Port study has implications for freight planning

Ports Minister Dr Denis Napthine says port study on container movements has important implications for freight transport planning

February 22, 2011

The Victorian Government has released a new a container study that is expected to influence its approach to freight transport planning.

Ports Minister Dr Denis Napthine yesterday released the Container Logistics Chain Study, which analysed container movements through the Port of Melbourne and Dynon rail terminals.

The 2009 study tracked more than 75,000 container movements, and Napthine says it will help the Baillieu Government better understand changes in the transport and logistics sector.

"Information regarding the routes and destinations of container transport to and from the Port of Melbourne is vital in developing the Government's freight transport policies and strategies," Napthine says

The study found that 87 percent of full containers imported through the Port of Melbourne were destined for a location within metropolitan Melbourne.

It also found that 71 percent of imports were staged at a transport depot, while most export containers originated from the western suburbs and regional Victoria.

"The fact that 87 per cent of containers had an origin or destination in the metropolitan area has important implications for Melbourne's freight flows and freight transport planning," Napthine says.

"In the study of container movements in and out of Dynon, it was found that 96 per cent of inbound rail containers at the rail terminal were destined for a location within metropolitan Melbourne rather than to regional areas.

The study found that 90 percent of imported containers taken by road travelled less than 50km to their initial destination.

In contrast, 89 percent of imported containers taken by rail or a combination of road and rail travelled more than 600km from the port. Overall, 14 percent of containers were transported by rail in 2009.

Victorian Transport Association CEO Philip Lovel welcomed the release of the study, but used it to criticise previous Ports Minister Tim Pallas.

"The previous Victorian Labor government dragged its heels on releasing the results of this important study for whatever reason best known no doubt to the previous minister for roads and ports," Lovel says.

The trucking industry was heavily involved in the development of the study, with stakeholders providing information and statistics.

"What industry wants in return is for the results of such studies to be shared with them in a timely fashion, not over a year as is the case with the Container Logistics Chain Study," Lovel says.

He says the VTA will study the report before approaching the Government on how best to manage container trade through the Port of Melbourne.

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