Victoria International Container Terminal completes Phase 3A expansion

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (third from left) led the ceremonial unveiling of a marker for the Phase 3 expansion of the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), Australia’s first fully automated container terminal and a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 4 March 2024. Joining President Marcos (from left) are Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual; House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez; First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos; Mr. Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI Chairman and President; and Mr. Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI Executive Vice President and Chairman of VICT.

Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI)’s operations at the Port of Melbourne in Australia and the only fully-automated container terminal in the Southern hemisphere, recently completed Phase 3A of its expansion project.

Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI Chairman and President said: “This additional investment redefines the Port of Melbourne’s landscape, setting new standards for operational efficiency and capacity. VICT can now accommodate the largest container vessels calling Australia  – the neo-Panamax giants – solidifying the Port of Melbourne’s position as Australia’s number one container port.”

With the expansion of VICT, supersized ships can now sail directly into Port Phillip and dock at VICT – the only terminal in Melbourne capable of receiving them. This translates to faster turnaround times, improved efficiency, and ultimately, a competitive edge for Australian businesses.

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., together with First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and Razon, unveiled the plate to mark the inauguration of the VICT’s Phase 3 expansion.  The remote ceremony was held at The Ritz-Carlton in Melbourne.

“Being the only fully-automated container terminal in the Southern hemisphere is truly a feat worthy of admiration,” President Marcos said.

He added:  “We are delighted that since VICT started operations in 2017, it has grown to become a major player in Melbourne, giving healthy competition to its peers. This expansion that we are seeing today is a clear sign that Filipino companies can compete at some of the most advanced economies in the world. And in the case of VICT, they are in it for the long haul. We look forward to VICT’s continued success and growth.”

The AUD235 million (Php8.5 billion) project is being carried out in two phases. Phase 3A, completed in December 2023, will increase the terminal’s capacity by 30 percent to 1.25 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). It extends the quay by 71 meters to 735 meters or 769 meters with the mooring dolphins included, and will enhance VICT’s quayside operations by allowing two 366-meter vessels to berth side-by-side.

On the landside, three new storage blocks have been added along with 15 new truck lanes, enhancing the terminal’s booking system time slot offerings to the market by up to 30 percent starting in January 2024.

VICT also acquired two automated ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, six auto container carriers (ACC) and six auto stacking cranes (ASC) as part of Phase 3A. The ASCs have been operational since December 2023, supporting the increased yard capacity. The STS cranes, which have a reach of 22 containers across and currently the largest port equipment in Australia, arrived in the third quarter and is are now operational.

Phase 3B is scheduled to be completed in 2026 and will include the acquisition of another automated STS crane, three ACCs, four ASCs, and construction of two additional storage blocks.

VICT’s investments in infrastructure, equipment, and workforce upskilling are strategically designed to support anticipated growth. This proactive approach will ensure optimal management of expanded operations.

VICT’s expansion allows it to simultaneously handle two 366-meter vessels.