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An AUS$125m rail project at an Australian port is expected to improve port access and capacity while reducing congestion.
The Port of Melbourne has confirmed that its Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is set to proceed on 1 June with the construction of new on-dock rail infrastructure at Swanson Dock East.
The initiative will involve significant rail infrastructure works and a new rail operating framework inside the port that will provide an alternative to moving containers by trucks. The project is being funded through an increase in the tariff of $9.75 per TEU1 on full import containers, to take effect 1 June 2020.
Brendan Bourke, CEO at the Port of Melbourne, said: “A rail solution for the port will play a vital role in Victoria’s post-COVID economic recovery with a large construction project supporting jobs as well as supporting the more efficient movement of freight and contributing to a more productive supply chain for decades to come.
“The Port of Melbourne has listened to industry feedback and is responding with a solution that meets the need for increased transparency in rail access arrangements, improved port access and greater capacity.
“The project embraces these principles and supports the Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network.”
New infrastructure construction is expected to commence before the end of the year.
The project will help boost the supply chain and economy, create jobs and improve congestion around the port, said the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
Moving more freight by rail benefits industry stakeholders, exporters and local communities, said ACL CEO Kirk Coningham.
He added: “The PRTP will improve congestion around the Port of Melbourne, which is critical for logistics companies moving freight into and out of the port, and also for improving the liveability of nearby residential communities.”
Mr Coningham noted that the Federal and Victorian governments need to work cooperatively to preserve "corridors" and make investments enabling Webb Dock to be connected to Victoria’s rail freight network.
NSW Ports and Patrick Terminals are currently involved in rail development work at Port Botany.
This article first appeared on www.portstrategy.com
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