Rethinking Port Botany

Katie Hepworth June 20, 2012

Katie Hepworth

In their call to “Rethink the Port”, Stack and Olivier argue that transformations in the organisation of container transport and in container terminals, and the increasing role of logistics, mean that it is necessary to reconceptualise the port; instead of a unified, fixed and bounded entity it should instead be considered as a site that is captured in multiple corporate networks, which are typically more global than local in focus. These transformations mean, furthermore, that it may be necessary to shift scales and focus on the terminal rather than the port in order to study the organisation of containerised traffic globally and locally. To approach port operations from the point of view of the terminal means to pay attention to corporate networks, and the multiscalar relations that these engender. Although these networks are typically understood to operate globally, it is also important to consider how the terminalisation of the port has been accompanied by a regionalisation of port operations through the increasing reliance on intermodal terminals. The following maps draw on these arguments to focus on the local and regional logistical geographies that extend from Port Botany. Focusing on each of the corporations currently present at the port, they begin to suggest how the operations of the terminal may be dispersed through multiple sites in the city’s hinterland.