The third Australian stevedore, Hutchison Ports Holdings, has begun operations in Brisbane.
The official opening of its Brisbane Container Terminals was performed by Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Warren Truss.
The new container terminal, on reclaimed land on Fisherman’s Island in the Port of Brisbane, is part of the Hutchison Port Holdings group, one of the largest port developers and operators in the world.
HPH deputy chairman Dr John Meredith said he saw BCT as a significant player in Australia’s developing trade and the HPH network that spans 52 countries.
“We intend to be here for the long haul and we intend to make a difference,” he said.
BCT chief executive Dr Stephen Gumley said the new terminal’s strategic significance couldn’t be underestimated.
“Brisbane Container Terminals is the first terminal operated by a third stevedore to service Australia’s important east coast container trade,” he said. “This is a dramatic and positive change on the waterfront.
“Until now, this market was the sole province of two companies. Now it is one in which three companies vie for shipping line business. This has to be good for shipping lines and their customers with greater value and better service.”
Dr Gumley said Brisbane Container Terminals would play an important role in maximising the success of third stevedore operators in Sydney and Melbourne.
“Stand-alone operators will face considerable challenges in this market because typically the incumbent stevedores have tended to package ports in their offer to shipping lines, or offer discounts based on national volumes.
“HPH with its investments in Brisbane and Sydney’s Port Botany is already providing a two-port alternative and we are seeking to extend that to three east coast ports.”
“Our growth has been deliberate, steady and considered, as we resolve the inevitable issues encountered developing any new operation from the ground up,” Dr Gumley said. “Brisbane Container Terminals is part of the HPH group and we are extremely happy with the development.
“We are committed to bringing the latest in stevedoring operations to Australia. BCT is the first terminal in Australia to introduce the Automated Stacking Crane technology.”