TNT Express eyes WA depot opening

Yasi floods hit operation in five states s TNT prepares for opening of $40 million depot

By Rob McKay | February 9, 2011

TNT Express is gearing up for the official opening of its new Perth facility later this month but has more immediate, weather-related, concerns to deal with.

Cyclone Yasi in its various guises has disrupted land links in South Australia, Victoria and, earlier, Queensland leading to a raft of contingency planning and resultant catching up.

Despite further rain in South Australia, the east-west Tarcoola rail line had reopened and TNT was now awaiting estimated times of arrival on all freight which had left Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide bound for Perth from last Thursday onwards, the company said yesterday.

It expects high volumes of freight to begin to arrive in Perth during the rest of the week.

Recent southern flooding had forced railway closures in Seymour in Victoria, Tarcoola in South Australia and west of Broken Hill.

North Queensland services had been disrupted by Cyclone Yasi last week.

The company had restored its network and cleared its backlog and was looking to work around road closures, a TNT spokeswoman says.

In the west, TNT will open its "flagship" Australian depot in Welshpool on February 23.

"The state-of-the art Perth facility forms an integral part of TNT’s $100 million investment in Australian infrastructure," the company says.

"Perth has become the major gateway for freight transport to and from the Asia Pacific. TNT’s $40 million investment is recognition of the potential for future growth of the region, driven especially by the mining sector.

"TNT’s Welshpool depot currently employs 270 staff and will continue to boost the Perth economy.

"TNT plans to expand Welshpool staff numbers to 350 within the next five years.

"The depot will process 2.8 million consignments annually.

"It houses TNT’s largest fully-automated parcel sorting system in the Asia Pacific region."

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