The uptake of technology on the ship and shore-side interfaces of the Australian waterfront have considerable implications for the costs and quality of the service provided to Australian agricultural exporters. RIRDC accordingly commissioned Access Economics to undertake an assessment of the uptake of container-related technology and management systems within stevedoring and its immediate ship and shore-side interfaces in three Australian ports, and to compare that performance against that of selected international ports. The focus is on containerised agricultural exports, with particular emphasis on meat, dairy, wool and cotton exports. Access Economics was assisted in this task by Maunsell Australia.
This study found that there has been a marked improvement in recent years and that the three main Australian ports compare very favourably with the benchmarked international ports in the application of new technologies. This is a pleasing outcome, but there are areas where further improvements can be made – particularly further up the supply chain and in trying to ensure that technologies that international shipping companies might introduce are consistent with the technologies in use in Australia.