Shipping lines open door for niche rail operators

<p>Shipping Australia’s New South Wales state committee will invite presentations later this month from the three niche rail operators running box trains in the Sydney metropolitan area after an extraordinary meeting last week.</p> <p>Pacific National will also be invited to make presentations to the committee in October.</p> <p>The shipping lines have been concerned at Pacific National moves to centralise country box train services at single terminals in the Sydney area rather than making multiple calls around the depots. </p> <p>The lines say that there are now extra costs in getting containers to the nominated depots.</p> <p>Pacific National said in a statement earlier that it wants to run block trains for single country destinations from just one depot. This would avoid many small train trips around the congested Sydney network, and considerably reduce train inefficiencies. </p> <p>The rail operator has been running its Riverina train from a single terminal at P&#38O TransAustralia for some time and moved recently to base its Newcastle service at the Seatons Sandown depot. </p> <p>The new system could also allow shipping lines to cut their own costs by storing and supplying boxes for country exporters from depots in western Sydney, rather than using congested depots in Botany, Pacific National said.</p> <p>It is understood that Pacific National has agreed that there will be no more changes to existing services until a full solution is worked out with shipping lines, depots and others over the next few weeks.</p> <p>A spokesman for Pacific National said that as part of normal business practice the operator will talk with stevedores, parks, shipping lines and other stakeholders on improving the efficiencies of the business. </p> <br />