Toll and AMG take shares in Bowmans Intermodal


One of South Australia’s major intermodal freight businesses has had an ownership restructure, seven weeks after its infrastructure was expanded. <br /><br /> Toll Holdings and the Alliance Grain Traders-owned Australia Milling Group (AMG) have bought into PortLink (SA) (PPSA), a 10-year-old joint venture between logistics operator Patrick and hay processor and exporter Balco Australia that runs the Bowmans Intermodal Terminal operation.

By Rob McKay | September 21, 2012

One of South Australia’s major intermodal freight businesses has had its ownership split equally in
three, seven weeks after its infrastructure was expanded.

Toll Holdings and the Alliance Grain Traders-owned Australia Milling Group (AMG) have bought into PortLink (SA) (PPSA), a 10-year-old joint venture between logistics operator Patrick and hay processor and exporter Balco Australia that runs the Bowmans Intermodal Terminal operation.

The dollar value of the change has not been disclosed.

Toll transports lead and zinc, AMG pulses and grain and Balco hay through the facility.

Toll looks after haulage for the Nyrstar smelter at Port Pirie and PPSA has run a train regularly to the port town.

"Bowmans Intermodal is a key piece of infrastructure for Toll, and one that we see potential for further growth," Toll spokesman Christopher Whitefield
says.

"The inland hub acts as a consolidation point that helps Toll move different types of freight in a cost effective way.

"It also helps to minimise congestion at the Port of Adelaide, while at the same time reducing our environmental impact."

PPSA provides an integrated container handling depot served by road and rail, with a direct rail service connecting the ports of Adelaide and Melbourne five days a week.

The facility, described as South Australia’s first inland container terminal, is located next to a Balco facility, between Port Wakefield and Balaklava, 100 km north of Adelaide.

"We believe that this business has an extremely bright future particularly as containerised exports increase through value-added businesses in our region," Balco Managing Director Malcolm May says.

"While the business is now operating near full capacity, the restructure will also allow us to fund additional infrastructure.

"Eventually we may see trains from Melbourne or Perth pulling directly into the private siding at Bowmans."

With a view to gaining a spread of goods through using the terminal, Bowmans Intermodal is looking to position itself in the mining supply chain and is lobbying to allow road trains on the highway north.

It is looking has bought surrounding land to preclude encroachment and is aiming to gain industrial zoning.

The Bowmans site now handles more than 25,000 teu a year, with exports including lead, hay, grain, pulses, seed, wine and pork bellies, as well as the importation of fish bait.

Once throughput reaches 30,000 teu, the firm will look at introducing a new rail line into the facility.

In early August, 10,000 square metres of hardstand was opened officially.

The existing hardstand was upgraded to allow for storage of heavy and five two-stand outlets installed to service refrigerated containers.

The project cost $2 million in Federal spending, with $1.8 million from Balco and $280,000 from the SA Government.

"Over time, this will mean up to 17,000 fewer truck journeys a year to the Port of Adelaide, which translates into safer roads and fewer harmful carbon emissions," SA Transport Minister Pat Conlon said at the time.

"The expansion project will improve traffic flows and marshaling so as to make it faster and more efficient to transfer containers from trucks to rail."

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