Supply chain efficiencies driving TasPorts’ investments

More than three million tonnes of forestry products transited through TasPorts facilities in 2019-20, which includes the Burnie Chip Export Terminal, the Port of Bell Bay and Southern Export Terminals at the Port of Hobart.

TasPorts Chief Operating Officer Stephen Casey said that the company’s investment in fit-for-purpose infrastructure to facilitate growth is driven by the forestry sector’s significant contribution to the Tasmanian economy.

“The long-term sustainability of our ports is reliant upon ongoing investment in physical and digital infrastructure, to ensure we are responsive to user demand,” Mr Casey said.

“Our strategic intentions include a focus on facilitating freight and logistics solutions, to not only benefit the community, but to also create value for our customers.”

To enhance service reliability at the Burnie Chip Export Terminal (BCET) TasPorts has recently purchased a CAT D9T dozer for stockpile grooming and ship loading operations.

“The dozer, which represents an investment of almost $1.5 million, is due to arrive in March 2021 and will improve front-line capability at the facility, as well as overall fleet reliability,” Mr Casey said.

“The new bulldozer has leading technical specifications and will result in reduced emissions, as it complies with U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage IV emissions regulations.

“Further value will be added through the installation of GPS equipment that will enable the tracking of movement on the pile and measurement of stockpile height, supporting best practice materials handling at the BCET facility.”

At the Port of Bell Bay, one of the world’s largest dedicated woodchip bulkers, China Express, departed on October 4 fully laden with 58,000 tonnes of plantation woodchips.

“The maiden visit signified confidence in the forestry export sector and the criticality of the Port of Bell Bay in the supply chain, enabling the export of large volumes of Tasmanian product direct to international markets,” Mr Casey said.

“In August, TasPorts and Midway Limited entered into a partnership, which enables Midway to establish its own wood fibre processing and export facility at the Port of Bell Bay, with exports from the facility expected to commence in 2021.”

Planning is also underway to replace the Woodchip Ship Loader at the Port of Bell Bay, with TasPorts engaging with customers about the functionality of replacement infrastructure to improve loading results, particularly on larger vessels.

Pictured below (left to right) is TasPorts General Manager Logistics Nigel Foss, Artec Director Scott Arnold, Midway Tasmania Regional Manager Clint Webb, Sustainable Timber Tasmania CEO Steve Whiteley, Midway limited Managing Director & CEO Tony Price, and TasPorts Manager Logistics Peter Williams at the Port of Bell Bay with the China Express.

Meanwhile at the Port of Hobart, Stage 1 of the Southern Exports Terminals (SET) expansion project is complete.

TasPorts and Australian stevedore Qube Ports successfully operate SET as a joint venture log export terminal at Macquarie Wharves.

Mr Casey said the aim of the expansion is to improve the layout of the log storage yard and efficiency of SET operations.

“The works to date have included the demolition of redundant buildings, such as workshops and shed, within the secure port zone,” Mr Casey said.

“Over the coming months the security fence will be realigned and access to the Mac 4 sheds will be reconfigured to improve safety, whilst increasing the yard capacity to 20,000m2 with the ability to hold up to 35,000 JASm3 of logs.”

Southern Export Terminals is already seeing improved efficiencies, with a recent visiting vessel achieving a load rate at just under 198 JASm3 per hour.

If you would like to learn more about TasPorts terminal operations, or wish to discuss a specific logistic service requirement to support customer exports contact Nige Foss GM Logistics 1300 366 742.