Shipping Australia said this is the only conclusion that can be drawn from a recent assessment of comparable container port performance released by the World Bank.
'All of our container ports, except Brisbane, are in the 25 per cent of the worst-performing container ports in the world. In fact, our container ports are not just in the lower 25 per cent, they are near the bottom of the lowest 25 per cent!' said Shipping Australia, calling the results 'dreadful'.
Speaking about 'The Container Port Performance Index 2020', the industry body added: 'Brisbane just about scrapes into the second-from-bottom 25 per cent of the worst-performing box ports in the world. Which means that all of our main container ports are in the bottom 50 per cent of box ports in the world when ranked by performance.'
On the topic of ports and shipping during the Covid crisis, the organisation observed local box ports have been unable to meet the high demand for the transportation of containers, and many box ports cannot adequately handle container ships and increased container trade, noted Shipping Australia.
It said that delays lasting weeks last year meant huge costs and have a knock-on effect of delays for other ports. 'Even one day of delay is significant A$91,000! (US$70,400)'
'Ultimately, we need one of two things to happen,' declared Shipping Australia. 'Either the complete roll-out of a world-wide anti-COVID vaccination programme, or for the lesser-performing container ports to get their act together and to manage their poor performance which is so damaging to the global economy.'
Australia's top three container ports are Melbourne (3 million TEU), Sydney (2.6 million TEU) and Brisbane (1.3 million TEU). Together, they handle 86.25 per cent of all Australia's container trade. Fremantle (800,000 TEU) and Adelaide (330,000 TEU), are Australia's other two main ports and handle most of the remainder of the country's trade.