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State Library of NSW
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In 1925 there were 12 finger wharves at Walsh Bay, but loading and unloading vessels was a laborious business before containerisation. In this photograph, more than 20 wharfies are involved rolling barrels and drums off the vessel. Automation since the 1960s has reduced the numbers employed on Australian waterfronts from about 25000 to 4000 today. Nevertheless, more than a million shipping containers reach Sydney annually, mostly through the Port Botany facility.