Mackenzie Intermodal opens rail link to boost freight efficiency

By: Jason Whittaker

Leading wine logistics company Mackenzie Intermodal has opened a new rail link at Outer Harbor in an effort to boost

Leading wine logistics company Mackenzie Intermodal has opened a new rail link at Outer Harbor in an effort to boost freight productivity and maintain its international competitiveness.

The $4 million rail head linking the Outer Harbor rail line with Mackenzie’s operational hub adjacent to Adelaide’s container terminal will bring in five trains a week, with the company expecting it to carry a substantial amount of its 16,000 container exports while adding to an annual turnover of $1.2 billion.

Mackenzie Intermodal, Australia’s largest wine freight and logistics company which also deals in meat and grain, will now be able to rail containers directly into and out of Outer Harbor from Melbourne, allowing the operator to avoid Victoria’s increasing road congestion problems.

Mackenzie Intermodal Managing Director Lynton Mackenzie says the link, as well increasing freight efficiency, will allow the company to better market Australian wine around the world.

He says the Outer Harbor facility gives the company a channel to market more than 20 million cases of wine a year.

"Australian wine is among the best in the world but it competes in a fiercely fought international market against increasingly strong offerings from North and South America as well as the traditional wine growing regions of Europe," Mackenzie says.

The rail link investment follows on from the $7 million spent in 2005 in the company’s Outer Harbor facilities to account for growing demand.

The investment was a joint venture after Mackenzie Intermodal joined with international wine logistics company JH Hillebrand to form the associate company, Mackenzie Hillebrand.

Foster’s Group, which is a client of Mackenzie, expects the rail link to deliver productivity dividends for itself as well as the company’s other clients.

"Since the partnership between Foster’s and Mackenzie Hillebrand commenced, we have seen continuous improvements in the on-time delivery of our wine around the world," Foster Group’s Chief Supply Officer Michael Brooks says.

"We expect further benefits to flow from the company’s investments in this new rail link."
The rail link adds to Mackenzie’s growing business, which since 2000 has gone from a staff of 40 to 250 with a fleet of over 40 trucks. In the same period, turnover has increased tenfold.

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