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

Our ports are critical gateways to international markets, allowing essential goods to reach our businesses and people. Around $26 billion worth of Victorian goods are exported annually, primarily through the ports system.

That is why the Independent Review into the Victorian Ports System - the first in over 20 years – is so important. Announced in January 2020, the review’s aim was to determine if governance reforms were needed to ensure the ports system is effective, efficient and well-placed to deliver on the state’s strategic objectives.

The review was undertaken by Mr Mark Curry, a previous Director of Ports and Marine transport and longstanding ports and maritime specialist.

Stakeholder engagement was a key component of the review process, with over 40 targeted sessions, which included over 80 stakeholders across Victoria, including industry, departments, peak bodies, universities and research bodies, port operators, intermodal and transport operators, shippers, importers and exporters, and trade unions, resulting in over 70 written submissions in response to the public Discussion Paper published in July,.

Government is now considering the findings and has updated industry on an initial government response ahead of a full response later in 2021.

The creation of Ports Victoria, which combines the Victorian Regional Channels Authority and the Victorian Ports Melbourne Corporation, is a key component of the initial government response.

The Department of Transport will lead the development of the full response to the review which will be prepared for public release in mid-2021.

You can find out more about the review in the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System Initial Government Response.

Port Rail Transformation Project at the Port of Melbourne

We're moving more containers onto trains and reducing the number of trucks on local roads with the Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) to be built at the Port of Melbourne (PoM).

Design and early contract works for the infrastructure component of the PRTP have been awarded.  

Site investigations will be underway in March 2021, with construction planned to commence in July. The project is on schedule to be completed in 2023.

The $125 million investment in new rail infrastructure interfacing with the container terminal at East Swanson Dock 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 PoM 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 PoM Melbourne and reduces congestion at the port gate.

To make the project possible, the PoM has introduced an increase of $9.75 per 20-foot equivalent unit charge on full imported containers from June 2020. The funds raised from the charge will directly deliver new sidings and connections for the rail project. The charge keeps the port competitive with Port Botany and won’t apply to export containers.

The PRTP 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 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 Port Rail Transformation Project 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.