QR forms partnership for Victorian grain haul

QR partners P&O Trans to move freight between Horsham and Melbourne

August 11, 2008

Queensland Rail (QR) will partner with P&O Trans Australia in a logistics venture that will move 20,000 containers of freight between Horsham and Melbourne.

As part of the trial 12-month agreement, QR will operate three services each week from Horsham to Melbourne for Victorian containerised freight carrier Wimmera Container Line, with capacity to increase to six services if demand increases.

The agreement is the first intermodal freight contract signed since QR announced an investment of almost $200 million in new rolling stock and an upgrade of freight terminals by 2010.

QR’s Group Executive General Manager of Freight, Stephen Cantwell, says the company is committed to the intermodal freight market.

"This agreement is an exciting opportunity to bring our services to regional Victoria," he says.

"By working with P&O Trans, we can ensure certainty of delivery for our new customers from distributor to port by providing fully integrated rail transport."

Most of the freight hauled by QR under the new contract will be grain containers.

QR will haul 12,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) during the 12-months as part of the service. This could increase to 20,000 depending on seasonal demand, according to Cantwell.

P&O Trans Director of Operations, John Digney, says the logistics group brings expertise in port logistics to the partnership.

In June 2008, QR announced it would purchase 18 new locomotives and 488 wagons for its intermodal freight business for $187 million and upgrade the terminals at Forrestfield in Perth and Dry Creek in Adelaide for $11 million.

Non-bulk freight volumes between mainland cities are forecast to double in size between 2000 and 2020, Cantwell says.

"We expect rail to take an increasing share of the market from road due to rail’s lower

carbon emissions, track upgrades and increasing costs for road transport," he says.

"QR aims to capture a slice of this growth and keep building its share of this highly

competitive market by demonstrating the quality, competitiveness and reliability of our service."

Each week QRNational Intermodal offers four services on the eastern seaboard, six services from Melbourne to Adelaide and two services from Melbourne to Perth.

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