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Container exports at record high.



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Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Container Exports At Record High

A30/2003 1st April 2003

Australia’s five major ports exported a record number of containers in the second half of 2002, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) has confirmed in its new issue of Waterline that the ports exported 659,383 twenty-foot equivalent units (teus) between July and December 2002, the highest figure ever recorded.

“The figures demonstrate the success of the Government’s waterfront reforms, which have created a dependable and efficient stevedoring industry for Australia’s export businesses,” Mr Anderson said.

“The five major ports moved an average of 26.0 containers per hour in the December quarter 2002, compared to 16.9 containers per hour when the Coalition took office in 1996. The national crane rate has now exceeded the Government’s benchmark — 25 containers per hour — for nine consecutive quarters.

“The availability of berths at Australian ports has also remained high. 94 percent of the ships arriving in Australia were able to berth within four hours of their scheduled time.

“The Federal Government is pressing ahead with our initiatives to make Australian logistics more efficient and reliable. Through the Australian Logistics Council, we are urging companies to adopt the EAN•UCC system as a uniform standard for digitally sharing freight information. The common standard would reduce freight handling errors and increase the efficiency of the supply chain.

“We are in the process of finalising the White Paper on AusLink, our visionary land transport plan. AusLink will result in improved transport planning, more private sector investment and better road and rail connections to our major ports,” Mr Anderson said.

The latest edition of Waterline is available at www.btre.gov.au/wline.htm

Media contact: Bill McKinley 02 62777680

Ph: 02 6277 7680 Email: john.anderson.mp@aph.gov.au Fax: 02 6273 4126