PACIFIC National (PN) has this week announced plans to build an intermodal container terminal at Little River between Geelong and the Port of Melbourne.
PN is Australia’s largest private rail freight company, and the Little River terminal is expected to handle freight on the north-south Inland Rail corridor, and the line linking eastern Australia with South and Western Australia.
Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah said the company had secured an option over a 540-hectare for the terminal and a surrounding logistics precinct on the existing interstate rail corridor west of Melbourne’s CBD and port.
“Pacific National’s new Little River site is in a prime position on the main interstate rail line and close to the Princes Freeway, delivering efficient freight-transport connectivity to nearby logistics companies, distribution centres, warehouses, shippers, and manufacturers,” Mr Scurrah said.
He said the Little River site will help to shift more freight from road to rail until delivery of the Western Interstate Freight Terminal (WIFT).
This site is planned for Truganina in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne to fill the need for a facility which can handle double-stacked 1800-metre trains the Inland Rail corridor will carry on completion in coming years.
Mr Scurrah said Pacific National is investing $20 million to secure land options in Little River and commence detailed planning and design works, with the aim for an 80ha intermodal terminal to be operational by 2026.
“In the future, the broader logistics precinct – serviced by the rail terminal – will feature extensive warehousing, cold storage, and refuelling facilities, generating more than 4000 skilled jobs.”
The Little River site is located near Melbourne’s major freight catchment zone to the west of the CBD, where more than 70 per cent of containerised rail volumes are concentrated, and 39 kilometres by rail to the Port of Melbourne, Australia’s busiest container port.
Mr Scurrah said a Little River terminal would better service the major east-west market, a critical corridor in the national supply chain, where approximately 3 million tonnes of containerised freight is hauled annually by rail from Melbourne to Adelaide, and then across the Nullarbor to Perth.
“Pacific National is investing heavily in an extensive national terminal strategy in response to surging customer demand for containerised interstate rail freight services.”
Southern point for Inland Rail
Mr Scurrah said PN was securing key sites along the Inland Rail alignment to haul an increased number of containers between Melbourne and Queensland, and eastern and Western Australia.
It has already spent $35M on building Australia’s largest intermodal terminal at Parkes on the Inland Rail route in central New South Wales.
Last year, PN bought the Acacia Ridge Terminal in Brisbane from Aurizon for $205M, and this is expected to Inland Rail’s northernmost intermodal site.
Mr Scurrah said an intermodal container terminal in Little River will complement a future WIFT in Truganina – both helping to service Melbourne’s growing western freight zone.
Source: Pacific National