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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2016
90 ALC MEMBER INSIGHTS Investing for the future DP World Australia CEO Paul Scurrah is preparing his leading container stevedoring business for the future. The enterprise has 50 per cent market share and operations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle, and is preparing to make investments in new equipment to make operations more efficient. The company recently invested more than $250 million to automate its Brisbane terminal, and it is investing in new rail connections across its operations. ‘We have completed a series of major expansion programs at the Port of Melbourne, including the Bentley Chemplax project, increasing capacity to 1.4 million TEU [twenty-foot equivalent units] per year,’ says Scurrah, who says the business is also completing a $3 million project at Port Botany to better handle empty shipping containers for clients. ‘We are a customer-focused stevedore, and we’re committed to projects that make our business more efficient, that deliver a better experience for the client,’ he adds. DP World Australia is also exploring how it can ‘expand its business beyond the gate’. In 2014, it acquired 50 per cent of AWH, a wool and cotton logistics business. AWH provides exporters and importers with warehousing; marketing; and bonded, broking and freight forwarding services, and it handles half of the nation’s wool clip, and 20 per cent of cotton and citrus production. It also provides logistics services to large retailers, and has a crossover of customers with DP World Australia. An additional initiative for DP World Australia is the joint venture that was recently announced with Toll Group, through which DP World Australia will be able to move into an inland terminal located at Villawood in New South Wales. ‘We are working on other capacity expansion programs, with a focus on growing our footprint, and to ensure we can compete head-on with our major competitors,’ says Scurrah. Last year, the business was successful in negotiating a renewal of the 50-year lease on the West Swanson terminal in Victoria. The agreement is a win for all parties in the Victorian freight sector, giving certainty to customers and service providers. The arrangement includes known, fixed rent increases for 13 years, with reviews at market rates subsequently. ‘With a longer period between rental reviews, the new lease takes uncertainty out of the container market,’ Scurrah said in a statement released at the time. ‘The longevity of the lease tenure represents a strong vote of confidence in the Port of Melbourne by an important tenant, and ensures it remains competitive with respect to estimated rent costs at other Australian ports,’ noted Nick Easy, the Port of Melbourne CEO, in a statement at the time. By Alexandra Cain DP World Australia CEO Paul Scurrah