From left: Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and HPH deputy chairman John Meredith celebrate the official opening of Brisbane Container Terminals.
The official opening of the Brisbane Container Terminals (BCT) last week signified a major shift in the competitiveness of Australia's waterfront, which has been dominated by two players.
The new container terminal is part of the Hutchison Port Holdings group, one of the largest port operators in the world.
BCT chief executive Dr Stephen Gumley says the new terminal's strategic significance can't be underestimated.
"Brisbane Container Terminals is the first terminal operated by a third stevedore to service Australia's important east coast container trade," he notes.
"Until now, this market was the sole province of two companies. Now, it is one in which three companies vie for shipping line business. This has to be good for shipping lines and their customers with greater value and better service."
He says BCT will play an important role in maximising the success of third stevedore operators in Sydney and Melbourne.
"Stand-alone operators will face considerable challenges in this market because typically the incumbent stevedores have tended to package ports in their offer to shipping lines or offer discounts based on national volumes.
"HPH with its investments in Brisbane and Sydney's Port Botany is already providing a two-port alternative and we are seeking to extend that to three east coast ports."
He adds that BCT is the first terminal in Australia to introduce automated stacking crane technology.