VICTORIAN ports and freight minister Melissa Horne has announced a voluntary code of practice that aims to manage periods of disruption to the container supply chain.

Ms Horne announced the code of practice to industry stakeholders at a ports industry roundtable hosted by the Port of Melbourne.

The state government in 2022 announced plans to develop the code in consultation with the Container Storage Working Group, which includes shipping industry representatives, stevedores and operators.

The code is part of the delivery of the government’s ports reform agenda following the release of Navigating our Port Futures: The Victorian Commercial Port Strategy last year.

The government also shared updates on the Port Rail Shuttle Network and the Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy during the industry roundtable.

It said Port of Melbourne is establishing a Landside Logistics Working Group to enhance collaboration among stakeholders involved in the container supply chain and logistics operations at the port.

The group would discuss port related operational matters and provide a forum to explain sustainability initiatives in landside logistics operations.

In August 2023 the government released the Empty Container Park trial as a further way to help the freight and logistics industry cut costs and improve supply chain efficiencies.

“We’ve collaborated with industry stakeholders to respond to disruptions in recent years, including the formation of the Container Storage Working Group established in 2022,” Ms Horne said.

“The voluntary code of practice is a further measure to prepare industry for a coordinated response in advance of future disruption events and deliver a roadmap for the future.”

The Navigating our Port Futures strategy sets a 30-year vision which aims to build a ports sector that is responsive to market, balances industry and community needs, is productive, resilient, safe and operates with clear responsibilities.

It intends to provide guidance to counter the impact of disruptions on freight movements and costs within the Port of Melbourne freight supply chain.

And in August 2023 the government released the Empty Container Park trial with a goal to help the freight and logistics sectors cut costs and improve supply chain efficiencies.