INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has added six new automated stacking cranes at its port in Australia to achieve a fully automated container terminal.

In a press release, ICTSI said that the purchase of the additional stacking cranes for Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) will increase its terminal yard and reefer capacity by 30% and 43%, respectively.

VICT’s new equipment is part of an ongoing expansion project, which includes 15 additional truck grids that will increase the terminal’s slot availability by 30%.

The container terminal in Melbourne is also set to acquire two larger ship-to-shore cranes, which will bring the total number to seven.

“The new cranes will have an outreach of 22 containers to enable the handling of up to 14,000-twenty-foot-equivalent-units (TEUs) capacity Neo-Panamax ships,” the company said.

Under the expansion project, VICT’s quay line, or the area where boats are tied up for loading and unloading, will be extended by 71 meters, which will allow two 336-meter-long vessels to berth simultaneously.

On Aug. 3, 2021, the Port of Melbourne committed to carrying out the berth extension, which commenced in March last year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The container terminal’s expansion, which is expected to raise VICT’s annual throughput capacity by 250,000 TEUs to 1.25 million TEUs, is scheduled to be completed and operational at the beginning of 2024.

A subsidiary of ICTSI, VICT started its operations in Australia’s fully-automated container terminal in 2017.

In the second quarter, ICTSI saw an increase in volume from its Asia operations by 17.2% to 1.61 million TEUs from 1.38 million TEUs in the same period last year.

Its operations in Asia cover its terminals in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, and Papua Guinea. — Justine Irish D. Tabile