Release Date:
Release ID: 5027

ANL Boss Slams Sydney Port Performance

“The turmoil in Sydney is just another example of governments failing to listen to shipping lines until it is too late”, said John Lines, Managing Director of ANL Container Line.

This week DP World had to close its Port Botany terminal for a 24-hour period whilst it cleared out the boxes which had congested the terminal to the point where nothing could move. Meanwhile ships operating on tight fixed day schedules had to wait alongside the berth or at anchor.

“Our vessels can cost around US$25,000 per day and we have to let them sit idle. This is completely unacceptable. Where do we recover this cost from and the US$ 20 to 30 thousand per day in extra fuel we incur speeding vessels up to regain time? What about the extra costs in the whole supply chain this brings about?

We are getting 3rd world stevedoring in a 1st world country. Australia should be ashamed that one of the country’s major ports is operating this way”, said Mr Lines.

“What has happened in Sydney is a symptom of the poor and locally focused infrastructure planning right across the country. Decisions are made too late and not in a coordinated way”, Mr. Lines went on to say.

Despite the global financial crisis, the Australian container trade has continued on its path of rapid growth. Shipping lines are investing in larger, more economic and more environmentally friendly vessels, yet land-side development in ports lags too far behind.

“It is time for those responsible for land-side infrastructure and operations to improve their game”, John Lines said. “It is not rocket science to know that when trade continues to expand year after year, and terminal space is static or contracts, eventually the bottleneck which develops will stop everything. And this week in Sydney it did!”

The same situation is developing in Melbourne. ANL has put a strong submission to the Victorian Government to develop Webb Dock as an international container terminal. Webb Dock has a capacity to cater for one million TEU per annum, and could be ready as early as 2014.

“If the government does not move quickly, Melbourne will face the same problems as Sydney, the port will be full and extra capacity is years away”, concluded Mr. Lines.
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