A LACK of coastal shipping targets in the NSW Freight and Ports Plan represents a missed opportunity, according to Shipping Australia.

SAL chief executive Rod Nairn praised several aspects of the report and said it was encouraging to see “confirmation of ongoing use of coastal shipping to provide bulk building materials to the Sydney CBD and support for investigation into a national coastal shipping framework”.

“But there are no specific targets to increase utilisation of the latent coastal shipping capacity represented by the number of empty containers exported from NSW,” Commodore Nairn said.

“In what is otherwise a very well-developed plan it is disappointing that this measure has not been adopted, this is a missed opportunity from my perspective,” he said.

“If specific targets are not set to reduce existing spare container freight capacity there will be no imperative to pursue initiatives to improve it.”

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Commodore Nairn said Shipping Australia recognised the strengths of the plan and congratulated the NSW government for delivering “a plan which includes measurable initiatives that will help to achieve key goals economic growth, efficiency, connectivity and access, capacity, safety and sustainability”.

The SAL submission recommended the number of empty containers being exported from NSW be adopted as a measure of wasted freight capacity and targets be set to reduce that number by increased utilisation of coastal shipping.

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