Change is in the Air

Two important developments in the 1960s led to a decline in the use of Australian ports and changed migrant journeys to Australia forever.

The advent of container shipping eliminated the need for cargo nets and dozens of stevedores to load and unload the ships. Moreover, cargo shipping now required purpose-built vessels and specialised cranes that many of the older piers and wharves could not accommodate.

These changes also affected migrant ships that had previously relied on cargo to finance their return voyages.

The second technological development was a growing preference for air travel. By the 1970s under-utilised migrant ships were finding a new life as cruise liners.

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