Trade

Beef shipments help Port of Brisbane reach record container turnover

Jon Condon, 13/11/2012

 

The Port of Brisbane has reached a critical activity milestone, turning over one million shipping containers last financial year for the first time, driven in part by growth in chilled and frozen export beef trade.

Data released by the Port of Brisbane last week shows that containerised chilled and frozen beef shipments last financial year (2011-12) reached 673,000 tonnes, representing more than 70 percent of Australia’s total beef exports.

Just over 70pc of the trade was in frozen form, with almost 30pc in chilled containers.

The total beef tonnage was up about 1pc on the 2010-11 year, and 3pc on the year before that, and represented almost 48,000 TEU refrigerated containers.

Other agricultural commodities to perform well last year included cereal and other grains and cotton, reflecting the return to more favourable seasonal conditions.

Total container trade into and out of the port last year reached 1.025 million units (TEUs), a rise of 4.7pc on the year before, despite challenging economic conditions within Australia and overseas.

This is the first time Port of Brisbane has recorded one million TEUs in a financial year, and reflects the growth in infrastructure at the port. 

Strong export numbers are predicted to continue in 2012/2013 due to continued international demand for high-quality Australian product.

Infrastructure development at the Port of Brisbane reached another milestone recently with the arrival of a pair of 109-metre-high quay cranes for the new Hutchison Port Holdings’ terminal, Brisbane Container Terminals.

The new cranes, pictured here, weigh more than 850 tonnes each, and are capable of reaching across ships 18 containers wide.

Brisbane Container Terminals is on target to start initial operations by the end of the year, marking the entry of Hutchison Port Holdings into the Australian stevedoring market. 

BCT chief executive, Dr Stephen Gumley, said that the arrival of the cranes was evidence of Hutchison’s commitment to the Australian port industry. The company is investing more than $250 million in the development of the new container terminal in Brisbane. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recently released annual container stevedoring monitoring report suggests greater competition at the wharf, through the arrival of Hutchison, should provide greater levels of efficiency.

The addition of capacity at most ports and the entry of the new stevedore in Brisbane and Sydney are both important developments for promoting heightened competition in the market, ACCC said.

“The arrival of a new operator heralds the next wave of reform in Australian stevedoring, one in which greater competition can drive investment and service levels,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said. See Beef Central’s previous article covering this subject, “Competition to provide next wave of reform in Australian stevedoring.”

By 2014, the Port of Brisbane will be the first port in Australia where all stevedores in operation – Patrick, DP World and Hutchison Port Holdings – will have automated container handling equipment.

  • The Port of Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest growing container ports. The port is managed and developed by the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL), under a 99-year lease from the Queensland Government. PBPL is owned by the Q Port Holdings consortium, comprising four of the world’s largest and most experienced infrastructure investors: Global Infrastructure Partners; Industry Funds Management; QIC Global Infrastructure; and Tawreed Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

 

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