AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Rail loss could be Hobart ship call gain, says PAN

<p>Pacific National’s withdrawal from Tasmanian intermodal rail services has strengthened the case for a Hobart call on PAN Australia Shipping’s imminent new Australian coastal service, the company says.</p> <p>PAN’s managing direct Paull Van Oost said the company had already started discussions with Hobart Port chief executive Jon Lister about a Hobart call.</p> <p>PAN initially looked at the option of a Melbourne-Fremantle-Hobart-Melbourne schedule but shelved the idea &#8211 partly because of competition from rail in Tasmania.</p> <p>Since the company announced its east-west coastal service, it has been inundated with inquiries from major manufacturers and freight forwarders including many from Tasmania, Mr Van Oost said.</p> <p>"It is encouraging to receive so many enquiries in relation to Tasmania, and from the initial discussions we have held with major manufacturers and freight forwarders, a Hobart call is firmly back on our agenda," he said.</p> <p>"The rail infrastructure in Tasmania is outdated and the current rail service struggles to meet the needs of Hobart manufacturers." </p> <p>"If Pacific National is to close [its&#93 intermodal rail services in Tasmania, there is clearly a definite need for a Hobart call and PAN is more than willing to look at rescuing Hobart cargo."</p> <br />