Qube and Melbourne Port seal container park agreement

Deal on site allocation to help ease shipping container congestion

Qube and Melbourne Port seal container park agreement
Qube gains a short-term lease of the former Coode site


The Port of Melbourne (POM) signs a short-term agreement with logistics giant Qube to free up empty container park (ECP) space within the Swanson Dock precinct.

Allocation of the 60,000-square-metre site, operational immediately under Qube’s management, adds capacity for up to 9,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and follows ongoing discussions between POM, Qube and Freight Victoria.

The former Coode Super Park site is earmarked for rail terminal development as part of the POM’s Port Rail Transformation Project.

However, its temporary re-use to receive, store and handle empty containers comes at a time of congestion in empty container management in Melbourne’s landside container logistics system. 

"Qube is delighted to be part of the solution with the Port of Melbourne and we look forward to support from the industry," Qube chief operating officer Paul Digney says.

POM CEO Brendan Bourke says he is pleased the parties could come to a solution to help alleviate the backlog of empty shipping containers across the supply chain as a result of strong import volumes.

"It’s critical that the port supply chain is able to able to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, and part of that is making sure that empty containers can be moved and utilised to enable the flow of goods into and out of the port," he says.

"We have closely monitored land requirements for the supply chain throughout the pandemic.

"As a result, we’ve been able to reallocate a parcel of land for a period of time which allows Qube to make use of the site while we work with industry towards longer-term solutions."

The move is welcomed by Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), which says during the Covid-19 outbreak it encouraged POM, in conjunction with Freight Victoria and industry, to consider alternative sites for the storage and management of empty and full containers in the event that such additional land capacity was needed.

How CTAA recently warned on Melbourne's empty container congestion, here

 "We applaud the Port of Melbourne, assisted by the Victorian government, for having done this," CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"They had the foresight to ensure that this currently vacant land – centrally located in the Port precinct and earmarked for future development – was able to be made available to assist in managing the current significant surge in container volumes through the Port.

"It is now a matter for the container shipping lines to support this added capacity to alleviate some of the severe empty container park congestion in other parts of the Melbourne container logistics chain.

"We’d urge container shipping lines such as Maersk/Hamburg Sud, COSCO/China Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, MSC and others – all of whom have experienced empty container storage dilemmas in Melbourne recently – to consider this de-hire and storage option."


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