“This new facility provides the capacity to meet forecasted demand, with the port set to handle 600,000 cars in 2025, rising to 1 million vehicles in 2040.”
The Australian auto market is on the rise. In fact, 2013 was a record year for vehicle sales in Australia with more than 1.1 million new vehicles sold, up 2.2 per cent from 2012, with only 10 per cent of those vehicles manufactured in-country. Coupled with thriving farming and construction industries and a mining industry on the rise, the country faced increased demand for logistics solutions for the import of automobiles and rolling equipment.
The development of Melbourne’s new port facility at Webb Dock West was the perfect solution to supporting stronger trade through the Port of Melbourne. In July 2014, the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) awarded a bid to Melbourne International RoRo Automotive Terminal (MIRRAT) – a fully owned Australian subsidiary company of WWL – to develop a world-class, environmentally conscious Roll-On Roll-Off (RoRo) terminal at Webb Dock West.
“We are delighted for MIRRAT to be afforded this opportunity in Melbourne, and look forward to developing a terminal that all stakeholders, meaning the Port, vessel operators, car and equipment importers, and the community, can take pride in,” says Christopher J. Connor, WWL President and CEO.
As part of the WWL Terminal Holdings group of companies, MIRRAT can tap into WWL’s global experience in design, development and management of terminals in a number of countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe. The terminal will pattern itself after the Castor Green facility, a zero-emissions terminal that uses renewable resources for its power and is self-sufficient when it comes to its water needs. It also uses lean production techniques that focus on the elimination of waste and add value during each stage of the cargo’s movement through the terminal.
Construction will take place in two phases, starting in the latter half of 2014. Phase one will see the construction of a new 185,000-square-metre facility north of the current Webb Dock West car terminal, due to be completed early 2016. Phase two will be the incorporation of the current automotive terminal at the south end of Webb Dock West from January 2018.
When completed, the facility will have capacity to handle up to a million units per annum and feature a total berth length of 920 metres. The facility will also include an 8000-square-metre, fully enclosed and weatherproof storage area, a maintenance area and truck parking facilities. A vehicle appointment system will ensure good traffic flow in and out of the facility, as well as minimise the impact on surrounding road infrastructure.
Australian Minister for Ports, David Hodgett, predicts the new terminal will help meet future automotive trade demands in a changing landscape.
“Last year the port handled more than 370,000 vehicles,” says Hodgett. “This new facility provides the capacity to meet forecasted demand, with the port set to handle 600,000 cars in 2025, rising to 1 million vehicles in 2040.”
MIRRAT is a wholly owned Australian incorporated subsidiary of WWL Terminal Holdings AS and part of a broader infrastructure portfolio of 14 terminals owned, operated and/or invested in by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. MIRRAT has been established as the entity to manage and operate the terminal activities in Melbourne.