SOROE MAERSK makes a one-off call at VICT in Melbourne
The Port of Melbourne and Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) recently welcomed the container vessel SOROE MAERSK, the longest vessel to call at the port to date.
The SOROE MAERSK has a total carrying capacity of 9,640 TEUs and a length of 346.98 meters, 11.28 meters longer than the previous longest vessels to call at the port. It was brought to Melbourne to load empty containers for repositioning back to Asia. VICT’s location at the Webb Dock, outside the Westgate bridge, enables it to handle larger vessels with higher deck stows than the Patrick and DP World terminals in Melbourne, which are located behind the Westgate bridge at East Swanson Dock.
The vessel departed on midday Tuesday, 6 April after loading 4,148 TEUs. It was in port for two days and five hours.
Tim Vancampen, VICT CEO, highlighted the requirement to continue to invest in order to keep up with the shipping line requirements for the larger vessels calling Australia: “We welcome the Soroe Maersk and look forward to continuing to accommodate larger vessels of this size at VICT,” he said.
“We continuously focus on meeting client requirements whilst also driving efficiencies throughout our service network," added Henrik Jensen, Managing Director of Maersk Oceania. "To that end, the SOROE MAERSK port call into Melbourne allows us to test potential future network and infrastructure aspects, and use the one-off vessel call to reposition much-needed empty containers to demand locations in Asia.”
The labour situation at VICT is still up in the air. At this point it is not known whether VICT and the Maritime Union of Australia are any closer to agreeing a new workplace agreement for VICT. In an interview last month with the Australian Financial Review, Vancampen said after accumulating losses of A$300M in its first five years of operation VICT almost broke even in 2020, but the pay increases the MUA is demanding would cost A$120M over four years and “put us out of business”.