The successful functioning of Melbourne and Sydney ports is important Australia’s trade with other countries and timely distribution of goods to the customers. There are two challenges that each of these ports faces currently, namely the necessity to increase capacity and improve accessibility. This paper will provide recommendations for addressing these problems.
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In 2009, the Port of Melbourne handled more than two million twenty-foot equivalents units or containers, and in the future this number is most likely to increase (Port of Melbourne Corporation 2009, p. 2). Moreover, this port harbors thousands of cargo and passenger ships throughout the world. There is an urgent need for the government to increase the capacity and accessibility of the port.
One of the steps is to establish a set of regional terminals that would provide some supply chain services such as warehousing, packing or unpacking (Port of Melbourne Corporation 2009, p. 27). This strategy will facilitate the handling of cargo. Moreover, the management of these terminals will have to develop schedule for pick-ups and drop-offs of the containers (Chen & Yang 2010, p 112).
These schedules will help them avoid traffic congestions near these terminals. Secondly, the capacity can be improved through the high productivity freight vehicles and rail (Port of Melbourne Corporation 2009, p. 28). Scholars believe that effective utilization of road and rail infrastructure can be a powerful determinant of the port capacity (Maloni, & Jackson 2005, p. 1). The use of rail will be important for the Port of Melbourne.
In part, the goal of this strategy is to reduce the number of small trucks that cannot carry large quantities of goods or containers. Moreover, the increasing number of such trucks results into air pollution, traffic congestion, and accidents (Roso 2008, p. 790). This is why their number should be minimized. The use of trains and high capacity vehicles will facilitate the transportation of goods to their customers.
They will accelerate the distribution of goods and subsequently increase the capacity of the port. This approach will ensure that the movement of cargo is not impeded. It should be noted that the accessibility of the port depends on its land use. The accessibility of the Melbourne Port can be improved by acquiring or renting some nearby lands. This approach will enable the government to establish new terminals for cargo ships.
Nevertheless, effective use of transportation resources will play a more important role because land acquisition can provide only a short-term solution since the port will not be allowed to acquire new lands on a regular basis.
In its turn, the Port of Sydney faces similar challenges. Currently, it handles 1.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units, and this number is projected to increase by four percent each year (Sydney Ports Corporation 2012, p. 17). As in the previous case, the government should intensify the use of rails and roads.
The government needs to expand the existing rail infrastructure so that cargo could be quickly distributed to the distribution terminals in the metropolitan area of Syndey (Sydney Ports Corporation, 2008, p. 10). From these terminals, goods can be distributed to the customers.
Furthermore, the Sydney Port should use some of the strategies implemented in Melbourne, namely to establish regional terminals where goods can stored, packed, or unpacked. These terminals can be located in the close proximity to the port. The goods can be transported to these terminals by trains or cargo vehicles that have large container capacity.
The Port of Sydney also has to address such an issue as the movement of small trucks that cannot carry many containers (Sydney Ports Corporation, 2008, p. 17). The thing is that they greatly slow down the movement of freight within the port. This port should rely more on high capacity trucks and trains. Again, the purpose of these strategies is to make sure that cargo can move in and out of the port as quickly as possible.
Finally, as in the previous case, the government will have to make some land acquisitions. They are necessary for increasing the accessibility of ports. In this way, the port will increase the number of locations where ships can stay and where their cargo can be handled.
Moreover, land acquisition is important for constructing new terminals. Nevertheless, transportation resources are more significant for increasing accessibility and efficiency of the Sydney Port.
Overall, these recommendations indicate that the capacity of a port is largely based on its ability to use transportation infrastructure. High capacity freight vehicles, railroad transportation, and establishment of regional terminals can be the key to increasing the accessibility and capacity of ports.
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Admittedly, the acquisition of land will be necessary, but the emphasis should be placed on better use of transportation infrastructure because such a strategy is more cost-effective.
Chen, G. & Yang, Z. 2010, “Optimizing time windows for managing export container arrivals at Chinese container terminals”, Maritime Economics & Logistics, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 111-126.
Maloni, M. & Jackson, E.C. 2005, “North American Container Port Capacity: An Exploratory Analysis”, Transportation Journal, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 1-22.
Port of Melbourne Corporation, 2009. Port Development Strategy: 2035 Vision. Web.
Roso, V. 2008, “Factors influencing implementation of a dry port”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 782-798.
Sydney Ports Corporation, 2008. Port Freight Logistics Plan. Web.
Sydney Ports Corporation, 2012 The Annual Report. Web.