Melbourne box record shows 'economic resilience'

Port of Melbourne handles over 6,600 containers a day on average in August to set a new monthly volume record

The Port of Melbourne handled over 6,600 containers a day on average in August to set a new national monthly volume record, the ports corporation reports.

Total container throughput increased by 13 percent in the month of August to reach a record 205,066 TEU, surpassing the previous monthly high of 202,397 TEU recorded in October last year.

For the 12 months to August, total container throughput has surged 7.7 percent to 2.285 million TEU.

Full container exports for August grew 8 percent compared with the same period last year while full container imports continued their strong growth increasing 15.2 percent.

Port of Melbourne Corporation CEO Stephen Bradford says the strong result reflects resilience in the Victorian economy following a relatively quiet July, which he says could have been affected by the production decline in China in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.

"To put these figures in perspective, the port has handled an extra 70,000 containers in the month of August compared with the same period five years ago in August 2003," he says.

"If you want a guide to the importance of the channel deepening project, Melbourne now handles over 650,000 more containers annually than it did five years ago and needs to accommodate future growth efficiently.

"The August figures are well above forecast with the seasonally strong pre-Christmas months ahead. Whilst we do retain a positive trade outlook, we are closely watching if the United States financial situation impacts on trade and the economy in the months ahead."

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