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Logistics giant Qube has added a stake in Intermodal Group, Fremantle Port’s container to rail operator, to its half-share in Fremantle container terminal operator Patrick.
WestBusiness understands Qube has taken a significant but minority interest in Intermodal, which had been wholly owned by US firm Watco.
Intermodal manages the North Quay Rail Terminal that transfers containers on to rail and then to the Forrestfield rail yard.
A tender to manage the open-access terminal, which Intermodal has operated for 10 years, closes this month. Intermodal chairman Grant Thompson said the investment from Qube would help increase container volumes on to rail and assist its plans for additional rail terminals in WA.
Rail moved 16 per cent of Fremantle Port’s containers, equivalent to 124,000 twenty-foot containers, last financial year. Each container receives a $50 subsidy from the State Government to ease traffic congestion.
“We strongly believe continuity in operations at NQRT, improved wharf interfaces, continued support from the State Government and the development of appropriate inland intermodal facilities ... underpins the ultimate success of this strategy,” he said.
The deal comes after Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan confirmed in February new leases to operate Fremantle’s two container terminals had been short-listed to current operators Patrick and DP World.
This article first appeared on thewest.com.au
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