ICHCA South Australia recently held a successful industry event in Adelaide, at the Coopers Alehouse Gepps Cross, which was attended by more than 40 guests from the freight and logistics industry. Keynote speakers were Jonathan Cheong, Adelaide Airport head of aviation business development & commercial and Scott McKay, T-Ports CEO and Flywheel Advisory founder & principal.

Jonathan gave an overview what’s currently happening at Adelaide Airport and how, since the Covid pandemic, the airport is endeavouring to get its air freight volumes back up to pre-Covid levels. As most airfreight is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft, frequent international and national schedules are required to provide a regular freight service to importers and exporters. Consequently, the airport is working with several airlines to re-establish services that existed before Covid.

Scott’s presentation showed how, given the right circumstances, it is feasible to use a shallow draft transhipment vessel to export grain and other agricultural cargoes in Panamax size ships.

The larger vessel is anchored in the Spencer Gulf and the smaller transhipment vessel shuttles back and forth from the load port, in this case Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, with about 10,000 tonnes of cargo, until the larger vessel is full. This process gives smaller exporters an opportunity to market their products without having to build extensive infrastructure to accommodate deep draft vessels. More than 50 ocean-going vessel loads have been completed so far, with grain exported to over 10 different countries. T-Ports is now looking to expand its offering and is in the process of setting up a similar process at Wallaroo. Its vision is to roll out transhipment-ports across Australia and internationally where there are agriculture and mining resources that would otherwise be unviable due to prohibitive supply chain costs.

Michael Simms, ICHCA Australia’s state chair, thanked both speakers for their insightful presentations and guests enjoyed a two-course lunch with plenty of opportunity for networking.