Aurizon prepares to sell its Intermodal Division

 
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

and another interstate operator has been kicking the tyres around Townsville.
Sulla1

SSR?

These are not small volumes - I assume intermodal type traffic?  I wonder if Watco might want to tap into them too?
james.au

It looks like there's a lot of freight loading in the offering *if* someone was willing to go chase it (something that rail operators haven't been too keen to do in recent years/decades)

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  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

I was in Brisbane Thursday/Friday cutting over 2 sites from Aurizon to Linfox. One of the Aurizon blokes was telling me that their local contractor who delivers containers from Aurizon customers (Metcash, Coles, etc) to Aurizon Acacia Ridge railhead has gone broke without notice. Leaving all manner of freight stranded. It will be interesting to see if Linfox comes to the rescue doing the customer>rail moves in Brisbane prior to the Jan 31st integration date.

Linfox has also taken up the Winton option and the head of Intermodal (called Presidents in Foxworld) has gone on the record  stating that the new venture is not limited to moving FMCG type freight in containers but will also develop bulk haulage freight. Quote:-

'.....President Intermodal Linfox is already planning for the integration of the new Queensland capabilities into his operations. “The benefit to customers will be significant. The transaction increases our scale and scope throughout Queensland and provides greater Queensland-based pick-up, delivery and warehousing. It will also enhance the broader Australia-wide Linfox intermodal network and strategically position us for the future growth of inland rail.”

The advantages of rail are its capacity and economies of scale and this is set to grow with investment in Australia’s inland rail network. The benefits will flow to the transport of grain, sugar, livestock, meat, minerals and concentrates as they are moved from production, processing and storage facilities and bulk handling ports for export along the Eastern seaboard....'

Of course, whether this is spin for the press or otherwise will be demonstrated in due course.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Was RedStar the contractor that went bust?
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

Was RedStar the contractor that went bust?
ANR
Yep. Pretty sure it was Redstar.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Was RedStar the contractor that went bust?
Yep. Pretty sure it was Redstar.
ParkesHub
It certainly was Redstar.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The latest news, with the transition now only one month away, and Linfox expressing interest in operating intermodal from the Darling Downs.

https://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/story/5829834/new-transport-options-on-cards/?cs=4735
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Linfox looks to be very active in expanding its business.  I wonder if Pacific National would have been doing the same if the business was instead sold to it..........

Interesting comment in that article too re the Downs region.

Mr Batts said there was not a significant amount of intermodal transport in Queensland to date and most was moving containerised products via truck to the ports. “The majority of our intermodal or containerised product is agricultural commodities through the Port of Brisbane, with the majority exported. “There is very little that continues up the north coast, there is not a lot of interaction between those lines.
Mr Batts
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Linfox looks to be very active in expanding its business.  I wonder if Pacific National would have been doing the same if the business was instead sold to it..........

Interesting comment in that article too re the Downs region.

Mr Batts said there was not a significant amount of intermodal transport in Queensland to date and most was moving containerised products via truck to the ports. “The majority of our intermodal or containerised product is agricultural commodities through the Port of Brisbane, with the majority exported. “There is very little that continues up the north coast, there is not a lot of interaction between those lines.
james.au

That is indeed the sad truth. When I lived in Toowoomba in the early 1990s, there was still a great deal of general freight and LCL coming to Toowoomba from the north, including Mareeba and Atherton. Cattle and sheep trains from the north heading to Wallangarra for the various meatworks on the border and at Guyra were also weekly events into 1994, when the meatworks began closing. In 1994 unit molasses trains then began running from the Burdekin, Proserpine and Sarina to Kingsthorpe and later Warwick to supply the feedlot industry, when these finished up around a decade ago, that was the last through freight moving from North Queensland to the Darling Downs. However now that molasses on rail has been containerised, the option for molasses to become a key component of intermodal freight movement from the North Coast Line to the Western Line might once again be an option for interested rail operators. There's no doubt other commodities, plus Woolworth's Queensland distribution depot at Warwick (which currently trucks northbound freight to Acacia Ridge for railing) that could become part of through freight movements between the two rail corridors.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Linfox looks to be very active in expanding its business.  I wonder if Pacific National would have been doing the same if the business was instead sold to it..........

Interesting comment in that article too re the Downs region.

Mr Batts said there was not a significant amount of intermodal transport in Queensland to date and most was moving containerised products via truck to the ports. “The majority of our intermodal or containerised product is agricultural commodities through the Port of Brisbane, with the majority exported. “There is very little that continues up the north coast, there is not a lot of interaction between those lines.

That is indeed the sad truth. When I lived in Toowoomba in the early 1990s, there was still a great deal of general freight and LCL coming to Toowoomba from the north, including Mareeba and Atherton. Cattle and sheep trains from the north heading to Wallangarra for the various meatworks on the border and at Guyra were also weekly events into 1994, when the meatworks began closing. In 1994 unit molasses trains then began running from the Burdekin, Proserpine and Sarina to Kingsthorpe and later Warwick to supply the feedlot industry, when these finished up around a decade ago, that was the last through freight moving from North Queensland to the Darling Downs. However now that molasses on rail has been containerised, the option for molasses to become a key component of intermodal freight movement from the North Coast Line to the Western Line might once again be an option for interested rail operators. There's no doubt other commodities, plus Woolworth's Queensland distribution depot at Warwick (which currently trucks northbound freight to Acacia Ridge for railing) that could become part of through freight movements between the two rail corridors.
Sulla1
One question i have had for some time is how much road freight is going between the Downs and the North Coast regions.  If there isn't road freight of much substance, then to me it seems that the markets are quite separate and so the transport solutions can be different.

Re Warwick, where is this DC drawing product from?  Is this coming from the Gatton region too for distribution elsewhere?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Woolworths Distribution Centre draws and disperses on vast level, using the Newell Corridor and Acacia Ridge to receive and send south and the Queensland road network and Acacia Ridge to send north and across Queensland.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The Woolworths Distribution Centre draws and disperses on vast level, using the Newell Corridor and Acacia Ridge to receive and send south and the Queensland road network and Acacia Ridge to send north and across Queensland.
Sulla1
Seems a pity it is just that little bit of distance from the Inland - if it was closer I could see SCT partnering with them like they do at Barnawartha to move some of that to rail....
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

That was one of the reasons proponents were pushing for a Warwick route for the Inland line. It will be interesting to see if Watco kicks the tyres at Woolworths to see if there's a potential rail component in the distribution.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'd almost think that Woolies may move the DC if rail makes sense...

Why is it in Warwick anyway?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I'd almost think that Woolies may move the DC if rail makes sense...

Why is it in Warwick anyway?
james.au

Built in the mid to late 1990s before the Inland Rail project was on the horizon, it directly accesses the Newell and New England Corridors from the south - the latter runs all the way to the South Burnett, joining highways that then access into Central and North Queensland. Most importantly it has direct road access to all of Brisbane and the Gold Coast - which essentially makes Warwick the best location for Hub and Spoke Distribution for South East Queensland. Toowoomba would probably be a second choice, but without direct road access to the Gold Coast and over 600,000 shoppers, that was no doubt the deal breaker for second place. I can't see the Distribution Centre being moved so rail can be added to the mix, the location is the reason it's there, and rail will have to adapt to better serve that location if rail operators become interested.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'd almost think that Woolies may move the DC if rail makes sense...

Why is it in Warwick anyway?

Built in the mid to late 1990s before the Inland Rail project was on the horizon, it directly accesses the Newell and New England Corridors from the south - the latter runs all the way to the South Burnett, joining highways that then access into Central and North Queensland. Most importantly it has direct road access to all of Brisbane and the Gold Coast - which essentially makes Warwick the best location for Hub and Spoke Distribution for South East Queensland. Toowoomba would probably be a second choice, but without direct road access to the Gold Coast and over 600,000 shoppers, that was no doubt the deal breaker for second place. I can't see the Distribution Centre being moved so rail can be added to the mix, the location is the reason it's there, and rail will have to adapt to better serve that location if rail operators become interested.
Sulla1
Thanks Sulla.  Always a font of knowledge.

I guess if they standardised the line west to Goondiwindi they could connect to the national SG network, and keeping the NG connection to Toowoomba it could connect to the NQL.  Though they don't do this now, so I'm not sure it would make a difference.

Hard to see how it could rail connect if it wanted to though - its not really that close to the rail corridor.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I'd almost think that Woolies may move the DC if rail makes sense...

Why is it in Warwick anyway?

Built in the mid to late 1990s before the Inland Rail project was on the horizon, it directly accesses the Newell and New England Corridors from the south - the latter runs all the way to the South Burnett, joining highways that then access into Central and North Queensland. Most importantly it has direct road access to all of Brisbane and the Gold Coast - which essentially makes Warwick the best location for Hub and Spoke Distribution for South East Queensland. Toowoomba would probably be a second choice, but without direct road access to the Gold Coast and over 600,000 shoppers, that was no doubt the deal breaker for second place. I can't see the Distribution Centre being moved so rail can be added to the mix, the location is the reason it's there, and rail will have to adapt to better serve that location if rail operators become interested.
Sulla1

I was once told a key executive being from the area helped.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I'd almost think that Woolies may move the DC if rail makes sense...

Why is it in Warwick anyway?

Built in the mid to late 1990s before the Inland Rail project was on the horizon, it directly accesses the Newell and New England Corridors from the south - the latter runs all the way to the South Burnett, joining highways that then access into Central and North Queensland. Most importantly it has direct road access to all of Brisbane and the Gold Coast - which essentially makes Warwick the best location for Hub and Spoke Distribution for South East Queensland. Toowoomba would probably be a second choice, but without direct road access to the Gold Coast and over 600,000 shoppers, that was no doubt the deal breaker for second place. I can't see the Distribution Centre being moved so rail can be added to the mix, the location is the reason it's there, and rail will have to adapt to better serve that location if rail operators become interested.
Thanks Sulla.  Always a font of knowledge.

I guess if they standardised the line west to Goondiwindi they could connect to the national SG network, and keeping the NG connection to Toowoomba it could connect to the NQL.  Though they don't do this now, so I'm not sure it would make a difference.

Hard to see how it could rail connect if it wanted to though - its not really that close to the rail corridor.
james.au
It's about 400m east of the Southern Line, with a fairly direct road between the corridor and the Distribution Centre, so a motivated customer and rail operator could make use of the access if they wanted to. I'm sure, with Warwick as its own hub, that Watco will be eyeing the potential symetry, whereas Aurizon has treated Warwick as somewhere on the way to somewhere else. The Woolworths operation has been designed entirely around road transport, so it would be up to a very keen rail operator to convince them otherwise...and that's something the region has lacked until now.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Oh yeah, i missed that on the maps (they've 'lifted' it from the street map but it is there if it is on the satellite view!).

Anyone know what sort of truck movements go in and out of there?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Latest on Linfox transition, with news from Mt Isa...

https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/5839720/dozens-of-mount-isa-aurizon-jobs-saved-by-linfox/?fbclid=IwAR13Bth_ZOODPvNFs8nH-eU635ZT80Dhn4lxiWC4BlTHME3ZrTbZPYPFPWQ
Sulla1

Clearly to my mind anyhow there is still life and perhaps growth in the Arizon intermodal business.  I do hope they build the rail business and don't just move the freight to road?

Includes the gauge changing terminal in Brisbane.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Oh yeah, i missed that on the maps (they've 'lifted' it from the street map but it is there if it is on the satellite view!).

Anyone know what sort of truck movements go in and out of there?
james.au

The fact James this was built without rail access only goes to further cement in my mind how far behind Australia really is in moving goods.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Latest on Linfox transition, with news from Mt Isa...

https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/5839720/dozens-of-mount-isa-aurizon-jobs-saved-by-linfox/?fbclid=IwAR13Bth_ZOODPvNFs8nH-eU635ZT80Dhn4lxiWC4BlTHME3ZrTbZPYPFPWQ
Sulla1
A bit of a puff piece but if it attracts freight to rail its not a bad thing Smile
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I am tracking a side issue of the history of the Acacia Ridge Brisbane intermodal dual gauge terminal and am trying to clarify if Pacific National actually took over control of this Acacia Ridge Brisbane terminal, from 1/12/18?  Second question is what sale actually would that have included?

Also assuming the QLD track authority, QLD Network Access Pty Ltd, still had the track control for both gauges south to the spot at the far southern end of Acacia Ridge (signal AR1) where ARTC took over as part of ARTC's lease from QLD Transport and Main Roads. Remember QLD Network Access Pty Ltd is the QLD government track people and Aurizon were a separate commercial freight entity to QLD Network Access Pty Ltd, so sale of Aurizon asserts would not include the track control.

Also allowing for various private companies to have their own rail depot within the Acacia Ridge complex eg SCT still have their Acacia Ridge depot as well as their huge January 2017 opened Bromelton Intermodal Facility near Beaudesert 49 km south of Acacia Ridge.

EDIT; in particular I am looking for a 'Primary Source' such as an official document to prove PN did take over Acacia Ridge 1 December 2018.

Second EDIT; did PN buy the Acacia Ridge terminal from QUBE or Aurizon? Had Aurizon previously sold their share to QUBE?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I am tracking a side issue of the history of the Acacia Ridge Brisbane intermodal dual gauge terminal and am trying to clarify if Pacific National actually took over control of this Acacia Ridge Brisbane terminal, from 1/12/18?  Second question is what sale actually would that have included?

Also assuming the QLD track authority, QLD Network Access Pty Ltd, still had the track control for both gauges south to the spot at the far southern end of Acacia Ridge (signal AR1) where ARTC took over as part of ARTC's lease from QLD Transport and Main Roads. Remember QLD Network Access Pty Ltd is the QLD government track people and Aurizon were a separate commercial freight entity to QLD Network Access Pty Ltd, so sale of Aurizon asserts would not include the track control.

Also allowing for various private companies to have their own rail depot within the Acacia Ridge complex eg SCT still have their Acacia Ridge depot as well as their huge January 2017 opened Bromelton Intermodal Facility near Beaudesert 49 km south of Acacia Ridge.

EDIT; in particular I am looking for a 'Primary Source' such as an official document to prove PN did take over Acacia Ridge 1 December 2018.

Second EDIT; did PN buy the Acacia Ridge terminal from QUBE or Aurizon? Had Aurizon previously sold their share to QUBE?
petan
I think I am right in saying that no, PN did not take over as the court injunctions prevented it doing so and required Aurizon to keep operating it.  Here is a link to the court website that all the orders etc are contained in.

https://www.comcourts.gov.au/file/FEDERAL/P/VID864/2018/order_list#;javascript:void(0);

Perhaps review the judgement on 13 August for more detail.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I think I am right in saying that no, PN did not take over as the court injunctions prevented it doing so and required Aurizon to keep operating it.  Here is a link to the court website that all the orders etc are contained in.

https://www.comcourts.gov.au/file/FEDERAL/P/VID864/2018/order_list#;javascript:void(0);

Perhaps review the judgement on 13 August for more detail.
james.au
Thanks James!

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