Marking a seismic shift on the Australian waterfront, the third stevedore in Australia started their operations this month in the Port of Brisbane. The Brisbane Container Terminals (BCT) was inaugurated by Hon. Warren Truss, acting Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Australia. The Brisbane Container Terminals has been set up in the reclaimed land in Fisherman’s Island that belongs to the Port of Brisbane. The new container terminal is promoted by Hutchison Port Holdings, one of the largest developers as well as operators of ports in the world.
According to the deputy chairman of Hutchison Port Holdings, Dr. John Meredith, the Brisbane Container Terminals has a very important role to play in the development of Australia’s trade. He added that the Brisbane Container Terminals will also be a key investment among Hutchison’s investments spanning 52 countries and that the company is prepared for a long haul as the intention of setting up the terminal is to bring about a difference in this market segment.
Dr. Stephen Gumley, chief executive of Brisbane Container Terminals, said that the strategic significance of this new terminal should not be underestimated in any manner whatsoever because it is not only a dramatic, but also a positive development on Australia’s waterfront. According to him, the Brisbane Container Terminals services the most important container trade on the eastern coast of Australia and is the first terminal that will be operated by the third stevedore.
Further, he added that two companies were the sole operators of this business in Australia up until now and the new container terminal marks the arrival of the third operator in this niche market segment. Now, the three companies would be vying for the shipping line business which is good for both the shipping lines as well as their customers because of value addition and availability of better services.
Gumley also said that the Brisbane Container Terminals has an important role to play in maximizing the third stevedore operator’s success in Melbourne as well as Sydney. “In this market, stand-alone operators will be faced with considerable challenges. This is because of the fact that incumbent stevedores have typically been packaging ports when they provided offers to shipping lines or offering discounts on the basis of national volumes.”, he added (source). Through its investments in Sydney’s Port Botany and in Brisbane, the Hutchison Port Holdings will be making available a two-port alternative. Further, their effort will be to seek extension of operations to three ports in the east coast of Australia.
About Port of Brisbane
The Port of Brisbane, located at the Brisbane River mouth, is one of the fastest growing among the container ports. It is also the largest cargo port in Queensland. Port of Brisbane is developed and managed Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd. under a 99-year lease agreement with the government of Queensland. However, it is owned by the consortium, Q Port Holdings, formed by four large as well as experienced infrastructure investors in the world.
The role of Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd. includes the following:
• Development and maintenance of the port as well as its related facilities
• Operation of Brisbane Multimodal Terminal
• Leasing/managing land for services related to the port
• Facilitation of the approval process for developments on core port land of Brisbane
• Maintaining the access to the port navigable for commercial shipping
• Operation of the Visitors Centre
In June 2009, the Queensland premier announced the sale of Port of Brisbane Corporation as part of Renewing Queensland Plan. All machinery and equipment, including the employees, were transferred by the Queensland government to the new company Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd. for carrying out the operations. In November the same year, Q Port Holdings was announced as the successful bidder by the Queensland Treasurer and they became the new owner of the port in 2010.