Home NewsAustralia Shipping container shortage sends cotton industry ‘back to the future’

Shipping container shortage sends cotton industry ‘back to the future’

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Australia’s cotton trade is about to expertise a blast from its previous, with greater than 100,000 bales being exported subsequent month to Turkey through break bulk transport.  

Like many of the world’s items which can be exported by sea, cotton normally gets put inside shipping containers

However a international scarcity of containers and common points round sea freight logistics have brought on exporters to hunt options.

“We have got a report cotton crop, we have got the market crying out for our high-quality cotton, so Australian cotton shippers have been taking a look at different methods of getting our crop to the market,” Cotton Australia chief govt Adam Kay stated.

“One of many choices that shall be carried out is using break bulk, so the bales loaded off the dock, straight into the maintain of a ship — which is how cotton use to be exported.”

A truck carrying a shipping containers waits to be unloaded at a container terminal
Just like the overwhelming majority of commodities, Australian cotton is often exported through sea in transport containers.(Reuters: Amir Cohen)

Again to the long run

Australia’s first cargo of ginned cotton occurred greater than 100 years in the past.

The bales from Queensland have been loaded onto the SS Westmorland, certain for England in July 1921.

“So the corporate doing this [shipment to Turkey] is utilizing a hospital-grade ship, which has been used up to now for wooden pulp.

“It is a ship with a gantry-type crane system on it that may elevate these cotton bales off the dock and into the maintain in an environment friendly approach and a approach that does not injury the cotton.”

Mr Kay stated the trade couldn’t recall the final time the transport methodology was used for cotton.

a black and white photo of a cart carrying loads of cotton.
Cotton being offloaded at a brand new gin in Brisbane in 1921.(Provided: Cotton Australia)

Increasing markets

A few years in the past, China was shopping for about 70 per cent of Australia’s cotton crop.

Then in October 2020, the Chinese government started to tell mills to stop buying Australian cotton or threat their quotas being slashed.

Mr Kay stated the trade had been working laborious to search out new markets and develop current markets reminiscent of Turkey.

“I believe they have been discovering it troublesome to get ships and containers as much as the Mediterranean and in order that’s why this [break bulk] possibility is now being explored.”

Australia is on observe to supply a report 5.5 million bales this 12 months.

Like most commodities, the value of cotton has eased in latest weeks and is presently valued at round $770 a bale.

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