LANDSIDE logistics operators are experiencing extreme congestion at DP World’s West Swanson Terminal in Melbourne, the Container Transport Alliance Australia reports.

DPW has recently been undertaking construction works within the terminal to reconfigure the landside truck grids, removing approximately 35% of landside capacity, CTAA said in a notice to industry.

At the same time, DPW has been experiencing a heavy volume of arriving vessels, with the busy schedule expected to continue well into next month, with up to 20 vessels communicating import or export availability up until 7 June.

CTAA’s Neil Chambers said: “The result of these large cargo volumes and reduced landside capacity is akin to trying to pour ten litres into a five-litre bucket!”.

The CTAA says that in some cases, truck turnaround times have blown out to over four hours, resulting in transport operators missing vehicle time slots and therefore being unable to complete the freight tasks planned.

In an attempt to ease pressure on the overwhelmed terminal, DPW has subcontracted CMA CGM Quelimane to Victoria International Container Terminal, with only a partial discharge to be completed at the WST.

This move itself will cause existing import truck pickup plans for WST to be cancelled and some truck manifests will have to be revised, CTAA says.

To add to the high pressure situation at the terminal, WST had to reset its IT system this morning [31 May], which the CTAA claims delayed straddle carriers’ ability to service trucks within the terminal, and will also will have a compounding effect on truck servicing times and cargo movement delays.

The CTAA believes that once DP World has completed the landside terminal reconfiguration at WST in the coming weeks, the flow of vehicles through the terminal should be drastically improved, particularly with higher productivity freight vehicles.

The CTAA also warns that the West Gate Tunnel Project roadworks on Footscray Road and the Dock Link Road intersection in the Swanson Dock precinct of the port are likely to compound congestion and impact travel times between yard and wharf.