MELBOURNE’S third container stevedore, Victoria International Container Terminal, has confirmed a difficult start to the 2019 calendar year.
This is despite parent company International Container Terminal Services previously talking up results in the Australian market.
In a public statement last week, ICTSI described “a strong operational and financial performance at VICT in Melbourne”.
But a VICT spokesperson said while ICTSI had a very strong quarter across its global business, “here in the Australian market things have been slowing down over the last few months”.
“We haven’t received as much business as we expected and unfortunately need to make some very hard decisions,” the spokesperson said.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, we cannot make any further comments.”
VICT employs around 130 staff, with about 90 being in the Maritime Union (part of the CFMMEU).
In a recent email to staff, CEO Anders Dommestrup noted the 2019 first quarter “had not been good” and that the market had contracted about 10% from last year.
Mr Dommestrup wrote of a drop in container rates from Asia to Australia of more than 80%, with a net impact to the business meaning they were more than 45% below original targets.
VICT has invested heavily in technology and is something of a leader in the sphere of automated stevedoring.
However it also has a particular challenge in entering a market already featuring established players DPWA and Patrick.