LAST weekend the vessel MSC Pamela arrived at Patrick Terminals, East Swanson Dock, Melbourne.

With 9,200 TEU capacity, the Panama-flagged Pamela (IMO 9290531) is one of the biggest cargo ships to call at Melbourne and the largest by size at the Patrick Terminal, measuring 336m in length and 46m beam.

A Port of Melbourne spokesperson said the ship proved they were ready to handle larger vessels.

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“The Port of Melbourne works collaboratively with the Victorian Harbour Master and the Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne to welcome the vessels that are right-sized for the Australian market,” the spokesperson said.

“As global shipping trends edge towards larger vessels, we are ready to receive them and to deliver the goods that Victorians need.”

Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics maritime expert Peter van Duyn said it was good to see stakeholders – regulators, port operators, stevedores, pilots, tug companies and others – working together to facilitate a larger ship.

He noted, however, that a number of restrictions remained including being limited to operating in daylight hours, windspeed and the swing basin.

“A few weeks ago, MSC had a ship held up for three days which is unacceptable for the shipping company and for the the stevedores also,” Mr van Duyn said.

He said there would have to be planning on whether to extend Webb Dock in the future, or ultimately consider an alternative port.

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