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PORT of Melbourne has reported a decline in container throughput volumes in May this year, down 6% from the same month last year. Total container throughput through the port reached 271,053 TEU.

Total container imports were reportedly down 3.9% from the same month last year, with miscellaneous manufactures, furniture, metal manufacturers and textile imports all down on May 2021 volumes.

Full container exports were up 1.1% on May 2021 volumes as a result of uplifts in fresh fruit, milk, hay, chaff, fodder and wheat.

However, total empty container exports were 14.1% below last year’s volumes due to a combination of factors such as vessel scheduling issues, congestion and a reduced number of total services at the port over the month of May.

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Commenting global supply chain influences, Port of Melbourne noted the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai from early June, and how the restrictions had impacted the port.

“Whilst the world’s largest container port has continued to operate during this period of lockdowns, albeit at a reduced capacity, the flow on effects of moving containers to nearby ports has compounded the issues of landside congestion, delays and equipment availability,” a statement from Port of Melbourne said.

“As Shanghai fully opens, and stalled factories, warehouses, workers and vessels resume normal operations, this will likely put more pressure on the back half of 2022 across global supply chains as we head towards the traditional peak season.”

Port of Melbourne said it is continuing to monitor congestion including landside dwell time, as volumes remain strong in terms of containers.

“Strong uplifts in break bulk volumes, for both automotive and steel commodities, remain ongoing,” the statement said.

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