National Farmers' Federation

NFF backs Productivity Commission review into Australia’s maritime logistics systems

The National Farmers Federation welcomes the Productivity Commission review into Australia’s maritime logistics systems initiated by the Treasurer and the Trade Minister.

“We welcome any review that can work through structural issues with our international freight supply chains, noting that Australia’s port and stevedoring services have been rated as some of the most unproductive in the world, with all but one port in the bottom quartile for productivity globally,” National Farmers Federation CEO, Tony Mahar said.

“It costs the same to ship a container of grain from South Australia to Indonesia as it does from Canada, despite being some 10,00km closer, this is simply unacceptable.”

The Productivity Commission review is a holistic review of all aspects of the maritime logistics system, including the operating model of ports and stevedoring, infrastructure and planning impediments, and workforce and industrial relations issues.

“Whereas previous reviews have focused on one part of the problem, whether it is shipping or stevedoring, this review will provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects that have led to cost blow outs in our international freight supply chains,” Mr Mahar said.

The farming sector has a significant stake in the establishment of a productive and efficient maritime logistics system, noting that up to 50% of the final market price of agricultural commodities goes towards freight and logistics.

“The NFF welcomes this review, and urges the Government to implement any recommendations as a matter of national priority. Our farmers ability to compete in international markets depends on it,” Mr Mahar said.

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