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VTA calls for a supply chain that works for everyone: Port Outlook 2019

  • Posted on Wednesday 7th, August 2019.

Leaders from across the freight, ports and supply chain met in Melbourne yesterday to discuss the Victorian ports sector at the Victorian Transport Association’s annual Port Outlook seminar.

VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, welcomed delegates at the event and presented the day as an opportunity for professionals from across the supply chain and logistics industry to stay in touch with the activities of the ports in Victoria. 

Anderson encouraged everyone in the room to connect with each other and to find ways of collaborating.

“In our industry, there is little room for error,” he said. “Margins are being squeezed and we are all asking ourselves how can we move more with less? This is where we need to establish a supply chain that works for everyone, regardless of the mode.”

Melissa Horne, Victorian Minister for Ports, Freight and Public Transport said that the State Government is “committed to change”.

“Freight is a portfolio that this government takes very seriously,” she said.

“It affects everyone in the community. But we understand that there is disconnect between community and industry.

“The movement of freight powers our economy and provides thousands of jobs but can so often be seen as a nuisance to the community.”

Horne spoke of the challenging dilemma that policy makers are presenting with when trying to support industry while at the same time managing the growth of the city.

“Victoria is the nation’s freight hub and the Andrews Government is proud to give freight a vital place in cabinet,” she said – emphasising a commitment to look at efficiencies that could be found in coastal shipping and a better use of rail to cope with the demand projected. “Currently 5,500 trucks visit the Port of Melbourne every day, that could reach 16,000 in this lease term. This is simply unsustainable.”

Horne spoke of the Port Rail Shuttle and announced that for every $2 of private investment there will be $1 of public money available.

“A better use of rail at Port of Melbourne is key to increasing capacity,” she said.

Brendan Bourke, CEO at Port of Melbourne, also spoke of collaboration and he presented figures that showed less growth than this time last year.

“The figures at the Port reflect what’s happening more generally in the economy,” he said. “Slow economic growth, low interest rates, drought conditions etc. Bulk grain was down 82.3 per cent for example,” Bourke said, However, he is not concerned with some decline in growth. “History shows you do have ups and downs but the long-term trend for the Port is very much upwards.”

On the subject of interoperability, Bourke said that he is always looking outside the Port gates to find out how the supply chain can work more efficiently and closer together.

Delegates attended a boat tour of the Port of Melbourne and heard from leading professionals in this sector including Mike Gallacher, CEO, Ports Australia and senior leaders from Victoria’s stevedores.

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