The Port of Melbourne risks becoming an “international laughing stock” if industrial action that has disrupted stevedore Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) is permitted to continue, according to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The VTA’s warning is in response to VICT’s revelation that the person the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is pressuring the stevedore to employ is ineligible to work on docks under Australian law because he failed to obtain a Maritime Security Identification Card.
“It is an affront to every Port of Melbourne stevedore and freight operator working in and around the port that the Victorian economy is continuing to be held to ransom by the MUA over what we now understand is a legal reason for this individual being ineligible for employment at the docks,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“The effects of this ongoing action at our busiest time of the year are being felt right throughout the economy when you consider that the more than 1000 containers and their contents sitting idle at Webb Dock cannot be brought to market and sold to consumers during our peak retail trading period.
“Not only are VICT and the hundreds of freight operators that cannot move containers in and out of the terminal being impacted by this recalcitrant industrial action, so too are hundreds of small business operators and their families that are being denied access to goods demanded by Victorian consumers.”
Anderson said it was a potential sovereign risk to the broader Victorian economy and the Port of Melbourne’s position as the nation’s largest port if the action is allowed to continue.
“VICT is already losing business to other Port of Melbourne stevedores through this action, but if foreign exporters determine Melbourne is an unreliable destination for freight forwarders they will send their business to ports in other states, at a massive cost to our economy,” said Anderson.
“So, while this action may be confined to VICT for now, the real risk as we see it is the long-term reputational and economic damage the action will create for Victoria as a place to do business.”
Anderson implored all stakeholders involved in the action to put the interests of the Victorian economy first and work constructively to bring an end to industrial action that is undermining the state’s hard-fought reputation as a reliable place to do business.
“This is not the time for our leaders to run and hide but rather confront the real issue of adverse union action that is brutal and selfish, and has a negative effect on the livelihoods all Victorians,” he said.
A report produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the country’s stevedores has suggested that Port Botany has overtaken the Port of Melbourne for container trade due to constraints at the Victorian port, as first reported by The Age.
In 2016/17, Port Botany handled 34 per cent of Australia’s container movements, with 33 per cent going through the Port of Melbourne – down from 36 per cent in 2015/16.
While the report did not directly link the Port of Melbourne’s reduced volume to the increasing size of container ships, it noted that it is the most likely port to put limits on the size of ships visiting the country.
The Age noted that the biggest ship to visit Australia, the 347-metre Susan Maersk that docked at the Port of Brisbane in October, would have been unable to travel up the mouth of the Yarra River to Swanson Dock, and its 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) load may or may not have managed to fit underneath the West Gate Bridge.
In a recent newsletter, industry body Shipping Australia wrote that with only one terminal able to take the larger ships – Webb Dock, with Swanson Dock out of reach – “Melbourne is already the limiting factor for the size of ships coming to Australia’s east coast ports and is preventing Australians benefiting from the efficiencies of larger ship operations.”
“The risk is that shipping lines may consider by-passing Melbourne for Adelaide or Sydney and use rail, or a smaller ship feeder service (possibly from New Zealand) to make the connection,” it added.
“This would ultimately cost the Victorian consumer, the Port of Melbourne and the state economy.”
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has labelled plans to develop an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in a future Fishermans Bend precinct “irresponsible recipe for disaster.”
A draft of the Fishermans Bend Framework released late last month by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley contains recommendations for cycling and other infrastructure to support the 80,000 people and jobs the Victorian Government hopes to attract to the new precinct.
The draft contains a map of existing and proposed cycling infrastructure, including a north-south strategic cycling corridor connecting to a new Lorimer Street on-road cycling path between the Bolte and West Gate Bridge.
“Lorimer Street is a gazetted freight route for heavy vehicles and is intensively used by trucks of up to 70 tonnes travelling between Webb Dock and road and rail freight infrastructure closer to town,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, Victorian Transport Association.
“It is also home to numerous concrete suppliers that are visited by hundreds of trucks every day that deliver to building sites throughout Melbourne.”
He added that while the VTA fully supports infrastructure that encourages commuters onto bikes and away from cars, the only gazetted freight route servicing the south side of the Port of Melbourne is “the last place we should be putting a shared path.”
“It’s an irresponsible recipe for disaster to encourage cycling on a road so intensively used by heavy vehicles, and is the precise opposite of what we recommended in early consultations,” he added. “For planners to have included an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in the draft framework defies logic.”
The VTA has previously advised the government in its precinct planning to encourage cycling and pedestrian traffic to Williamstown Road, and to actively separate heavy vehicles from cyclists where possible, as is happening in Melbourne’s west.
“Regardless of who is at fault, the cyclist will always be worse off in a collision with a truck, so why on earth would you encourage their close interaction on a shared roadway?” Anderson said. “Elsewhere in Melbourne, we are actively separating bicycles from trucks on freight routes so it stands to reason we should be doing this in Fishermans Bend precinct planning.”
Anderson welcomed objectives in the draft to safeguard port access by preserving a direct road and rail corridor between Webb, Swanson and Appleton Docks and the Dynon Road freight terminal.
After a brief hiatus, the Logistics & Materials HandlingMercury Awards will be relaunched in 2018 for the ninth annual instalment, in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The Awards, featuring a new design, will recognise the outstanding achievements and successes of companies across the logistics, supply chain and materials handling sectors.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, a business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain. MEGATRANS2018 incorporates all forms of freight transport, logistics and materials handling, infrastructure and storage and warehousing, providing perfect alignment with the Mercury Awards.
Twelve awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations across the supply chain:
Supply Chain Innovator of the Year
Safety Advocate of the Year
Best Technology Application
Sustainability Initiative Award
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Road
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Rail
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Air
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Sea
Outstanding Graduate Program
Best Storage Solution
Best Infrastructure Innovation
Victorian Government ‘Contribution to Industry’ Award
The 2018 Mercury Awards sponsors include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and SICK. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information please contact Simon Coburn on 03 9690 8766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations details will be announced soon.
Container port operator DP World Australia has announced changes in leadership for its Fremantle operations and Continuous Improvement business unit.
Replacing Luke Westlake as Fremantle General Manager Operations will be Stefan Reynolds, effective 11 December 2017.
For the past nine months, Reynolds has led process improvement projects in Melbourne and nationally as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations.
“With over 10 years’ operational experience in the container transport and logistics field, Stefan brings a high calibre of operational and change leadership experience to Fremantle,” said Max Kruse, Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, DP World Australia. “In his recent position as Manager of Capacity, Planning, Gate and Operations Projects with Ports of Auckland, Stefan worked closely with a large team as well as other departments, to continuously focus and strive for exceptional levels of performance and customer service.”
In Melbourne, Troy Sparkman will join the DPWA team as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations, effective 30 October 2017.
According to Kruse, Sparkman has 28 years’ experience in the rail transport and logistics industry, and worked in most states and regional areas of Australia during that time.
“Troy has a significant understanding of supply chain and operational management,” Kruse added. “Having held general manager roles with Aurizon, most recently as the General Manager service delivery for the interstate intermodal business, and Regional Integration Manager responsible for operational optimisation and transformation of the Hunter Valley and West Moreton supply chains.”
DP World Australia has announced the appointment of executives for the General Manager – Operations position at its Melbourne and Sydney terminals.
Robert Snow joins as General Manager – Operations at the Melbourne terminal, effective 30 October. He brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry. He was previously Chief Operations Officer at APM Terminals for the Aqaba Container Terminal in Jordan.
The new General Manager – Operations for the Sydney terminal is Bas Hokke, previously Vice President – Group Operations at Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI), part of the DP World Group in the Philippines. Hokke brings with him more than three decades of global ports experience. He will enter the role on 22 November.
DPWA Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, Max Kruse, thanked Rowan Bullock and Ray Lee, who have been acting in the roles during DPWA’s global search for the roles.
“Their professionalism, guidance and leadership was invaluable to the teams in Melbourne and Sydney, and to the wider Operations Team, and we are incredibly grateful for their support,” Kruse said. “Rowan and Ray will provide a detailed handover to the new General Managers – Operations, and will continue to lend us their knowledge and experience through an ongoing working relationship with the Operations Team, beyond their respective departures.
“Thank you to Rowan and Ray, and a very warm welcome to Robert and Bas.”
Kalmar and its Navis subsidiary have delivered the first OneTerminal automation system to International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) at the Port of Melbourne.
Kalmar OneTerminal provides integrated automation, delivered by one team, bringing together Kalmar and Navis software systems, equipment and services for a deployment. The deployment was completed ahead of schedule, making Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) the world’s first fully automated international container handling facility.
Melbourne’s newest container terminal, VICT is located north of Port Phillip Bay at the mouth of the Yarra River in the Port of Melbourne’s Webb Dock East. The 35-hectare terminal has an annual capacity of one million plus twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), and an additional 400,000 TEU when fully built. VICT has a straight berth of 660 metres, which can accommodate two large vessels with capacities of up to 8,000-12,500 TEU at once.
VICT chairman and senior vice president of ICTSI’s Asia Pacific Region Christian Gonzalez said: “VICT was designed, and is now equipped, to be fully automated, making it the most advanced container terminal in the world. The project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. This has never been achieved in the port industry for a fully automated terminal. It is especially noteworthy when considering the unprecedented complexity of the civil works requirements, along with the level of pioneering automation governing the design.”
The OneTerminal deployment at VICT includes the Kalmar Automatic Stacking Crane (ASC) system with 20 ASC, 11 Kalmar AutoShuttles, Kalmar Automated Truck Handling (ATH), Kalmar Terminal Logistics System (TLS), and the Navis N4 Terminal System. Additionally, Kalmar provided a range of project services required to deploy and support the solution.
Senior vice president of Kalmar Automation and Projects Tero Kokko said: “Since signing the contract with VICT in August 2014, we have worked hard to complete the project ahead of schedule. With our complete end-to-end automation system at Kalmar’s Technology and Competence Centre in Tampere, Finland, and the multi-assembly units in China and Poland, we were able to deliver our equipment months ahead of schedule. The software combining Kalmar TLS and Navis N4 Terminal System was pre-integrated and tested before the delivery, speeding up the deployment.”
The Andrews Labor government will introduce new West Gate Tunnel incentives to stop “rat runs” throughout Melbourne’s western suburbs, following plans for a North East Link tollway.
The Labor government has reported that it will require the West Gate Tunnel operator to set discounted shuttle rates, night time discounts and cap maximum daily tolls for trucks making multiple trips through the tunnel to improve freight productivity and reduce costs.
The project will, reportedly, directly link the West Gate Freeway to the Port with twin tunnels under Yarraville, and optimise fleet routes by avoiding 17 sets of traffic lights.
Trucks with a local origin or destination in the area will be exempt from the truck bans, according to Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan.
“This is a win for the whole community – quieter, safer streets for the inner west and cheaper, more efficient port access for the transport industry, said Donnelan. “By providing a dedicated route to the port, the West Gate Tunnel project will take thousands of trucks off local roads in the inner west. Without the Tunnel there can be no truck bans.”
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed the government’s West Gate Tunnel toll incentives.
“We are pleased that the Victorian government has listened to the VTA’s consistent calls for heavy vehicle operators to be incentivised to use toll roads like the West Gate Tunnel,” saidPeter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“The transport industry has been hit with substantial increases to tolls and infrastructure costs at the Port of Melbourne this year, so it is encouraging that steps are being taken by the government to ensure heavy vehicle operators are not penalised for using toll roads.
“Whilst permanent 24/7 bans on trucks travelling through Blackshaws and Hudsons Road form part of today’s announcement, they will be more than offset by the productivity gains that will be realised from giving operators a financial incentive to use the West Gate Tunnel.
“The trade-off is also welcome because it demonstrates that the Victorian government understands it cannot simply take something away from the industry without compensating for it in some other way.
“In this case, there will be new restrictions on trucks using certain roads, however the benefits that will flow from incentivising them to use the toll road is ample compensation, and is the kind of thinking that must be applied to other situations where the industry is asked to make substantial sacrifices.”
The Australian and Victorian Governments have announced that they will back several projects aimed at taking trucks off local roads and connecting major Victorian freight hubs with the Port of Melbourne, using the existing rail network.
The Governments will soon seek expressions of interest to deliver a series of rail freight ‘shuttle’ initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the proposal would take advantage of rail’s ability to shift larger volumes of freight than trucks, while also busting congestion in Victoria’s capital.
“The Australian Government’s free trade agreements are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports,” said Chester.
“This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads.
“The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness, which is why the Australian Government is investing $8.4 billion in the Inland Rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne.”
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the initiative will take trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s inner west.
“The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation. With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail,” Donnellan said.
“Alongside the West Gate Tunnel, 24-hour truck bans in the inner west and the Port’s rail access plans, this project will help shift containers from residential streets onto dedicated routes to the port.”
Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC, welcomed the Governments’ support of rail freight.
“Moving more freight to rail, where it makes sense commercially, has the potential to significantly improve freight efficiency, while at the same time improving urban amenity, reducing road congestion and decreasing queuing times at ports,” Kilgariff said.
“[The] ALC has been a consistent supporter of the Port Rail Shuttle project, which will be a significant enhancement to the Port of Melbourne, producing real benefits for freight efficiency in Victoria, and across the nation’s supply chains.
“In NSW, the state government is committed to doubling the amount of freight entering and leaving Port Botany by rail, which currently sits at 19.3 per cent. NSW Ports is likewise committed to moving 3 million TEU by rail over the longer term.
“There needs to be an equal focus on promoting greater use of short haul rail services for freight movement in Victoria.
“The Port Rail Shuttle will build on other significant investments being made in freight infrastructure – including the Inland Rail project, which will link the Port of Melbourne with the Port of Brisbane when fully completed.
“Constructing the Port Rail Shuttle to provide a rail connection between the Port of Melbourne and inland ports in Victoria is a crucially important aspect of improving the state’s freight network and driving greater supply chain efficiency and safety.”
In its response to the West Gate Tunnel Environmental Effects Statement (EES), the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has made recommendations designed to make the proposed road more efficient and productive for operators.
“Our strategic assessment of the merits of the Environmental Effects Statement of the West Gate Tunnel Project, has determined the project will deliver a high level of benefit in providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and supporting the productivity and performance of the M1 corridor,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“While the project will assist in improving transport connections with the city and the western and inner western suburbs, the need for the Port of Melbourne (PoM) to grow and prosper is vital to the overall prosperity of Victoria, and this project must deliver on Melbourne’s future growth opportunities.”
Specifically, the VTA has recommended that plans to meter heavy-vehicle entry ramps be abandoned on safety grounds, and to keep truck traffic moving seamlessly.
“Heavy vehicles, regularly weighing between 55 and 65 tonne gross mass, have great difficulty in entering the freeway at freeway speeds from a standing start,” Anderson added. “The VTA maintains it will be safer and more efficient, and would not impede the flow of traffic onto the freeway, if the heavy-vehicle lane is not metered.”
The VTA submission also recommended an additional lane be added to the eastbound entry ramp from Millers Road to allow for safer entry to the freeway.
In relation to user charges, the VTA has strongly recommended tolls reflect the net impact upon the infrastructure in a fair and equitable way.
“The tolling regime should acknowledge the multiple user and shuttle service providers to the PoM at an agreed threshold of daily movement,” said Anderson. “The transport operator should be eligible for a discount on the current tolling rates that would encourage full usage of the system.”
The VTA also made recommendations regarding construction congestion and ensuring that the Port of Melbourne will not be negatively impacted during construction, noting that McKenzie Road is a vital link and the construction process must not lead to vehicle disruption and road closures.
Other recommendations were for design changes at various locations to enable better movement of freight and less congestion.