The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container port. Recent record levels of trade have caused significant capacity constraints, limiting the number of goods that can be imported and more importantly, exported from the site. Webb Dock was once the major container shipping facility in the port, however, in recent times it fell into disrepair due to its limited capacity.
Originally built in the 1960’s, the dock is being redeveloped to provide capacity for over 1,000,000 container movements per year. To achieve this level of operation, the dock is being automated with remote controlled equipment that improves accuracy and significantly reduces costs, making the dock internationally competitive.
Constructing an automated dock brings with it some very unique design challenges. Driverless lifting cranes are guided by magnets embedded directly into the concrete pavement. The design called for sections of the pavement to be free of steel so that the electromagnetic field is not disturbed. This meant that traditional steel reinforcement could not be used in all locations.