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.”

Rail freight group meets with Environment Minister to resolve grain concerns

To resolve a standoff on noise and CO2 emissions from grain haulage, an alliance of grain freight businesses have held a roundtable with NSW Environment Minister Matthew Kean.

Representatives of Southern Shorthaul Railrod, Pacific National, LINX Cargo Care Group, CF Asia Pacific, Qube Holdings, Aurizon, Manildra Group, NSW Farmers Association, and Grain Corp amde their concerns heard to Kean.

Last week, the group had banded together to protest draft emissions thresholds which would have forced grain movements off trains and onto trucks. The discussion with Kean has allayed fears of the end of grain freight via trains, said Save our NSW grain lines spokesperson Jason Ferguson and Southern Shorthaul Railroad owner.

“To his credit, Minister Kean acknowledged the importance of allowing older, lighter diesel locomotives to continue providing essential haulage services to farmers needing to transport bulk grain from regional silos to coastal ports like Kembla and Newcastle.”

Kean also reiterated the NSW’s government’s commitment to keeping freight on rail.

“I made it clear to those present that we do not want to see rolling stock taken off tracks and replaced by trucks however we do have a duty to ensure communities are not impacted by extreme noise and air pollution just because they happen to live near rail lines,” Kean told Rail Express.

The draft emissions thresholds would have prohibited the older locomotives used to haul grain. These older locomotives are the only fit-for-purpose solution due to the older tracks – some laid 100 years ago – being unable to hold newer locomotives with heavier axel loads.

“This debate was never about industry resisting the purchase of new locomotives – it was about recognising older, lighter loco classes provide fit-for-purpose haulage services on many regional rail lines,” said Ferguson.

“The minister took our advice about expensive loco emission kit technology causing higher fuel burns and therefore CO2 emissions,” Mr Ferguson.

Due to these discussions, Ferguson expects that the final Environment Protection Licences for Rollingstock operators to take the industry’s concerns into account.

“Just like any vehicle, different types of locos have different noise profiles – the EPA’s original proposals didn’t factor this in. I’m pleased the Minister has,” said Ferguson.

Kean also saw a way forward for both the EPA and the rail freight industry.

“In what are highly technical issues, I believe we found a balance between satisfying the communities concerns whilst limiting the impact on industry,” said Kean.

NSW EPA trying to put the brakes on rail freight

Draft changes to NSW environmental standards could end regional branch freight lines, warns an alliance of rail industry leaders.

The joint letter signed by freight operators, farmers, and grain growers, and seen by Rail Express, responds to draft NSW EPA standards for rollingstock emissions and noise.

The draft standards set a noise ceiling of 85 decibels, a similar volume to a lawnmower, which would rule out diesel locomotives of the type used to transport grain from silos to port.

The 48 Class locomotives which service these branch lines have a low axel load of 12.5 tonnes, and are able to run on the older steel track which are restricted to locomotive axle loads of 17 tonnes.

The letter outlines that rather than improving environmental outcomes, the restrictions on noise, if implemented would force grain to be transported by trucks. The authors write that this could lead to an extra 25,000 B-double trucks on a “conservative” estimate. This would generate a 500 per cent increase in CO2 emissions compared with rail freight.

“In short, proposed new EPA environmental standards for diesel locomotives will significantly increase net [greenhouse gas] emissions in regional NSW,” write the authors. “This is a perverse outcome.”

Other costs include increased road accidents and fatalities and job losses of locomotive drivers and seasonal silo workers.

Additionally, by forcing grain onto trucks, the cost of exporting grain would increase, placing pressure on farmers’ margins at a time when drought is impacting upon agricultural profitability.

Emissions standards proposed by the NSW EPA also place a restriction on rail freight. While emissions kits can be installed in diesel locomotives, the cost of installing them would be prohibitive and would increase the consumption of diesel by five per cent, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The weight of these emission kits can also push a locomotive over the axel load threshold.

The signatories to the letter are:

Dean Dalla Valle, Pacific National CEO

Klaus Pamminger, GrainCorp COO

Dick Honan, Manildra Group chairman

Jason Ferguson, Southern Shorthaul Railroad director

Maurice James, Qube Holdings managing director

Matthew Madden, NSW Farmers Association Grains Committee chair

Danny Broad, Australasian Railway Association chair

Geoff Smith, SCT Logistics managing director

Luke Anderson, Genesee & Wyoming Australia CEO

Anthony Jones, LINX Cargo Care Group CEO

Ian Gibbs, CF Asia Pacific / CFCL Australia executive chairman

LINX puts funding behind AFLW

Logistics provider LINX Cargo Care Group has joined the AFL Women’s team.

LINX, which operates the Enfield Intermodal Terminal in addition to its rail services, will be part of the women’s AFL league in 2020 and is part of the league’s connection to its partners, said AFL general manager of commercial, Kylie Rogers.

“Demand from partners stems beyond a desire to be associated with football. We have developed long-term, value-based relationships with brands whose purpose and mission are aligned to ours.”

Part of this mission is growing the participation of women in fields that were once dominated by men. As the league has become more professional participation by women and girls at all levels has increased, the AFL stated.

According to Anthony Jones, CEO of LINX, the logistics sector shares a similar story.

“The supply chain and logistics industry have until recently been largely a male-dominated sector, much like Australian football, until the AFLW paved the way for a more diverse, inclusive sporting landscape,” he said.

In a 2018 survey conducted by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA), 21 per cent of the Australasian rail workforce are female, a four percentage point increase on 2014 figure. However, of the full-time workforce, only 18 per cent are women, while 56 per cent of the part-time workforce and 24 per cent of the casual workforce are women.

Other findings from the survey include that women occupy 19 per cent of managerial positions in the Australasian rail industry. Furthermore, in clerical and administrative positions, women make up 60 per cent of the workforce, while in technicians and trade positions, women make up only 5 per cent, the lowest proportion of any role.

Jones said that the company will be seeking to grow the place of women in logistics, as the AFLW has in sports.

“LINX Cargo Care Group is committed to bringing that same inclusive and disruptive ethos to the supply chain and logistics sector, which makes our partnership a natural fit.”