S&W Tour of Flinders Port

Last month, S&W Seed Company Australia was invited to a live operation tour at Flinders Port in South Australia. An average of seven to ten container vessels or approximately 6000 containers are either imported/exported each month through Flinders Port, which is the main port for S&W export shipments.

With limited seats available in the bus Karli Koch, Nadine Logan, Sue Heinjus, Tertia McArthur and Michelle Lench from the S&W export department, Matt Knowles from the Penfield facility, and our wonderful photographer from the S&W marketing department, Anthony Telfer, met up with Bianca Mosely and Jodie Dirksen from Mainfreight Air, and Flinders Port Business Development Manager, Michelle English.

With S&W high visibility vests donned, we all piled into the minibus that was driven by our tour guide, Steve Gaffney (Flinders Port). Entering the restricted zone of the port, the first area was a drive past the empty container park and the cleaning/repairs facility. After the import containers have been cleaned and/or repaired, they are stacked up to 6 high waiting for exporters to collect them. Below is a picture of one of the containers being moved.

The next stop on the tour was to view the staging area for trucks. With specific time slots to enter the port, these trucks park in bays waiting for straddle container carriers to either load or unload them. With the driver sitting in the top corner of the carriers they carefully navigate over the container, pick it up and then drive it to place on the back of the Skel trailer.

The third stop on the tour was down on the dock to watch the OOCL Texas being loaded. It was a hive of activity with straddle cranes delivering full containers to be loaded on board and removing the unloaded (import) containers that would be placed into stacks. The gantry crane would then load/unload them on and off the vessel. It would also place the large metal plates that were on the dock between each layer of the containers providing more stability during its voyage. We did notice a couple of the crew fishing off the back of the vessel and although they did not appear to be that successful, it is the only recreational activity they could do while alongside due to Covid restrictions.

As only one vessel was alongside, the second gantry crane was not being used so we were able to climb up to the solid platform (see below picture). The good news is that there was a lift in those skinny yellow legs, and we only had to climb up two flights of stairs. It took a bit of encouragement from the team before the two managers plucked up enough courage to overcome their fear of heights and joined them. With hard hat on and a rickety lift ride, a few happy snaps were taken before the tour ended.

Thanks to Bianca Mosely and Jodie Dirksen from Mainfreight Air and Michelle English from Flinders Port for the tour, what a day!

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