Container volumes at Port of Melbourne down in March

Aerial view of Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia, from above Yarraville

The Port of Melbourne saw its container throughput decline 6.9 per cent year-on-year in March 2022.

The port’s total container imports in March fell by 6.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. Exports also decreased by 7.5 per cent.

The Port of Melbourne’s container full trade results compared to March 2021 are as follows:

  • Full overseas container imports 2.3 per cent below March 2021 with year-to-date volumes down 2.4 per cent
  • Full overseas container exports 11.0 per cent below March 2021 with year-to-date volumes down 5.8 per cent
  • Full container transshipments were 42.4 per cent above March 2021 with year-to-date volumes down 7.9 per cent
  • Full container trade between Melbourne and Tasmania (excluding transshipments) decreased 0.9 per cent on March 2021 to total 19,564 TEU with year-to-date volumes down 0.8 per cent
  • Total empty container movements were 18.4 per cent below March 2021 totalling 63,665 TEU with year-to-date volumes up 3.9 per cent

Year-to-date volumes are currently down 1.3 per cent and trade for early April is also tracking slightly below April 2021. 

The Port of Melbourne went on to say that it has seen some evidence that freight rates are moderating, although are still well above pre-pandemic levels.

Bottlenecks in global supply chains are also improving. However, the port expressed its concern over China’s strict COVID-19 policy which has led to lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai. These have both sparked major congestion concerns.

Delays in Melbourne have been improving recently, but weather events at other local ports have seen a large uplift in transshipment cargo, which has impacted landside dwell time.

The Port of Melbourne also recently announced major investments to expand terminal operations at Webb Dock East.

The contract for the works has been awarded to Fitzgerald Construction Australia and completion is scheduled for Q3 2023.

Melbourne was recently listed in PTI’s ‘Top 5 Ports in Australia 2021‘ list, as it moved a total of 3,278,635 TEU last year.

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