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Congestion predicted at Port of Melbourne

Congestion predicted at Port of Melbourne

Sydney: Serious congestion is predicted for the port of Melbourne, Australia's largest container port with projections for a third container terminal forecast
not to commence operations until around 2017. Industry authorities are concerned that the development of a third container terminal at Webb Dock, is redevelopment of existing berths and not actually creating new berths to meet a substantial forecast increase in demand over the next ten years. This is
in stark contrast to development or planning for new container terminals under way in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Fremantle.

Meanwhile the Australian container terminal industry has reported profitability well above a number of comparable container ports overseas. It is estimated that the current rate of return at just under a 25% in terms of earnings before interest and tax on average assets is substantially greater than overseas experience, according to a recent report by the Australian Competition and  Consumer Commission.

Shippping Australia Ltd (SAL) said in a statement this week that its members will be most concerned if there is insufficient investment which results in tariffs going up in the future in Melbourne. It urges all stakeholders involved to not only work together to reduce existing congestion but also to discuss investment plans of the respective stevedores necessary to alleviate long term congestion.  [07/11/08]