Shipping Australia and the World Shipping Council have met to discuss a common stance on liner shipping policy, in order to support global trade and the Australian economy. 

The two bodies noted that container shipping is of vital importance to the continued well-being of Australians. 

According to leading Australian transport economists, the average daily value of Australia’s containerised trade is approximately $721.14 million a day. That is equivalent to about 12.7 per cent of Australia’s daily gross domestic product. The volume of Australia’s daily containerised trade is approximately 162,665t a day.

Australia’s international trade supports the employment of millions of Australians. It was estimated in the 2017 publication, Australian Trade Liberalisation: analysis of the economic impacts, by the Centre for International Economics on Australian Trade Liberalisation for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, that one in five Australian jobs were related to global trade.

If that ratio still holds true today, then, based on August 2023 Australian Bureau of Statistics data which shows that over 14.1 million Australians were employed, global trade supports over 2.8 million Australian jobs.

The two bodies therefore agreed that any policy that boosts liner shipping connectivity in Australia, or makes liner shipping business easier or less costly, can only benefit the people of Australia through increased productivity and employment, through benefitting Australian businesses involved in containerised trade, and through easing the delivery of products to Australia for everyday Australian families to buy.

Consequently, Shipping Australia and the World Shipping Council wrote a letter to a variety of policymakers in Australia to raise concerns about the recent decision of the European Union to let the Consortia Block Exemption lapse next year. The two bodies also encouraged policymakers to adopt policies that preserve the ability to operate ships in vessel sharing agreements as such agreements deliver cost-savings and efficiency benefits for everyone in the supply chain.

Shipping Australia’s CEO, Capt Melwyn Noronha, expressed his thanks to the World Shipping Council. 

“We are very pleased to be working with such a well-regarded global industry association as the World Shipping Council and, in fact, we have been working with them for some years now,” Capt Noronha said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the World Shipping Council for their generous contributions of their expertise and their time. We will look forward to developing common policy positions with the World Shipping Council in the future.”

World Shipping Council Managing Director Asia, Ken Chia, said that the World Shipping Council and Shipping Australia have a shared purpose in working for efficient, safe, and environmentally sustainable ocean shipping. 

“We greatly value Shipping Australia’s unique insight and our constructive collaboration in working towards these goals, today and for the future.”

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