About Victoria's commercial ports

Victoria's commercial trading ports are engines for economic growth. They provide critical transfer points in Victoria’s transport network and connect Victoria to international markets.

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Victorian Ports Review underway

An independent review into Victorian ports has commenced and is being led by Independent Reviewer Mark Curry, engaged by Freight Victoria. 

The review will assess the function and performance of the current port system and recommend reforms to ensure that Victorian ports are well positioned to meet future needs.

The review will cover topics such as governance arrangements for state-owned ports, regulation of key port services, pricing and access arrangements at the Port of Melbourne and the development of coastal shipping. 

Consultation will form an important part of the review with discussions commencing in February 2020.

Stakeholders will be invited to provide feedback on emerging issues, challenges and opportunities which will help shape the future vision for Victoria’s ports. 

Feedback will be welcomed from port users, port service providers, port owners/operators, port regulators and impacted communities.

The review will provide a strategic policy and governance framework and is anticipated to be completed by mid-2020.

You can find out more about the review in the Independent Review of the Victoria Ports System terms of reference

New on-dock rail to be built at the Port of Melbourne

We're moving more freight onto trains and reducing the number of trucks on local roads with new on-dock rail to be built at the Port of Melbourne.

The $125 million investment in new rail infrastructure is part of the Victorian Government’s work to continue driving the economic success of the port, which currently contributes $6 billion to the Victorian economy each year and is a crucial part of the state’s agriculture supply chain.

We made better rail access to the port a requirement in the legislation for the Port of Melbourne lease and now it’s being delivered.

It’s a win for our exporters who have been paying high “last mile” costs when their goods arrive at the Port of Melbourne and reduces congestion at the port gate.

The Port of Melbourne will introduce a $9.75 per 20-foot equivalent unit charge on imported containers. The funds raised from the charge will directly deliver new sidings and connections for the rail project.

On-dock rail to Swanson Dock is a key component of our plans for a rail freight network to the port, including the Port Rail Shuttle Network initiative, the intermodal terminals at Truganina and Beveridge, signal automation at the Geelong Port and investments in the regional freight network.

We’ll closely monitor the progress of the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2023, and keep looking at ways to improve port pricing and access – keeping Victoria’s regional exports cost-competitive and growing the state’s economy.

Learn more about on-dock rail at the Port of Melbourne.

Voluntary Port Performance Model

The Port of Melbourne is an economic asset for the whole state, contributing $6 billion each year to Victoria’s economy.

Deloitte Economics reviewed the efficiency of pricing and access at the Port of Melbourne in the first state-based review of the stevedore infrastructure charges, giving us a comprehensive picture of pricing and access at the Port of Melbourne from the wharf to the port gate.

The review shows cost pressures across the landside supply chain, and pricing and lack of transparency is hurting our regional export cargo owners the most.

While costs have risen as a result of increases in stevedore charges, the costs being levied by others, particularly shipping lines, are arguably having a bigger impact on increasing costs.

In response, the Voluntary Pricing Protocol has been developed in close consultation with port stevedores, transport bodies, the Port of Melbourne and Australia’s peak shipping body.

The Voluntary Pricing Protocol establishes clear protocols for notification periods for price increases or the introduction of any new landside charges, explanation of price increases, and the timing of price changes.

The new notice periods have been introduced for greater consistency with other jurisdictions, including at Port Botany.

More information will be included and notices to industry will be published on stevedore websites. Industry and Department feedback on price changes is available here.

We’re also creating a state-based Voluntary Port Performance Model to increase the transparency of pricing and agree to a set of performance indicators which are consistent, measurable and meaningful.  

The new Voluntary Port Performance Model will enable a comprehensive understanding of the Victorian supply chain, resolving what is a national problem with a nationally consistent solution. 

Further actions, including regulation, remain open to government if the voluntary model doesn’t address industry concerns and further action is warranted.

Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne is Australia's largest maritime hub for containerised, automotive and general cargo.

It is a key economic asset for businesses and people across Victoria and south-eastern Australia.

The Port of Geelong

The Port of Geelong is Victoria's second biggest port, handling more than 10 million tonnes of product annually and dealing with around 600 vessel visits each year.

Its main commodities include crude oil, wood-chip, fertiliser and break-bulk cargo.

Port of Hastings

The Port of Hastings serves major international and domestic shipping movements that import and export oil, LPG, ULP and steel.

It also handles general cargo, project cargo, ship-to-ship transfer, pipe-laying operations and the lay-up and repair of oil rigs and floating platforms.

Port of Portland

The Port of Portland is a deepwater bulk port and the international gateway for the green triangle region, an area with abundant natural resources.

The port specialises in bulk commodities, particularly agricultural, forestry and mining products as well as aluminium and fertiliser.

Vessel management services

Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne manages commercial navigation of the channels in Melbourne port waters, waterside emergency and marine pollution response and the management of Station Pier as Victoria’s premier cruise shipping facility.

The Victorian Regional Channels Authority manages commercial navigation of the channels in port waters of the Port of Geelong and the Port of Hastings and oversees channel management for the Port of Portland.