VICT tested by lessons of first big ship visit

By: Rob McKay

Promising start with quick truck turnaround gives way to systems and equipment difficulties

VICT tested by lessons of first big ship visit
E.R. Long Beach tied up at VICT this week


Victoria International Container Terminal CEO Anders Dommestrup says the nation's newest container terminal is working through "teething problems" thrown up in the handling of its first large container ship.

The E.R. Long Beach, operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co (Aust), which docked on Sunday at Webb Dock 5 East, is VICT’s first full trial vessel with approximately 2850 container exchanges.

"Last week our terminal received approximately 2000 boxes and 1400 trucks into the terminal with an average turn time per truck of just 32 minutes, in-gate to out-gate," Anders Dommestrup says.

"We started delivery of around 1000 boxes on Monday morning with 248 boxes [and] 174 trucks on Monday with an average turn time of 50 minutes, the round trip time measured from the in-gate to actual truck departure from the terminal.

"The delivery process experienced some teething problems with the fully automated set-up, but was an excellent test of the set-up and system, and a good foundation on which to improve."

The opportunity to service it came about due to her inability to fit underneath the Westgate Bridge.

The ship was due to sail for Esperance on Monday but that has been delayed until today.

"The import delivery is still ongoing and continues to show strong performance," Dommestrup says.

"Having now had first-hand experience with our equipment under real working conditions, it has been great to see how VICT’s main automation systems have remained very stable.

"Since Monday, we have experienced more challenges across systems and equipment, which have caused a longer than desired service time from the initial target."

Variance in declared versus actual container weights has also contributed to delays.

"To be expected in this early stage of trialling our automation, we have collected data and gained insight which will now be used to make the necessary adjustments," Dommestrup says.

"This data will also help us to further engage with the relevant industry players and authorities after the vessel has departed.

"We have a committed team of staff and vendors working hard to promptly address these issues in preparation for full commercial operations in April and we are excited about VICT’s long-term potential."

Before the ship’s arrival, Landside container logistics representative group Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) flagged several issues the new terminal’s management would have to address.

It has pledged to continue to work with VICT management to deal with them.

"We are all ‘on the journey’ with VICT, and we have meetings established with them to continue to engage on the list of issues identified and the ‘lessons learnt’ from this first laden ship," CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"CTAA is also assisting VICT to speak to the relevant authorities about regulatory aspects such as Chain of Responsibility obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and the carriage of overloaded containers and out-of-gauge cargo within the port precinct for further treatment, such as unpack, etc."

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook