Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at Webb Dock in Melbourne has reopened its landside gates after four days of closure caused by pro-Palestinian protestors.
A statement from VICT yesterday evening read: “Access to our gates has been restored and we are resuming truck transactions immediately.
“We will release slots at 1900hr in preparation. We will be releasing a mix of import and export slots, so please utilise what is available.
“For exports, a reminder to prioritise the CONSHIP YEN & OOCL BEIJING which both cut-off tomorrow (for export receivals).”
There is a strong presence from Victoria Police near the terminal, and truck drivers have been asked to “cooperate” and have their MSICs at hand in case they are approached.
Container Transport Alliance Australia said this is “good news” for trade through the Port of Melbourne, however it will take some time to collect all outstanding imports and ensure that exports earmarked for the vessels delayed by the protests are delivered to meet shortened cut-off timeframes.
It is hoped that empty container bulk runs cancelled during the terminal closure can resume, to ensure that shipping lines are evacuating sufficient numbers of empties from the port to lighten the tightening capacity constraints within Melbourne’s empty container parks.
Protestors had been demonstrating at the Webb Dock since last Friday to prevent an Israeli-owned shipping company, ZIM, from using the terminal.
The protest reportedly blocked the transport of about 50,000 containers, and 10 people have been arrested on trespass and criminal damage charges.