Western Australia needs more intermodal capacity to cope with a growing freight sector, a transport department representative has told a recent conference.
Graeme Doyle from WA’s Department of Transport told delegates at this year’s AusIntermodal Conference in Sydney recently that international seaborne trade through Western Australia’s ports had a record year in terms of value, with trade worth in excess of $180 billion.
However, the iron ore state is recovering from the boom when it saw pressure for additional port capacity, and is now transitioning to a “post boom scenario”.
Even so, the Department of Transport has forecast interstate and international demand to reach 1.8 million teus (twenty-foot equivalent container units) beyond 2041, meaning additional terminal capacity in WA is required.
There are vast options to satisfy this, including the government’s ‘Latitude 32’ project which is to be developed over 30 years, in the Hope Valley Wattleup area, 27km south of Perth.
There are six development areas within Latitude 32 and each is at a different stage of development.
The first, and most developed, is Flinders Precinct off Anketell Road and six kilometres from the Kwinana Freeway. Already at stage four or five, the subdivision and development stage, 60% of the precinct is sold to operators including ATCO, Imdex and Southern Steel.
Development Area 2 is the Wattleup Precinct and is just west of the freight railway link to Kewdale. With 70% owned by the State Government, the rest is made up of 6 other landowners and is the former Wattleup town site.
Doyle explained that Latitude 32 has the potential to house two intermodal precincts. The first precinct would have access for port rail shuttles and a capacity of 400,000 teu per annum, while the second would have the same capacity but would be developed later, by 2041, when interstate container demand requires it.
A formal logistics model would be developed between Fremantle Port’s Outer Harbour and Latitude 32. However, he said a modal share target needs resolving to determine the ultimate purpose of Latitude 32.
Bullsbrook is another potential site for an intermodal terminal beyond 2041 or earlier, according to Mr Doyle, who said it’s likely to be developed as an alternative to Latitude 32 if the government focus on developing Fremantle Port’s Outer Harbour.
Bullsbrook is already home to the Northern Gateway Industrial Park, bordered by the Great Northern Highway, the Perth to Geraldton Rail Line, and Stock Road.
Mundijong is another site the government has identified as having the potential for an intermodal facility, however Mr Doyle thinks this is unlikely.
The Department of Transport and the Department of Transport prefer an eastern location for the intermodal facility, adjoining the southern extension of Tonkin Highway.
This article was originally published on Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.