International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at the Port of Melbourne, Australia is the first fully automated international container handling facility in the world.
“VICT was designed, and is now fully equipped, to be fully automated, and the most advanced container terminal in the world,” says Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI chairman and president.
“Most of the US$ 450 million invested in VICT went to cutting-edge technology and equipment, and the highest standards of port safety. So we can rightly claim that VICT is the very first terminal in Australia that can accommodate the largest Neo-Panamax container ships. For the time being, we can rightly claim that our Melbourne terminal is the most automated terminal in the world,” he adds.
Melbourne’s newest container terminal, VICT, came about as part of the Port of Melbourne’s Port Capacity Project, a Victorian state government initiative to redevelop the Webb Dock East area, and meet increasing trade volumes in Melbourne, Australia’s largest maritime hub for containerized cargo. A public-private partnership (PPP) for a 26-year concession between ICTSI / VICT and the Port of Melbourne Corp. was signed in May 2014.
“VICT was completed below budget and four months ahead of schedule. This has never been achieved in the port industry for 100 percent automated terminal. It is especially noteworthy when considering the unprecedented complexity of the civil works requirements, along with the level of pioneering automation built right into the design,” says Mr. Razon.
In delivering Australia’s first fully automated container facility, ICTSI tapped leading suppliers and service providers. It features cutting edge and top of the line port equipment and technology.
“VICT has selected leading technology from around the world for every step in its operations. For the first time anywhere in the world, a terminal has been created that seamlessly uses automated operations from ship to shore. Integration was key to this innovation—putting all these technologies together. That’s why VICT is the most advanced contained terminal in the world,” explains Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI senior vice president and head of Asia Pacific region.
“Everything about VICT, from its technology to its location and layout, has been designed to deliver unprecedented efficiency, safety, sustainability and security,” he adds.
As part of the PPP, VICT has committed to good corporate citizenship in the city of Melbourne, state of Victoria, and the nation of Australia; but more importantly, a strategic local partner of the Webb Dock community. Thus, technologies rolled out complement the sustainability of the terminal.
Further establishing ICTSI’s Melbourne terminal as the first of its kind, VICT, together with its contractor BMD Constructions, and terminal designer AECOM, was recognized by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. In an awards gala held last April, VICT was awarded the Smart Infrastructure Project Award at the 2017 National Infrastructure Awards in Sydney.
Last year, VICT received a design rating of “leading” from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). The terminal is currently pursuing the permanent and ultimate rating of “as-built” from ISCA. Aside from full automation, VICT envisions is to become the leading sustainable container terminal in Australia, and among the most sustainable ports in the world.
“These recognitions are proof that we are changing the game not only in Australia but in the world. VICT exists to serve the world’s leading shipping lines. We operate with their customers in mind, with a terminal that’s designed to add value throughout the supply chain,” says Mr. Gonzalez.
He adds: “We allow streamlined, 24/7 unhindered access for trucks, a welcome haven from Melbourne’s congested road system. When our customers drop anchor at VICT, they know their experience will be as efficient, safe and secure as they can find anywhere in the world.”
The PPP underscores the implementation of global standards and best practices in modern container terminal design, innovation and operations; and the development of a flagship facility in Australia’s premier port.
Located north of Port Phillip Bay at the mouth of the Yarra River in the Port of Melbourne’s Webb Dock East, the 35-hectare VICT has an annual capacity of one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), and an additional 400,000 TEUs on full build. It has a dedicated empty container depot, which has a capacity of 280,000 TEUs annually.
The terminal has a straight berth of 660 meters, which can accommodate two vessels at one time. The berth can handle megaships with capacities of up to 8,000 to 10,00 TEUs. Currently, VICT is equipped with five Neo-Panamax quay cranes (QC) at the berth; 11 automated container carriers (ACC) to move containers from the berth to the container yard and vice versa; and 20 automated stacking carriers (ASC) in the yard. At full build, additional three QCs, seven ACCs, and 12 ASCs will be commissioned.
VICT implemented best-proven and smart technologies and innovations to deliver fully-automated operations from the gate to the quayside, primary of which was the installation of an automated lashing platform in the QCs, a world first, making VICT one of the safest and most efficient container terminals in the world.
Other technological milestones included the set-up of remote control ship-to-shore operated desks providing office-based control of QCs, a first in Australia; and the commissioning of wireless ACCs providing driverless container delivery technology, also a first in Australia.
VICT integrated all automated application interfaces between the vehicle booking system (VBS), the terminal in and out gates, the movement of ACCs and ASCs, the primary terminal operating system (TOS), and all other automated systems associated with the operation of QCs. For nighttime operations, the terminal uses light emitting plasma (LEP) luminaries and wireless lighting controls.
Aside from BMD and AECOM, other key suppliers and service providers in the development of VICT were: Kalmar for the ASCs and ACCs; ZPMC for the QCs; Inver Engineering, equipment discharge contractor; Dimension Data, network and systems infrastructure; 1- Stop, VBS; Navis, TOS; Camco, gate operating system, sptical character recognition and license plate operating; ABB, remote QC operations and automation; and Bright Light Systems, LEPs.
About Victoria International Container Terminal Limited (VICT)
VICT has been appointed by the Port of Melbourne Corp. to design, construct and operate the Port of Melbourne’s new international container terminal at Webb Dock East. VICT’s development delivers a leading global standard in modern container terminal design, innovation and operations, and will become the flagship facility in Australia’s premier port. VICT will utilize the best-proven technologies and innovations to deliver automated operations from the terminal entry gate to the quayside. VICT is owned by ICTSI, a global container terminal operator headquartered in Manila, Philippines with a portfolio of 28 terminals throughout 17 countries. ICTSI has a pledged commitment to supporting the welfare and education of young people in the communities where it operates. (www.vict.com.au)
About International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI)
Headquartered and established in 1988 in Manila, Philippines, ICTSI is in the business of port development, management and operations. As an independent business with no shipping, logistics or consignee-related interests, ICTSI works and transacts transparently with any stakeholder in the port community. ICTSI’s portfolio of terminals and projects spans developed and emerging market economies in the Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ICTSI has received global acclaim for its public-private partnerships with governments divesting of their port assets to the private sector. (www.ictsi.com)