Logistics News

Port of Brisbane backs blockchain initiative

Port joins PwC and ACCI to launch Trade Community System


The Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) has emerged as an innovation leader with blockchain just days winning a major technology award.

The port is part of trio with PwC Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), whose initiative links supply chain information through blockchain technology.

Dubbed a ‘Trade Community System’ (TCS), the collaboration says it will “revolutionise international trade by removing complexity”.

“To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms which facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,” PBPL CEO Roy Cummins says at the launch of a proof of concept Trade Community System digital application in Brisbane.

For PwC, the efficiency potential is of a high order at this early point in the systems development.

“The Trade Community System proof of concept is the first stage in building an innovative end-to-end supply chain that will digitise the flow of trading information, improve connectivity for supply chain participants, reduce friction for business and reduce supply chain costs, providing unprecedented productivity gains for Australia’s international businesses,” PwC partner Ben Lannan said.

“The port – whether sea or air – is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge. To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports.”

The proponents see the Trade Community System as addressing a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities (NFSCP) Report.

“As a trading nation, Australia relies on efficient and effective international supply chains to drive its economic engine room,” ACCI director of trade and international affairs Bryan Clark says.

The trio notes that the country is experiencing trade volume growth that has increased pressure on supply chains, ports and border authorities to process, screen and clear goods as efficiently as possible.

While there are about 9 million container movements at the major ports annually. This figure is projected to rise to 15 million by 2025.

“At present, the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container,” Clark says.

“This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1bn in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market.”

The overseas aspect is front of mind for PBPL

“It is the right time for industry to initiate a reform and modernisation agenda which will shift the dial for Australia’s international business,” Cummins says.

Earlier, he was celebrating the port’s recognition in Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s (IPA’s) 2018 National Infrastructure Awards.

Its partnership with DHI Australia sees it nab the smart infrastructure project award  for under-keel clearance technology NCOS Online.

“The multi-award winning technology is the world’s most advanced under keel clearance technology that allows larger and deeper-draught vessels to call at Port of Brisbane without the need for additional dredging in the region’s 90km-long shipping channel,” the port says.

Cummins describes NCOS as a “game-changer” for the Port of Brisbane.

By boosting the Port’s capacity to handle larger vessels without compromising safety, we have added value to our customers and maximised efficiency for all Port users,” he says.

“Not only is NCOS Online a giant leap forward for the maritime industry in terms of operational flexibility, it’s a clear commitment from the Port of Brisbane to protect the local environment in which we operate.

“We’re working closely with our partners, innovating and investing in technology to make sure we position the Port strongly for the future.

“The Port of Brisbane is determined to never be the limiting factor for shipping on Australia’s east coast, and NCOS Online helps us achieve that.”

It says it has seen a tripling of 14 metre-plus draught cargo ships and a doubling of 13 m or more containerships since August.

 The technology won a gong at last year’s Dredging and Port Construction (DPC) Innovation Awards, held in London.


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