A CROSS-SECTION of industry and academia have gathered at RMIT University, for the Inaugural Symposium of Australian Maritime Logistics Research Network.

The event, driven by Associate Professor Vinh Thai, included experts from as far away as China as well as from around Australia.

Themes discussed included Blockchain, the move towards data-driven technology, customer service, ports policy and autonomous shipping, to name a few.

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 A fascinating post-lunch panel session featured senior consultant IMO2020 and port sustainability was held involving senior consultant Dr John Blunt, general manager IT and strategy for Australian Amalgamated Terminals Vincent Macheda and Mainfreight air and ocean branch manager Dave Coughlin.

This panel sessions delved deeply into ideas of how universities and the private sector can more closely cooperate.

Earlier, Captain Bilal Khan of the Port of Melbourne had provided an interesting insight into their strategic plans and handling such trends as the move to electric vehicles and noting this would require “an integrated approach”.

Captain Khan also noted the day of autonomous ships was coming “much sooner than we thought”.

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