The Port of Melbourne is Victoria’s busiest port and the largest container and general cargo port in Australia. Container traffic at the port is projected to grow by 2.6% per year, from 2.9 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2018 to around 9 million TEUs in 2050. The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified that, even with planned expansions, additional container terminal capacity will be required before 2031.
The development of additional container terminal capacity in Melbourne – with dedicated connections to the port, proposed metropolitan terminals, regional hubs and the national rail system – will help to alleviate congestion caused by road freight movements.
Currently, only around 10% of the Port of Melbourne’s container trade is moved by rail, with no imported containers being moved by rail. This places significant pressure on the surrounding road network, which carries the remaining share. Given Melbourne’s central role in Australia’s freight supply chain, inadequate port capacity and transport access in Melbourne could have broader national consequences.