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.

Related collection items

Explore items from our collection

  • Accommodation Plan - Chandris Lines, SS Australis, 1976
  • Accommodation Plan - Chandris Lines, RHMS Britanis, 1973
  • Pamphlet - 'Sitmar the Fun Way to Europe & UK', Sitmar Lines, circa 1969
  • Brochure - 'P&O's Wonderful World At Sea', P&O Line, 1971
  • Pamphlet - Passenger Sailings, Galileo & Marconi, Lloyd Triestino Lines, 1969
  • Pamphlet - 'Australian Interstate Coastal Fares', SS Galileo & SS Marconi, Lloyd Triestino Line, Oct 1968
  • Brochure - 'Galilei, Marconi', Lloyd Triestino Line, 1967
  • Digital Photograph - Aerial View of Port Phillip Bay, Eastern Shore, Port Melbourne, 1993
  • Digital Photograph - Extended Family & Friends Farewelling Woman Leaving for South Africa, Station Pier, Port Melbourne, 1965