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SAL: Encourage competition among Australian stevedores
Shipping Australia’s (SAL) members welcomed the recent
ACCC stevedoring monitoring report which concluded that
if Australia is to meet the predicted boom in the container
trade, competition is needed to encourage stevedores to
invest further in terminals and make the best use of existing
facilities, according to Llew Russell, Chief Executive Officer
“The very comprehensive financial report devoted a whole
chapter to this important point that, when commercially viable,
increased competition will challenge the existing duopoly to
invest further and increase productivity in their container
terminals,” he said.
“It was noted that the Victorian Government is presently
considering the provision of infrastructure to facilitate the entry
of a third operator around 2014 and hopefully this report will
persuade Victoria to provide those facilities sooner rather than
later if Melbourne is to retain its status as Australia’s major
The report makes detailed reference to emerging quayside
congestion at larger container ports, mostly in Sydney.
Reference was also made to the forthcoming “Waterline”
report by the Australian Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and
Regional Economics which shows that there has not been a
significant increase in the per crane container handling rate since
2001 despite investment in new generation equipment including
the cranes that lift the containers on and off the ships.
“A number of major container handling members of SAL have
expressed surprise at the crane productivity figures shown in the
ACCC report as their experience, especially in Sydney, show a
much lower average crane handling rate,” Mr Russell said.
SAL supports continuation of this excellent detailed financial
analysis of the stevedoring industry in Australia and when
combined with the Waterline report on operational efficiency, it
gives a very clear picture of the current state of play.
“The real value of the report lies in its detailed analysis and it
is interesting that there has been an increase in unit margins in
2009 to 2010 compared to the previous year and the adjusted
rates of return on tangible assets increased from 17.63 percent to
“The results of the ACCC’s monitoring programme clearly
indicate that competition between existing stevedores is not
intense. SAL believes that with the projected growth in container
volumes, greater competition is the most effective means of
driving productivity in existing capacity and the best means of
driving efficient investment in new capacity.”
As the ice-capped Arctic Ocean warms, ship traffic will
increase at the top of the world, and a new route connecting
international trading partners may emerge. However, this
will not be without significant repercussions to the climate,
according to a US and Canadian research team that includes a
University of Delaware (UD) scientist.
If the Arctic Ocean continues to warm, new shipping lanes
could emerge at the top of the world.
However, growing Arctic ship traffic will bring with it air
pollution that has the potential to accelerate climate change in
the world’s northern reaches. And it’s more than a greenhouse
gas problem – engine exhaust particles could increase warming
by some 17-78 percent, the researchers say.
James J. Corbett, professor of marine science and policy at UD,
is a lead author of the first geospatial approach to evaluating the
potential impacts of shipping on Arctic climate. The study,
“Arctic Shipping Emissions Inventories and Future Scenarios,” is
published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
James J. Corbett is a professor of marine policy in the School
of Marine Science and Policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean,
“One of the most potent ‘short-lived climate forcers’ in diesel
emissions is black carbon, or soot,” says Corbett, who is on the
faculty of UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
“Ships operating in or near the Arctic use advanced diesel
engines that release black carbon into one of the most sensitive
regions for climate change.”
Produced by ships from the incomplete burning of marine
fuel, these tiny particles of carbon act like “heaters” because they
absorb sunlight – both directly from the sun, and reflected from
the surface of snow and ice. Other particles released by ship
engines also rank high among important short-lived climate
forcers, and this study estimates their combined global warming
To better understand the potential impact of black carbon and
other ship pollutants on climate, including carbon dioxide,
methane and ozone, the research team produced high-resolution
(five-kilometre-by-five-kilometre) scenarios that account for
growth in shipping in the region through 2050, and also outline
potential new Arctic shipping routes.
Among the research team’s most significant findings is that a
northwest passage and northeast passage through the Arctic
Ocean would provide distance savings of about 25 percent and
50 percent, respectively, with coincident time and fuel savings.
However, the team says trade-offs from the short-lived climate
forcing impacts must be studied.
Ship traffic diverting from current routes to new routes
through the Arctic is projected to reach two percent of global
traffic by 2030 and five percent in 2050. In comparison,
shipping volumes through the Suez and Panama canals
currently account for about four percent and eight percent of
global trade volume, respectively.
“To understand the value of addressing short-lived climate
forcers from shipping, you need to know the impacts of these
emissions, the feasibility and availability of technologies that
could be put in place to reduce these impacts, and then engage
the policy-making community to debate the evidence and agree
on a plan,” Corbett notes.
Port Botany: More competition needed says SAL
Canadian Coast Guard vessels in the Arctic
New shorter shipping routes to emerge as the Arctic warms
December 2010 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
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