Background to the Empty Container Supply Chain Study
Port Botany is a vital part of Australia’s freight and logistics supply chain. As Australia’s second largest container port, it plays a critical role in connecting NSW with the rest of the world and keeps the state’s economy functioning. The importance of Port Botany will continue to grow over the next 20 years. A key goal of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 is to improve the flow of freight through trade gateways. The Plan includes a commitment to collaborate with shipping lines, container terminal stevedores, intermodal terminals and empty container parks (ECPs), to investigate how to improve the movement of empty containers into and out of Port Botany.
NineSquared and Neil Matthews Consulting were engaged by TfNSW to investigate issues with the operation of the NSW empty container supply chain, and options for improving their use and the movement of empty containers into and out of Port Botany. The work encompassed:
- consultation with industry stakeholders across the supply chain, including stevedores, transport operators, cargo owners, shipping lines and peak bodies, to identify key issues related to empty container handling.
- Supply chain analysis to assess the materiality and cost impact of key issues on the freight industry and consumers.
- Targeted interviews to test and validate analysis and recommendations.
A series of recommendations were made to address issues in the supply chain including initiatives to improve industry collaboration, development and publication of performance measures and potential options for longer term reforms including changes in regulation.
Results and relevance
Our recommendations provide a way forward for TfNSW to work collaboratively with industry in the development and implementation of short- and medium-term solutions to improve the efficiency of the empty container supply chain in NSW. These solutions include technology upgrades, improved data sharing, increasing ECP capacity and the greater utilisation of rail