Issues Caused By Large Volumes & Melbourne Wharves

Dear Valued Client,

Over the past 3 weeks, there has been a massive spike in import and export container volumes through the Port of Melbourne.

Further to this, there has been a number of industry problems that have affected our business.

1. 1-stop system – As most of you are aware the 1-stop system is the main information exchange between the stevedores and the transport carriers. Over the past three weeks, they have had intermitted IT problems resulting in the shutting down of the Melbourne terminals for anywhere from 60 minutes up to 4 hours. On top of this, the 1-stop system was not allowing us to manifest any export containers for nearly 24 hours. This disruption caused massive delays at DP World with 3-4 hour queues.

2. Constantly changing vessel windows – Melbourne is currently experiencing huge changes to vessel availabilities as vessel continue to arrive “off window”. With the delays mentioned above this further compounds delays in container movements.

3. Road infrastructure – Every year from Christmas to late January the Government and VIC Roads use this opportunity to resurface most of the major arterial roads around Melbourne. This causes more delays for us. As usual lanes on the Westgate bridge are shut for maintenance and as it is the major road from the West to the South/South East, this causes massive delays for us.

4. Direct to wharf empty dehires – the shipping lines have also lifted significantly the amount of containers that must be dehired direct to the terminals. With the terminals under duress for the reasons outlined above this places more stress on the already under pressure terminals.

5. Import Containers failing to be picked up – DP World in particular, make the carriers use Stack runs to move the containers in/out of the terminals. In the norm, this works well. However when the terminal cannot service the number of trucks that are booked for container movements they change the Stack run to alter the volume of containers to be moved in/out of the terminal. Unfortunately, we have no control over how or when they decide to do this. We have had stack runs (like last night) that was supposed to be completed by 5 am this morning but only half of the import containers were able to be moved out of the terminal due to 3-4 hour delays. DP World has now decided that our stack run will be re-opened from 1400 hours today.

As you can see the industry as a whole is under massive stress. The IT systems, wharves, empty parks and carriers have all been hit hard by this sudden surge in import and export containers.

Please email your respective contacts at SILA for anything urgent.

Kind Regards,

SILA Customer Service