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Rail’s place in supporting regional exports through the Port of Melbourne has been put in the spotlight at an event in the western Victorian city of Horsham.
The town is a focus for regional agriculture and mining and hosts a new freight and logistics hub nearby, the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal (WIFT) at Dooen, and the evet was supported by the Horsham Rural City Council.
Speakers included Port of Melbourne Corporation executive general manager Jason Price, SCT Group general manager ports development Matt Eryurek, SCT subsidiary Wimmera Container Line (WCL) general manager Tim Guidera and DP World Australia (DPWA) director and general manager commercial Ben Moke.
SCT reports that Price spoke of the newly privatised Port of Melbourne’s aspiration to achieve rail access into Port of Melbourne, saying that "we need to start now or it will be too late.
"I cannot believe that SCT and DPW have over achieved 20,000 containers from this region to Port on dock rail access. We are keen to increase this with our plans and investment."
Moke confirmed that on-dock rail was pioneered by SCT Group in 2015 when the stevedore was approached by then management to run container into DPWA’s Melbourne direct. This was not part of DPWA plan but this initiative was the start of DPWA’s rail strategy in Australia.
Guidera is quoted as saying that, with rail, the cost is the cost and exporters do not incur late receivals and detention as it is a fixed path and cost subject force majeure events. He also highlighted that if the region was to lose the Victorian government’s Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS) rail would risk losing containers to road transport.
"The social impact on so many containers on road would increase road trauma, infrastructure wear and tear and more bottle necks at port in light of Coode West closure,"
Eryurek signalled SCT’s aspirations to feed the WCL Horsham exports into Port of Melbourne and return with imports into SCT Altona intermodal.
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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