LINX Cargo Care Group enables new transport avenue to Central West with LINX Intermodal terminal expansion

LINX Cargo Care Group has enabled a new arterial avenue for Australia’s grain farmers in the Central West with the recent expansion of services from its LINX Intermodal Terminal, part of the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre.

LINX Cargo Care Group is now partnering with CWLT Logistics to enable new services between Sydney and Bathurst, with Forbes next in line. As part of the Terminal’s expansion, LINX Cargo Care Group has opened on-site fumigation services to streamline the process from ports to rail and reduce traffic, while enabling aligned service provider ACFS Port Logistics (ACFS) to undertake rural and regional tailgate inspections at the terminal.

“The LINX Intermodal Terminal is becoming a one-stop shop for Australia’s supply chain backbone, enabling greater sustainability, reduced traffic and improved rail access between the Central West and Sydney,” said Carlo Cutinelli, Executive General Manager Customer & Business Development at LINX Cargo Care Group. “The continued investment from LINX Cargo Care Group as well as NSW Ports into the infrastructure both at the LINX Intermodal Terminal and the ports is paying off, with our farmers the first to benefit.”

Grain farmers in the Central West will be the key early beneficiaries of the Sydney to Bathurst service and rural tailgate inspection services, with a quicker turnaround to the ports now possible. Driven by above-average rainfall between March and August, NSW is expected to lead a bumper harvest with winter crop production in the state predicted to rise 49 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019-20.

Those farmers will now have a quicker path to the ports with LINX’s upgraded services and expanded Terminal operations.

“This is further streamlining the supply chain between Australia’s heartland and key export markets, and it’s also reducing the impacts of traffic on regional roads and around the ports,” said Cutinelli.

The NSW Government’s Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 highlighted a plan to increase the road to rail share of rail freight at Port Botany to 28 per cent by 2021 and reduce the impact of truck movements around the ports. The expansion of capabilities at the LINX Intermodal Terminal will significantly reduce the impact of two-truck movements, as well as the overall number of trucks, around Botany.

ACFS Managing Director and CEO, Arthur Tzaneros says customers in NSW’s central west will benefit from the overall productivity and capability of the LINX Intermodal Terminal.

“With the support and alliance of many of the major shipping lines, upgrade and repair facilities, as well as the key strength of 3 x 900m tracks which allows for the service of 1.8m trains, this provides a distinct advantage in the LINX Intermodal Terminal service that will reap benefits for the Central West service, and its related customers,” said Tzaneros.

“Furthermore, customers can now also receive an end-to-end service on imports, further streamlining the port to rail process on the port shuttle that is serviced via the dedicated freight line, while complying with all relevant import regulations.”

LINX’s Fumigation, Tailgate Capabilities Reduce Truck Movements, Enable Sustainable Supply Chain

LINX’s fumigation services for imported containers – which meet the stringent safety, health, agricultural and environmental requirements from a host of stakeholders including Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, SafeWork NSW and Border Control – will remove the number of trucks from suburban roads around Port Botany by reducing two-truck movement.

“If a transport company needs to go and pick up a container from the port, they’ll have to pick it up from the port and then they will need to take it to a provider that does fumigation and generally they’re around Port Botany,” said Cutinelli. “Then they’ve got to drop the container off there and once the container is fumigated, vented, and cleared, they need to go back to that facility again, collect the container and then drop it off at their customer or bring it back to their depot and then deliver the container to the customer.

“With our service, we collect the container from the port, we bring it back to the LINX Intermodal Terminal, it goes directly off our train into the fumigation area. It gets fumigated, vented, cleared and then we can then get that container and put it directly into our subtenant’s yard or our customer comes and collects the box.

“We’re now able to clear up to 40 containers a day.”

A tailgate inspection involves a visual inspection of the inside of a container to see if there are insects, dirt, or grass. If any of these are found that could indicate the presence of pests which could affect agriculture, LINX now has the facilities in the LINX Intermodal Terminal for ACFS to be able to wash down a container.

“Our customer doesn’t worry about the container until it’s placed into the transition bay for onsite customers,” said Cutinelli. “They send us the booking and the next thing they know is the containers are put into the terminal, cleared, and in the transition bay or the location where they can come and collect it.”

New construction and freight jobs for Western Sydney

Up to 80,000 truck trips will be taken off Sydney’s congested motorways each year, while 230 jobs will be created in Western Sydney, as part of a combined investment value of up to $100 million to shift freight off the city’s road network and onto rail.

The NSW government has approved construction of a new freight hub in the heart of Western Sydney, allowing shipping containers to be hauled by freight trains from Port Botany to St Marys rather than transported by thousands of truck trips on busy Sydney motorways.

Pacific National’s CEO Dean Dalla Valle said St Marys Freight Hub will shift up to 301,000 shipping containers onto rail each year, removing 70,000 to 80,000 truck trips off Sydney’s congested motorways annually, helping to improve road safety and the daily commute of thousands of motorists.

“By shifting more freight onto rail between Port Botany and Western Sydney, the number of truck trips on the congested M4 and M5 motorways will be reduced by 8.7 million kilometres each year, that’s equivalent to 23 trips to the moon,” he said.

Dalla Valle said St Marys Freight Hub will allow more people to live and work locally, rather than commuting around 130 kilometres each day between Western Sydney and Port Botany.

“With Western Sydney’s population forecast to grow by another 1.7 million people by 2036, freight will be in high demand as will the need for new skilled employment in the region,” he said.

Dalla Valle said under the development consent for St Marys Freight Hub, Pacific National has a year to start construction with early works expected in coming months. This project will play an important role in helping to boost the NSW economy as it recovers from the deep shocks of the coronavirus crisis.

“With the COVID-19 global pandemic creating the most testing employment conditions since the Great Depression, the St Marys Freight Hub will create 60 construction jobs during the building phase and more than 170 full-time jobs once fully up and running,” he said.

Dalla Valle said St Marys Freight Hub was ideally located to process large volumes of containerised freight, with many of Australia’s major retailers and wholesalers operating national warehousing and distribution centres within 15 kilometres of the new intermodal facility.

“Imported shipping containers will be hauled from Port Botany to St Marys Freight Hub by train, then transported to nearby warehouses and distribution centres by truck to be unpacked,” he said.

Pacific National has partnered with port logistics operator ACFS who will manage and operate the St Marys Freight Hub and deliver shipping containers the ‘last mile’ by truck to retail and wholesale customers at surrounding warehouses and distribution centres.

ACFS Port Logistics CEO Arthur Tzaneros said St Marys Freight Hub will be a game changer for commercial and industrial areas and facilities in Western Sydney where the majority of large-scale customer warehouses and distribution centres are located.

“The strategically located 43-hectare hub – initially 10-hectares in size – will increase reliability and cost efficiency of freight movements for ACFS customers. It is located outside of Sydney’s road toll zone and will help ensure freight deliveries are not delayed in traffic congestion on the city’s motorways,” he said.

Dalla Valle said contents of shipping containers include everything from food, medical supplies, building products and household items like TVs, washing machines and furniture.

“To put this in perspective, a single shipping container can hold approximately 25,000 rolls of toilet paper, 55,000 cans of tinned food or 1,500 cases of beer,” he said.