Wednesday 20th Sep, 2017

Logistics technology change has been gradual, says Port of Melbourne head

Photo: David Sexton
Photo: David Sexton

PORT of Melbourne chief executive Brendan Bourke has noted the impact of technology on the logistics supply so far has been gradual.

Mr Bourke spoke at a Shipping Australia breakfast at the Sofitel on Collins where the discussion was on the likely impact of Blockchain technology.

He noted the march of technology including the floppy disk, mobile phones and smart phones.

“Over time we have seen how PCs and the internet and the connection of mobile devices have become integral parts of our personal and business lives,” he said.

But he noted that technology that “leapfrogs” rather than simply improved operations could “significantly alter the landscape”.

“A few things that stuck out to me in relation to ports,” he said.

“It seems to me there is a degree of fragmentation in the industry. There is a really long supply chain from the customer to the ship.”

Mr Bourke indicated industry could be in for a shock.

“It seems to me that really there has been limited technology disruption across that supply chain across the last couple of decades.

“I’m not saying that there haven’t been technology issues. But each step has become more efficient through technology and the use of the internet and digitalisation.

“However, I think it is the fundamental steps and overall process changes that haven’t radically changed over time,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem to me that a huge amount of disruption has occurred.”

Mr Bourke’s presentation was followed by ones from Gerard Morrison of Maersk Line and Sophie Gilder from the Commonwealth Bank.

A panel discussion was chaired by Holman Fenwick Willan partner, Gavin Vallely

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