In the world of logistics and supply chain management, there is perhaps no greater tool to have in your arsenal than a strong coastal freight protocol. The supply chain model has been in a state of flux for decades, thanks to changes in shipping routes, safety updates, technological advancement, and the general increase in customer demand for a worldwide marketplace.
Coastal freight is still among the most used method of transportation in the logistics industry and it’s easy to see why, it’s scalable, relatively safe, efficient, and has more systems in place to ensure a smooth experience. Australia has a rich and prosperous history with coastal freight, dating back to the early 1800s as a means of transporting important cargo from different ports in the large-scale nation.
While a lot has changed since then, the fundamental utility of coastal freight and its vital importance as a backbone of supply chain considerations is reason enough to explore the intricacies a little further.
As mentioned before, when the nation was still finding its feet in 1831, the necessity for trade and transportation of goods between areas were necessary, and since the train was a long way off from being usable, the various water and river systems were utilised as a means of transporting cargo from place to place.
The first instance of coastal freight in any meaningful sense was through a paddle steamer dubbed “Sophia Jane” which connected from Sydney to the Hunter River. Sydney Port was and still is Australia’s most dominated port, annually shipping and receiving over 50 billion dollars worth of cargo in and out.
Surrounded By Blue
Australia has a special relationship with the waterways because we have so many of them! There are countless rivers and routes that are able to be used for coastal freight as well as being an island unto itself, has plenty of room in the surroundings to move about without issue or delay. As most port cities and cities in general are located close to the water, this makes for an excellent argument for the continued dominance of coastal freight in the industry.
As motorways and land-locked methods of transportation are necessary as well, the lack of delays and sheer size of shipments that can be achieved through coastal freight in lieu of ground transportation cannot be understated.
As time has gone on there have been numerous improvements being made across the general logistics industry and in particular with coastal freight, both in safety and convenience. Radar capabilities have led to an increase in efficiency and charting courses to maximise changing tides and weather changes, as well as the overall increase in safety on vessels and ports.
As time continues to progress, we’re seeing a marked increase in the use of AI machine learning to increase efficiency and tracking capabilities which makes it much easier for suppliers and shippers to adequately keep track of more which will no doubt improve customer relations and keeping operations running smooth.
As mentioned before, the world has gotten a little smaller in terms of separation between countries, with worldwide shipping routes now undoubtedly the norm which has fueled increased demand for effective and efficient coastal freight capabilities.
This has added pressure of course, but also given rise to a new age of logistics of which BCR has managed to maintain a strong and hearty relationship with clients, feeling excited about what new technologies will be coming to make coastal freight and indeed the entire supply chain industry, stronger and more efficient.