The purpose of this notification is to comment on the road transport interface disruptions experienced at DP World Melbourne (West Swanson Terminal (WST) and West Swanson Intermodal Terminal (WSIT)) due to the extreme heat last week (the week commencing Monday, 13th January), and importantly about VTA views given to DP World to aid recovery.
Excessive heat conditions led DP World to close its Terminals for numerous hours from the afternoon of Tuesday, 14th January, with import and export receival & delivery (R&D) timeslots progressively cancelled. These disruptions continued progressively with Terminal closures all the way through to Friday, 17th January. Road transport timeslots were cancelled, and Vehicle Booking System (VBS) penalties were waived.
While import delivery time-up periods were extended for certain vessels, and export receival windows were also extended, inevitably export containers were short-shipped (vessels sailed without them) and many import container could not be picked up. Subsequently, import timeslots have been insufficient for the import delivery backlog to be cleared to date, despite DP World releasing additional timeslots for the day shift today (Monday, 20/1) and for the twilight and nightshift zones tonight. Also, additional timeslots have been released for tomorrow (Tuesday, 21/1) and for Wednesday, 22/1.
Please note that DP World did not release timeslots for the nightshift zones on Saturday, 18th January into Sunday, 19th January due to a nation-wide systems’ maintenance shutdown. It is worth noting also that DP World made the decisions to close the Terminals due to extreme heat, whereas Patrick East Swanson Terminal (EST) remained operational for road receival and delivery operations throughout the week.
The VTA has impressed on DP World senior management that it will take the road transport industry and the wider port supply chain a number of days to recover from the disruptions from last week. Therefore, we have asked DP World to be as pragmatic as possible in waiving VBS penalties where legitimate reasons exist, and considering on their merits requests for import time-up extensions. Most important however is the need for sufficient VBS timeslots to be allocated by DP World to allow carriers the opportunity to clear the backlog appropriately.