CHAIN MAIL: Trials aim to improve Port Botany logistics efficiency

Sydney Ports Corporation chief operating officer Paul Weedon said the organisation had been engaging with industry officials over the last three months to improve efficiencies across the broader logistics chain associated with Port Botany.“It is the first time in Australia a port management organisation has moved away from the landlord model of port management to become actively engaged in managing and executing improvements to the ports logistics chain,” he said.The primary aim of the trials is to reduce landside delay around Port Botany’s cargo terminals and reduce the total cost of road and rail logistics by promoting consistent landside service by all service providers.“Over a two-week period commencing February 16, Sydney Ports in its first industry trial will benchmark the port’s existing performance to support greater transparency of industry logistics chain performance,” said Weedon.“Sydney Ports will use the first trial to baseline current performance across the logistics chain including container terminals, carriers and empty parks. “We’ll collect data to validate the proposed performance measures in scope for the second trial in April and for input into other project activities.”Ports Minister Joe Tripodi has committed to having the new measures in place and operational in time for the 2009 peak Christmas shipping season which begins around August.Shipping Australia has welcomed the first trial, saying that reform at the port is an absolute necessity.“The questions of peak charging of road carriers was extensively debated and clearly needs to be carefully thought through and all stakeholders consulted prior to implementation,” said Shipping Australia chief executive Llew Russell.“The only way this is going to work is for all links in the logistics chain to be strengthened and for all stakeholders to play their part.“Those who continually blame others in the chain for all their problems are likely to face a rude awakening.”The first trial will look at:Slot availability and utilisation – number available, number utilised;Vehicle processing time – from queuing to out gate;Container dwell times – impact on efficient terminal operations;Dual slot running – use of dual slots, export/import;Electronic processing – gauging benefits of full electronic processing; andIndustry communications – frequent and transparent communications.The second trial is pencilled in for mid-April this year.

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