Port of Melbourne impacted by latest phase of West Gate Tunnel works

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

Container transport operators are currently experiencing major delays and grid-locks around the Port of Melbourne as the West Gate Tunnel enters a new phase of construction.

In a media release dated 9/10/23, Container Transport Alliance Australian (CTAA) reported that “significant lane restrictions have been imposed (westbound and eastbound) on Footscray Road in the Swanson Precinct of the Port of Melbourne as the WGTP continues to complete overhead road structure works.  Also, the main access route for heavier road combinations between the Swanson Precinct / the west, and port facilities at Webb Dock to the south, Wurundjeri Way, is now closed until early December 2023, with a detour for heavy vehicles over 68.5 tonne gross vehicle mass becoming available via the Bolte Bridge.”

The decrease in landside efficiency and productivity could ultimately affect importers and exporters, particularly coming into the Christmas season.  Our advice is to be aware of the following impacts, as reported by CTAA:

  • Missed truck timeslot appointments at the container terminals, with possible resulting financial penalties;
  • Import containers unable to be picked up and delivered, meaning wasted labour allocation by customers and the financial impact of freight delays;
  • Exports missing receival windows and added requests for late export receival. Ultimately this leads to exports not meeting vessel cut-off times and being left behind (“rolled” cargo), impacting on export contracts; and
  • A significant blow-out in truck turnaround times;

“Truck travel times from transport depots in Melbourne’s west doubled to well over two hours. Reportedly, it was taking over 45 minutes to travel from Whitehall Street to the west of the Swanson Precinct into the Port’s facilities, with a similar level of delay being experienced from the east.”

There may the possibility of congestion surcharges being imposed by some transport operators.  However, industry will continue to try to work with the WGTP and the Government to overcome the negative impacts.  The Government has assured the CTAA that additional measures will be put in place to divert private vehicles away from Footscray Road and that traffic-light sequencing will be altered to allow more trucks to pass per cycle.

The team and CGL will continue to keep you updated, but if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us on +61 3 9854 3000 or email

Image by ojosujono96 on Freepik


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