Qube in Melbourne intermodal alliance with Salta


Melbourne port’s logistics profile will undergo a significant change when Qube Logistics subsidiary POTA takes over Victoria Dock from Salta’s Group’s Westgate Ports operation. Qube and Westgate have signed sales and alliance agreements worth $41 million excluding stamp duty and transaction cost, $7 million of which will be in Qube shares, with the deal expected to close this month.

Qube in Melbourne intermodal alliance with Salta
Qube in Melbourne intermodal alliance with Salta

By Rob McKay | March 8, 2012

Melbourne port’s logistics profile will undergo a significant change when Qube Logistics subsidiary POTA takes over Victoria Dock from Salta’s Group’s Westgate Ports operation.

Qube and Westgate have signed sales and alliance agreements worth $41 million excluding stamp duty and transaction cost, $7 million of which will be in Qube shares, with the deal expected to close this month.

For that, Qube gains an 18-year lease over about 17 hectares within the Port of Melbourne precinct.

This site currently comprises berths, rail terminal, hardstand and warehousing with significant area to develop further capacity, Qube says.

It expects to spend some $15 million over the next 12-18 months to develop this capacity.

"The strategic advantage of having a major facility with scope for further expansion located at the port is very important to Qube’s growth plans," Qube Managing Director Maurice James says.

Qube says it intends to consolidate some of its related Melbourne operations on to the Westgate site.

Qube has also agreed to lease new warehousing facilities from Salta at Altona in the west and Lyndhurst in the south-east of the city on commercial terms following their completion.

It is intended to develop rail facilities adjacent to each, which would complement Qube's strategy of port-rail logistics transport, Qube says.

For its part, Salta intends Westgate’s alliance with Qube and the cash to help realise its long-term intermodal plans and other developments.

"Salta will push ahead with the development of inland transport hubs at Lyndhurst and Altona in the knowledge that it has an alliance agreement with Qube, a company with a national logistics reach," Salta Properties Managing Director Sam Tarascio says.

"Under the agreement we will develop the inland hubs and Qube will become the anchor tenant, linking the Lyndhurst and Altona transport hubs with Victoria Dock, firstly by road and eventually by rail."

As part of the deal, agreements for lease between Salta and Qube will see the development of the first major rail-based warehouse at Altona Inland Port for Qube before the end of 2013 and another Inland Port at Lyndhurst by 2018, according to Salta.

Salta has pushed the idea of an inland ports network aimed at beating congestion around the port since 2004.

"The alliance of Salta/Qube is now able to offer the Victorian Government a metropolitan network of existing locations at Somerton in the North, Altona in the West and Lyndhurst in the south east, and provide a solution that is capable of significantly improving road congestion and streamlining container logistics flow to and from the Port of Melbourne Westgate Ports Chairman and Executive Chairman of Salta Properties Sam Tarascio Snr says.

"Victoria and Melbourne’s port logistics competitiveness will be strengthened as a result of this alliance."

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