Qld eyes shifting big freight off Bruce Hwy

Ports strategy report gives more detail on state coastal shipping and tackles supply chain cooperation

Qld eyes shifting big freight off Bruce Hwy
Queensland Ports Strategy seeks user-driven efficiencies


The Queensland Government will look into shifting over-size and over-mass freight to coastal shipping under its proposed Sea Freight Action Plan (SFAP), its ports strategy document shows.

In the Government’s sights will be mining equipment in particular but there are other aspects that will be examined in a report due "in mid-2014".

There will also be a Parliamentary inquiry into the mode intra-state.

This was a pledge in Premier Campbell Newman’s January-June 2014 six month action plan of January, which stated the Government would investigate the feasibility of coastal shipping between Queensland ports.

In sketching its parameters, the Queensland Ports Strategy 2014 document states: "The SFAP will aim to investigate means by which certain cargoes, particularly over size over mass (OSOM) mining equipment, can be redirected off Queensland roads and onto coastal shipping services.

"The SFAP will also consider an expanded use of shipping containers to support agricultural exports.

"A key benefit of such a plan will be to free up space on existing supply chain modes that are stressed.

"In particular, shifting OSOM equipment from being trucked along the Bruce Highway to a coastal shipping model will improve safety on public road infrastructure.

"The SFAP will examine the capability of existing port and land based infrastructure to accommodate the handling of identified cargoes.

"In order to improve the performance of supply chains, the SFAP will outline actions for government to work with commercial operators to facilitate the introduction of dedicated intra-state coastal shipping services between ports."

The idea of the action plan surfaced last year with little fanfare and appears to have its roots in the Moving Freight report, which stated a three- to five-year aim to: "Identify system integration requirements to support the viability of coastal shipping."

It gained a public name in the draught ports strategy document.

Also central to the ports strategy is cooperation and coordination in the supply chain to maximise infrastructure efficiency supported by the five Priority Port Development Areas to be created for Townsville, Abbot Point, Hay Point and Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane.

"Improved coordination among supply chain service providers and infrastructure users (e.g. importers and exporters) can lead to efficiency gains without infrastructure upgrades," the document states.

"Long-term strategic planning will better identify infrastructure upgrade requirements to ensure supply chains are well placed to handle increases in throughput.

"By promoting a collaborative approach, through consultation with infrastructure users and service providers, and establishing common targets through data sharing, it is anticipated that proponents across the supply chain can achieve mutual benefits to improve efficiency and reduce costs."

The ports strategy document can be found here.

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