By Peter BreenThe Bureau of Maritime Affairs has released its first quarterly survey of the freight industry, and it’s full of alarming news for ports.
The Bureau’s new survey reveals that more than half of container ships are going to ports that don’t have port-based terminals, and they’re being pushed further and further away.
The bureau says that since the end of the year, there have been an average of 3.7 container ship movements per port, and the figure is growing.
The number of containers per port is up to 17.7 per cent compared to last year, the bureau said.
“The increase in cargo movement has been driven by demand from the world’s growing trade markets, particularly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” it said.
The report shows that over half of the container ships surveyed were going to port at port.
And the biggest growth in cargo activity came from the Pacific, where the bureau found that cargo from China was up 30 per cent.
“Our data also suggests that container traffic to the Pacific has been increasing steadily since 2015, driven in part by increasing demand for the commodity, but also by a surge in the supply of container goods from China,” the bureau reported.
The data showed that in 2017, China accounted for 45 per cent of container movement.
It was the second-largest market for container imports after the United States.
China has been accused of blocking imports from the United Nations and other countries, including Australia.
The US, which has been criticised for not doing enough to enforce the import restrictions, has been working on an anti-dumping measure that could target China.
But it’s not clear how the measure would work.
China’s Maritime Safety Administration has been given authority to take action against any ports that ship goods to Australia, but it’s unclear how it will use that power.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the anti-submarine measures could only be taken if it has a valid reason to do so.
“The anti-ship activities of the Maritime Safety Agency will be in place for the purpose of deterring, monitoring and deterring illegal and unlawful activities related to shipping to and from the Australian mainland,” the authority said in a statement.
“Any activity that may be identified as illegal and/or unlawful will be subject to appropriate measures by the Maritime Security Authority.”
The ABS also said that there are more than 70,000 containers a day that are heading to ports in Australia, and that there were more than 10,000 container ships in operation at the end-of-year.
But the bureau warned that it doesn’t know exactly how many containers are being moved every day.
“While the number of container movements has grown steadily since 2016, the ABS has been tracking movement for the past two years,” the agency said.
It said the ABS was “monitoring and analyzing the movement of more than 50 million containers per year”.