OOCL SEOUL turned into Port Phillip Bay flanked by three tug-boats this afternoon having originally departed from Shanghai. The 325-metre freighter churned up plenty of dust as it twisted into line with cranes at Webb dock, officially becoming the largest ever container ship to land in Melbourne.

Weighing in at more than 105,000 tonnes, the vessel can carry more than 8,000 containers at a time; a roughly fifteen percent increase on the largest freighters allowed into the Bay.

Victorian Ports Corporation CEO, Rachel Johnson called it a “great day.” “The Port is a wonderful place. It has been the lifeblood of the community for a very long time and this is the next step in the evolution of the Port,” said Johnson. “As the population grows... We're going to see more ships and more containers and doing that more productively and efficiently is just a necessity.

The trial came after extensive simulations conducted by the University of Hobart, despite not being the largest ever ship to use Port Philip Bay. OOCL SEOUL is almost the length of two MCGs, but is still 22 metres shy of the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship, which will call Melbourne, instead of Sydney Harbour, home next year.

All going to plan, similar sized freight ships will soon be tested up the Yarra for better access to Inland Ports. “I think overall this will reduce costs over time, but this is very much the start of that process,” she said.

Having docked successfully, the OOCL SEOUL isn’t expected to hold the record as the largest container ship to dock in Melbourne for very long. Plans are already in place to test longer 336-metre container ships in the near future.

Source : Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018