PHASE 3A of Victoria International Container Terminal’s expansion project is slated to be complete this month.

The $235-million expansion project at the Melbourne container terminal is being carried out in two phases.

The current phase, 3A, will increase the terminal’s capacity by 30% to 1.25 million TEU per year.

It extends the quay by 71 metres to a total of 735 metres (or 769 metres with the mooring dolphins included).

After completion, this phase will allow two vessels up to 366 metres long to berth simultaneously.

Containers to trucks

On the landside, three new storage blocks have been added along with 15 new truck lanes. VICT says this would enhance its booking system time slot offerings to the market by up to 30% per hour starting in January 2024.

VICT also acquired two ship-to-shore cranes, six auto container carriers and six auto stacking cranes as part of Phase 3A.

The ACCs and the ASCs have been operational since August, supporting the increased yard capacity. The STS cranes, which have a reach of 22 containers across, arrived in the third quarter and will be operational by year-end. VICT said these STS cranes are currently the largest port equipment in Australia.

The next phase

Phase 3B is scheduled to be completed in 2025. This phase is to include the acquisition of another automated STS crane, three ACCs, four ASCs, and construction of two additional storage blocks.

VICT chief executive officer Bruno Porchietto said the expansion project is a substantial leap forward for VICT.

“It will redefine the container terminal landscape at the Port of Melbourne and set new industry standards for operational efficiency and capacity,” he said.

“With the expanded capacity and new equipment, VICT will be able to service larger vessels – particularly the neo-Panamax ships with capacities of up to 14,000 TEUs – and introduce economies of scale across the supply chain.”