Wednesday 23rd Sep, 2020

Logistics Council welcomes Toll, DP World venture

Container rail into Port Botany. Photo: Sydney Ports
Photo: Sydney Ports

The Australian Logistics Council has welcomed Tuesday’s announcement that logistics firm Toll Group and container stevedore DP World are in talks over a joint venture to operate a rail shuttle between an intermodal site at Villawood and Port Botany, in Sydney.

ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff said the news would help push more freight onto rail at Sydney’s major container terminal.

“It is clear that one of the keys to improving the efficiency of Sydney’s freight supply chains is through achieving improved end-to-end connectivity across all modes of transport,” Kilgariff said.

“This initiative, along with a number of other recently-announced intermodal projects in Sydney, is fundamental to improving the efficiency of our national supply chains and to supporting national economic growth.”

Asciano subsidiary Pacific National recently expanded operations at its Chullorah intermodal site, and the Federal Government recently announced its land, and the land owned by a consortium of Qube Logistics and Aurizon, would be combined at Moorebank to form a large new intermodal terminal there, as well.

Kilgariff said rail freight played a critical role in the NSW transport task for bulk as well as containerised freight, but without well connected intermodal terminals, various state and national aspirations concerning the movement of goods by rail simply could not be achieved.

“Moving more freight to rail, where it makes sense commercially, has the potential to improve urban amenity, reduce road congestion and decrease queuing times at ports,” he said. “This proposed joint venture between two of Australia’s largest logistics operators to improve linkages between the port and western Sydney will certainly help to realise this aim.

“Western Sydney is already Australia’s third largest economy and fourth most populous city, so it is essential we have efficient connections between the port and Sydney’s logistics heartland,” he said.

Kilgariff said growing the volume of containers transported by rail is a priority for both industry and government, particularly in light of figures showing that NSW’s logistics task will double from 409 million tonnes of freight in 2011 to around 794 million tonnes of freight by 2031.

Projects like the one Toll and DP World are discussing will help to support the Government’s aim of achieving a doubling of the proportion of containers carried by rail to Port Botany, which currently sits at around 14%, or approximately 278,000 teus* (2012/2013 figures), he said.

“The project also demonstrates to Government that industry is committed to investing in initiatives to improve the efficiency of NSW’s rail freight supply chains, at a time when the Government is considering a future duplication of the rail freight line to Port Botany.”

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