Roy Cummins, Port of Brisbane CEO, said yesterday at the launch of the Trade Community System proof of concept in Brisbane: “To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms which facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector.”
The blockchain platform is designed to improve productivity and reduce costs and the complexity of international trade by eliminating human errors and duplication of data inputs through digitization, as all recorded information is shared in real time and in an encrypted form through a decentralized ledger rather than kept in files of individual companies involved in the supply chain.
The Trade Community System will address a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities Report.
PwC partner, Ben Lannan said: “The port is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge. To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports. The Trade Community System proof of concept is the first stage in building an innovative end-to-end supply chain that will digitise the flow of trading information, improve connectivity for supply chain participants, reduce friction for business and reduce supply chain costs, providing unprecedented productivity gains for Australia’s international businesses.”
Australia’s trade volumes show positive growth. As we already wrote, in 2016 – 2017, the container throughput of the Australian ports grew by 3.7% to 7.2 mln TEU, the highest volume ever recorded, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. And this figure is projected by PwC to rise to 15 mln by 2025.
Brisbane, Queensland’s largest multi-cargo port and Australia’s container port #3, handled 1.2 mln TEU last year, demonstrating the country’s largest growth in container traffic, +6.4%, thanks to growing Queensland’s imports and agricultural exports.
The increasing volumes add pressure on supply chains, ports and border authorities.
“At present the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to USD 450 in excess costs per container,” says Bryan Clark, ACCI Director of Trade and International Affairs. “This doesn’t just represent in excess of USD 1 bln in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market.” He called for a major digital reform and modernization agenda for Australia’s trade industry.