Time saving keeps Adelaide-Darwin landbridge hopes alive: Hai Win

<p>The Adelaide-Darwin railway is a viable freight option for northeast Asia origin cargo into Adelaide because of the substantial time saving, Hai Win Shipping said.</p> <p>Hai Win director Frank Guerra said that his company’s vessels would continue to call at Darwin and send some containers on FreightLink’s landbridge service into Adelaide.</p> <p>Although rail freight rates on a per kilometre basis were cheaper on the east-west routes into Adelaide &#8211 from Fremantle or Melbourne, for example &#8211 than on rail going south from Darwin, the landbridge’s time saving of about a week on services from China meant it was still a viable option, Mr Guerra said.</p> <p>"The time advantage is already there," he said.</p> <p>Hai Win has made several trials of options for getting cargo from Shanghai into Adelaide.</p> <p>One route uses FreightLink services from the port of Darwin, and another involves shipping to the next port call at Fremantle and then using rail services eastbound.</p> <p>While using cities like Melbourne or Fremantle and then railing, or shipping direct to Adelaide was "substantially cheaper", Darwin-Adelaide is faster, Mr Guerra said.</p> <p>It could take 22 days to get a container from Shanghai to Adelaide going via Melbourne while Shanghai-Adelaide via the Adelaide-Darwin rail could be managed in 13 days in a best case scenario.</p> <p>"All of a sudden you have a week’s competition advantage," he said.</p> <p>When Hai Win drops containers for the rail in Darwin, they have already arrived in Adelaide by the time Hai Win’s vessel has called at its next port, Fremantle &#8211 again a significant time saving.</p> <p>Hai Win has found that Shanghai-Adelaide options fall into the following time ranges &#8211 via Darwin 13-18 days, from Fremantle 19-24 days, and through Melbourne 20-22 days.</p> <p>Getting a fortnightly service, rather than a monthly service, from Shanghai would consolidate those time advantages and make the Adelaide-Darwin option more viable, Mr Guerra said.</p> <p>"If you had a fortnightly service no one could beat it," he said</p> <p>But that possibility is "a while away", Mr Guerra said.</p> <p>The challenge is getting shipping and rail service regularity and the cargo that can use the time saving of Adelaide-Darwin rail to justify the extra cost.</p> <p>Hai Win’s next service from Shanghai will arrive in Darwin on September 10.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <br />