Ship spotting

Many different types of ship can be seen on Port Phillip Bay and each is designed to carry specific cargo. There are round 3200 commercial ship visits to the Port of Melbourne each year.

The following list will help identify the type of ship and the cargo it might be carrying. See the port map to find the location of each of the berths listed below.

Container ship

Container ship viewed from local beach.

Container ships carry their cargo in twenty or forty-foot containers. These ships carry everyday items including clothes, food, white goods and furniture.

Where do they berth?

  • Swanson Dock East
  • Swanson Dock West

 

Roll on/Roll off (Ro/Ro) ship

Ro/Ro ship

Roll on/Roll off (Ro/Ro) ships carry wheeled cargoes such as cars, trucks, mining machinery, farm machinery, Winnebagos and rail rolling stock. Their built-in ramps lower onto the wharf to let the vehicles ‘roll on’ and ‘roll off’ the ship on their own wheels. 

Where do they berth?

  • Webb Dock
  • Appleton Dock

 

Bulk carrier

Bulk ship

Bulk carriers transport non-containerised cargoes such as grain, cement, sugar, fertiliser and gypsum in large compartments known as the holds of the ship.

Where do they berth?

  • Appleton Dock
  • South Wharf
  • Yarraville berths

 

Bass Strait ship

Bass Strait ship

Bass Strait ships are Ro/Ros and sail to and from Tasmania with a variety of freight including containerised and non-containerised cargoes. All cargoes board the ship on trailers. The trailers carry the cargo and drive on and off the ship via the Ro/Ro ramps.

Where do they berth?

  • Webb Dock

 

Tugboat

Tugboat

Tugboats help manoeuvre ships by pushing and towing them. Tugs help ships in difficult conditions, such as on a windy day or in a crowded harbour or narrow river.

Where do they berth?

  • South Wharf

 

Dredging vessel

Dredging vesselThis is the type of vessel that is generally used for periodic maintenance dredging to ensure the declared depths of the approaches to the port and berths are maintained.

Many different types of ship can be seen on Port Phillip Bay and each is designed to carry specific cargo. There are round 3200 commercial ship visits to the Port of Melbourne each year.

The following list will help identify the type of ship and the cargo it might be carrying. See the port map to find the location of each of the berths listed below.

Container ship

Container ship viewed from local beach.

Container ships carry their cargo in twenty or forty-foot containers. These ships carry everyday items including clothes, food, white goods and furniture.

Where do they berth?

  • Swanson Dock East
  • Swanson Dock West

 

Roll on/Roll off (Ro/Ro) ship

Ro/Ro ship

Roll on/Roll off (Ro/Ro) ships carry wheeled cargoes such as cars, trucks, mining machinery, farm machinery, Winnebagos and rail rolling stock. Their built-in ramps lower onto the wharf to let the vehicles ‘roll on’ and ‘roll off’ the ship on their own wheels. 

Where do they berth?

  • Webb Dock
  • Appleton Dock

 

Bulk carrier

Bulk ship

Bulk carriers transport non-containerised cargoes such as grain, cement, sugar, fertiliser and gypsum in large compartments known as the holds of the ship.

Where do they berth?

  • Appleton Dock
  • South Wharf
  • Yarraville berths

 

Bass Strait ship

Bass Strait ship

Bass Strait ships are Ro/Ros and sail to and from Tasmania with a variety of freight including containerised and non-containerised cargoes. All cargoes board the ship on trailers. The trailers carry the cargo and drive on and off the ship via the Ro/Ro ramps.

Where do they berth?

  • Webb Dock

 

Tugboat

Tugboat

Tugboats help manoeuvre ships by pushing and towing them. Tugs help ships in difficult conditions, such as on a windy day or in a crowded harbour or narrow river.

Where do they berth?

  • South Wharf

 

Dredging vessel

Dredging vesselThis is the type of vessel that is generally used for periodic maintenance dredging to ensure the declared depths of the approaches to the port and berths are maintained.