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Boosting International Freight Shipping With Australian Ports Upgrades

Australian Ports Upgrades to Boost International Freight Shipping

Over the last few years, international shipping has come under increasing pressure. The increased demand combined with the sometimes strained supply and access to human resources has seen shipping costs skyrocket.

Many of Australia’s ports have seen backlogs and congestion which adds further cost to sea freight shipments. Freight forwards such as SPLS (that’s us!) can always look for better deals or alternative arrangements for you, however, this is only part of the solution. Costs are rising globally and another part of the solution comes from port management.

One way for the ports to combat increasing costs is to deal with port capacity and congestion. A number of Australia’s major ports are doing this in various ways.

Port Melbourne – Australia’s largest container port

Port Melbourne handles more shipping container freight than any other port in Australia. As such, it is vital to much of the import/export trade for business and consumer goods throughout south-eastern Australia.

To reduce delays and increase throughput, Port Melbourne is adding new physical infrastructure in the form of quay upgrades. The main quay is being extended an additional 71 metres. This will allow two larger ships to be at berth at the same time, thereby greatly reducing waiting times.

Additionally, upgrade works for other docks include crane renewals and improvements to the wharf decks and safety elements. These will all help to extend their design life and throughput capacity. Furthermore, additional rail facilities are being added to the port in order to remove some of the stress on the surrounding road systems. This, in turn, should further improve container shipments that do require road transportation.

Port Botany – Sydney Freight Shipping

Port Botany in Sydney has taken an alternative approach to increase cargo movements. Instead of large-scale physical infrastructure works, the port has invested in new information technology.

A system known as “Dynamic Under Keel Clearance (DUKC)” delivers precise real-time data to assist in ship berthing. This technology helps berth ships more safely by monitoring ships’ displacement and dynamic motion whilst matching with live weather conditions.

DUKC allows ships to be berthed more quickly without reducing safety. It also allows larger capacity and deeper ships to be berthed as the factors required for this can be more accurately monitored in progress. New records were recently set for both the heaviest container ship to ever berth at the port, and also the deepest ship.

The end purpose of this new technology is to increase the size and number of ship berths at the port without impacting safety. This thereby increases the overall throughput of cargo and reduces congestion.

Port Headland – Western Australia

Port Headland is of major importance to mining (mostly iron ore), however, it also deals with bulk liquids and general cargo. The new development plan for the port supports a 41 percent upgrade in capacity compared to the previous review in 2012.

Much of this new development relates to bulk materials loading and transport, which is not so important for freight forwarding. There is, however, also a plan to develop a second general cargo berth. This will allow greater movement of shipping container cargo.

SPLS Freight Forwarders

It is hopeful that these and other port upgrades will help somewhat reduce the stress on sea freight shipping (thought here are currently many other factors).

We can help with everything from simply arranging cargo shipping, to the development of a comprehensive freight plan to assist your business goals. If you want to import or exports goods between Australia and anywhere around the world, come and speak with us.