Welcome to the Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s busiest container and automotive port.

Large ships come from all around the world to pick up and drop off everyday items like clothing, sporting goods, cars, fruit and grain.

What does this mean for you?

What is the
Port of Melbourne?

Many of the items you use or consume every day are made or grown in locations around the world.

Most of these products arrive at the Port of Melbourne on ships.

Think about what’s in your bedroom or your kitchen at home. Without
the Port of Melbourne, many things you want or need wouldn’t be readily available, including some of the food we eat, the appliances we use and
even the clothes we wear.

What comes through the Port of Melbourne?

Let's take a look at the items that travel through the Port of Melbourne.

Items that are carried on ships are called cargo.

The Port of Melbourne handles 4 main types of cargo. These are...

Types of cargo


Containers are large steel boxes used to carry items such as electronic goods, fruit, clothes and furniture. They are the main type of cargo passing through the Port of Melbourne.

Containers come in two sizes. They are either 6 metres or 12 metres long (20 feet or 40 feet). Some containers are refrigerated to keep items cold. There are also open top containers for larger items.

Types of cargo in the port


Breakbulk is any large or odd shaped cargo that does not usually fit in a container.
Cars are our major type of breakbulk trade. Other breakbulk items include steel, logs and large vehicles such as trains and trams.

Types of cargo in the port

Dry Bulk

Drybulk cargoes are loose dry products which are handled in large amounts.
This cargo is not put into a container but is poured directly into the storage sections of a ship.

Dry bulk imports include cement, sugar and gypsum.

Drybulk exports include grains like wheat, canola, barley and rice.

Types of cargo in the port

Liquid Bulk

Liquid bulk cargoes are large volumes of liquids which are carried in special ships known as tankers. Examples include petrol, crude oil and chemicals.

Now that we know about different types of cargo, let’s take a look at how it comes and goes.

The Supply Chain

Cargo must pass through many steps as it travels around the world. These steps are called the 'supply chain'.

In Melbourne, the supply chain creates tens of thousands of jobs.

Click on each picture to the right to learn more about each step in the import and export supply chain.

View import supply chain

Where does it come from? Where does it go?

The Port of Melbourne connects us to the world. Cargo travels to or from almost every country through the Port of Melbourne.

Click the regions on the map, to learn about other international ports and the items we trade with them.

The Port of Melbourne Our gateway to the world

Now you have learnt all about international trade, types of cargo and the important role that the Port of Melbourne plays in our everyday lives.

Our port supports our standard of living, generates jobs and keeps us connected to global trade.

Click below to test your knowledge.

Take the quiz

Back to start


What is the Port of Melbourne's main type of trade?


Which list below contains only items that can travel in Containers?


What is Port of Melbourne's main breakbulk item?


Which of the following items could travel as liquid bulk cargo?


What is the definition of dry bulk?


Which statement below is the missing step from this import supply chain?


What is the final step of the export supply chain?


What is the anchorage zone?


What is a sea pilot?


Where on the mapdoes the Port of Melbourne handle liquid bulk?


Locate where Tasmanian trade is handled within the Port of Melbourne.


Which country is the Port of Melbourne’s biggest trading partner for import and export containers?


Where is the world’s largest transhipment port?


Where in the world does the Port of Melbourne receive most of its car imports from?


Which following item is a major export through the Port of Melbourne?


Device too small!