AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Freight Council calls for intermodal rail freight targets

<p>Industry and government need to become &#8220a lot more pro-active&#8221 if ambitious targets for modal shift of landside port traffic are to be realised, according to the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council (VFLC).</p> <p>The council has released its <em>Toolkit for the Development of Intermodal Hubs</em> , a point-by-point dissection of the challenges facing metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in implementing more rail-centric supply chains. </p> <p>The Victorian Government has a rail target for port cargoes of 30% by 2010. However, three years out, the actual rail freight figure sits at 17.8%.</p> <p>The council said the remaining 12-13% target was unlikely to be achieved through an increase in interstate or Victorian regional port rail volumes.</p> <p>Council chairman John Begley said an additional 1m teu of rail freight capacity could be attracted from centres bound for or originating from areas of freight activity within metropolitan Melbourne. </p> <p>&#8220However, this strategy relies on a network of intermodal hubs capable of offering rail-port shuttles in a reliable, consistent and cost competitive manner &#8211 for which a number of existing conditions have to change,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>&#8220At the moment, there is no comprehensible government intermodal hub policy that enables industry to make investment decisions &#8211 even though it is generally moving quickly to satisfy new supply chain requirements and wants to invest in intermodal freight hubs and rail-serviced warehouses and distribution centres,&#8221 Mr Begley said. </p> <p>&#8220It needs a solid framework of government policy, covering things like land allocation, site buffering, local relationships, environmental responsibility, efficient access and long-term surety to encourage that investment and certainty.&#8221</p> <p>This also involved infrastructure upgrades for road, rail, signalling and information communication systems, to ensure sufficient train storage, truck-marshalling and in-port container management facilities, and to allow the 24&#477 operations required, the council said.</p> <p>The <em>Toolkit for the Development of Intermodal Hubs in Victoria</em> is now available, with supporting documents, from the VFLC website www.vflc.com.au under the <em>What’s New</em> section.</p> <br />