Sorry to revisit an old thread, but from where I sit, my teacher always told me VIC-NSW/VIC-SA are road legs no matter how it is spun; we always lose out to the road operator who can take off at 8PM and be in Sydney by morning and the cost of To Rail, In Terminal on Both ends, plus unload and handling means any savings made is marginal.
PacNat tried to offer us a reasonable overnight model, but IPS setup was bad and one delay (always signalling, and that was quoted between PN and QR when they were around) always made freight availability a challenge at Sydney F'wit Terminal.
SCT have made inroads because they have built a model and worked to adjust. I totally agree with the comments in an earlier post about working with the companies that can, but Mr Fox-GibboFCL is more interested in subbies so return bound cost is mitigated.
PacNat have never tried to reduce the intermodal in favour of mining; I dont know a business that would remove a solid income unit in order to get into a saturated market unless it was unprofitable, which intermodal is.
SCT were ready to put cash up and get into a market where they took they're own vehicles off the road so they made a savings while doing it. The only incentive PacNat has is that it will cost them more if they don't attempt to build a workable model and somehow get the rate significantly down (which it can't really be) and hope that FCL volume picks up.
FYI - I do wear a pair of PacNat undies to go with my complimentary PacNat wally hat and keychain which I stroke as I look up at my Australia National/National Rail network board. It's not PacNats fault they aren't viable, and conversely they have tried plenty of times in the last 5 years to infiltrate the VIC-NSW corridor.