership committed to supporting the well-being of the Australian community through efficient port operations and sustainable port development.
“I thank the members for their strong support and contribution to the success of our organisation over that time.”
Anderson has agreed to make himself available on a needs basis to help with the transition from the date of his retirement, to facilitate an orderly leadership transition.

Sydney Qube intermodal terminal agreement reaches financial close

The agreement between Moorebank Intermodal Company and the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) for the development and operation of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Precinct has reached financial close.
SIMTA is owned by Qube Holdings, one of Australia’s largest freight logistic companies, following the acquisition of Aurizon’s interests in the land and project on 23 December 2016. Qube will develop and operate the open access freight terminal and warehousing precinct under a 99-year lease on the combined Commonwealth- and Qube-owned sites.
In June 2015, Moorebank Intermodal Company signed the agreement with SIMTA for the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Precinct, which merged the SIMTA and Commonwealth intermodal terminal proposals into one. Moorebank Intermodal Company will continue to be the Commonwealth entity responsible for facilitating the precinct’s development.
Dr Kerry Schott, Chair of the Moorebank Intermodal Company, said the precinct would deliver significant benefits to southwest Sydney and the broader New South Wales economy. “During construction, over 1,300 jobs will be created and once operations are at full capacity the site will employ approximately 6,800 people,” she said. “Together with the recently announced Commonwealth investment in airport infrastructure at Badgerys Creek, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal will be a major economic contributor to south-west Sydney.”
The precinct will increase the proportion of shipping containers travelling by rail, remove thousands of heavy-truck movements from Sydney’s roads and the nation’s highways every day, and increase the capacity and efficiency of Port Botany.
Moorebank was identified as a priority location for a freight terminal in 2004 and, in October 2016, was included on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list for national infrastructure projects. The site has a direct rail link to Port Botany and the interstate rail freight network which, along with its proximity to major motorways, makes it ideal for an intermodal facility.
The precinct will include an import-export (IMEX) freight terminal with eventual annual throughput capacity of 1.05 million TEU, and an interstate terminal with capacity for 500,000 TEU.
Qube Holdings’ Managing Director, Maurice James, said the Moorebank precinct would transform the freight and logistics supply chain along the east coast.
“The Moorebank development is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity and Qube is pleased to have reached agreement with Moorebank Intermodal Company to deliver this important piece of national infrastructure,” he said.
“Linking one of the nation’s busiest ports by rail to an inland facility with the sheer scale and location benefits of the Moorebank site is a game changer that will deliver huge long term benefits to both business and consumers,” he added.
Stage one of the project, which received planning approval in December 2016, will see the construction of the IMEX terminal with initial capacity of 250,000 TEU, rail links to the Southern Sydney Freight Line, and container processing areas. The first stage of the interstate terminal will follow with subsequent stages to be developed in line with demand, subject to future planning approvals.
The Commonwealth will invest around $370 million in the development, including funding the rail connection between the terminal and the Southern Sydney Freight Line and land preparation works.
Qube will develop, own and operate the terminals and has the development, property and asset management rights for associated warehousing. The precinct will include up to 850,000sqm of integrated warehousing when fully developed.
The IMEX terminal is expected to start operating in late 2018, and the interstate terminal in early 2020.

ALC releases 2017 Forum program

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has released the program for its 2017 Forum which will take place 7­–9 March in Melbourne, Victoria. The Forum 2017 will focus on the required content of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
The need for such a strategy has been championed by ALC in its election priorities document, ‘Getting the Supply Chain Right’, its video ‘Now is the Time to Get the Supply Chain Right’, and also by Infrastructure Australia in its 15-Year Infrastructure Plan.
In late 2016, the Government committed to establishing a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy following a comprehensive independent inquiry into how best to support the productivity and efficiency of Australia’s freight supply chain.
ALC’s Forum will focus on the issues that will need to be addressed by the Strategy, including nationally significant supply chains and their access to supporting infrastructure, the adequacy of the institutional framework supporting freight networks, reforms and investments that will affect the efficient movement of freight and the key bodies overseeing their efficient operation.
Speakers confirmed so far include representatives for the major ports including Port of Melbourne Corporation, Aurizon, Australia Post, Australian Rail Track Corporation, Qube, Woolworths and Infrastructure Australia. Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and Hon Luke Donnellan MP, Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Minster for Ports, will also be sharing their insight at the event.
To find out more about the speakers attending and session topics, or to register to attend, click here.

Asciano CIO quits following company split

Asciano chief information officer Kelvin McGrath reportedly plans to leave the company in February 2017, looking to focus on his software start-up venture, MeetingQuality.
According to iTnews, McGrath decided to part ways with the logistics giant after it was bought for over $9 million by Qube, Brookfield and the Global Infrastructure Partners consortium in August, a deal which was strengthened by the IT system developed by McGrath’s IT team. The company is currently being divided up by its new owners.
McGrath stayed at Asciano after the purchase to complete a six-month transition period, which will end in February.
“Asciano is an important part of Australia’s infrastructure,” he told iTnews. “I felt a responsibility to the people I worked with and the company to hand over the technology in the best condition I can.”
McGrath will now dedicate his time to developing his software project, MeetingQuality, which tracks staff and stakeholder contribution in meetings.

Latest data shows freight transport industry growth

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (BITRE) latest research, the Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook 2016, productivity and investment in the transport sector are at an all-time high.
In the 2014–15 financial year, 212 billion tonne kilometres (tkm) of bulk and non-bulk domestic freight was transported by road, made up of 133.8 bn tkm of non-bulk freight, and 78.2 bn tkm of bulk freight. This is up from a total of 205.7 bn tkm in the 2013–14 period. A tkm is a unit of measure of freight transport calculated by multiplying total load carried by total distance covered.
In 2014–15, 401.6 bn tkm of bulk and non-bulk freight were moved by rail, a huge jump from 367.7 bn tkm in the previous financial period.
Australia’s ports have been busy, with 7.1 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) exchanged at the country’s five principal container ports: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle and Adelaide, up from 6.2 million in the previous financial year. In 2013–14, 105.4 bn tkm of freight were moved by coastal shipping, up on the 104.5 bn tkm moved in the previous period, but far off the high of 116.2 bn tkm in 2009­–10, and the record 127.6 bn tkm moved in 2006–07.
In 2015–16, 45.7 per cent of infrastructure construction was in the transport sector, and $25.2 billion was spent in 2014–15 on roads.
BITRE, part of the Policy and Research Division of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, prepares economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development.
You can view the full publication on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s website.

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