The ANI and the Naval Studies Group at the University of NSW (Canberra) have released their Protecting Australian Maritime Trade Report. The major report is based on the findings of the 2019 Goldrick Seminar on maritime trade. This is a timely publication, coming as Australia’s supply chain independencies are stretched in the current Coronavirus pandemic.
In recent years as a result of the rise of globalization and the decline of local manufacturing, the dependence on imports to maintain an increasingly complex society has grown markedly. Due to these factors maritime trade is more important to Australia than any time since the arrival of the 1789 Second Fleet bringing much needed food to Sydney.
The Report describes the current state of Australian maritime trade and its vulnerabilities and calls for a systematic approach to increase ‘Strategic Resilience’ as well as more focus on measures to protect maritime trade if the strategic situation deteriorated.
The report points out the importance of maritime trade to Australia Australia with the following facts:
Australia the 5th largest user of shipping services in the world.•
More than 99% of Australia’s imports & exports by volume & more than 79% by value are dependent on shipping.
In 2017-19 the combined value of Australia’s seagoing international imports & exports was more than $600 billion.
5,879 ships made a total of 32,801 port calls at Australian ports in 2016-17. These included 5,743 cargo ships which made 17,068 voyages to Australian waters from overseas ports.
The total port calls by ships in 2011-2017 increased by 4.2% per annum, while port calls by ships from overseas increased by 4.8% per annum.
In 2016 10 Australian ports accounted for 88% of seaborne export cargo.
In 2016, the cruise industry had the largest annual rise in passengers on record, with an increase of 21% to over 1.34 million passengers.