DP World repeats Coode Road closure call

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

Kruse welcomes new chairman John Fletcher, reiterates points in favour of road closure

DP World repeats Coode Road closure call
DP World Australia COO Max Kruse says the road closure will reduce congestion and make room for rail network.


DP World is awaiting the closure of Coode Road in Melbourne, which, it claims, will help extend rail opportunities and capacity at its terminal.

Speaking at the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Port Outlook seminar yesterday, DP World Australia COO Max Kruse says he wants VicRoads to close the road.

Kruse says rail is necessary to help reduce congestion and allow access to the terminal, which is currently obstructed by Coode Rd.

"We’ve got plans and once we’ve got that capability we’ll close that, which will help us extend our rail opportunity and our capacity on terminal," Kruse says.

"It will increase our efficiency and it will increase our productivity and allow our customers being in the transport industry greater benefit, particularly on rail," he adds.

"As we know, the port will continue to expand and we will continue to expand, so you need rail to help us reduce congestion to allow the transport industry to get access to and from our terminal, so rail is a critical part of what we’re looking for as part of our strategy in Victoria.

"From my perspective and the DP World’s perspective, we’re looking at how do we provide easier access for our modes, be it rail or road and Coode Road [closure] is critical to allow us to make that happen because it will allow us to expand our rail capability and capacity."

Kruse welcomed the appointment of former Brambles and Coles chief executive John Fletcher as DP World Australia chairman.

"John will bring many years of experience and capability to DP World Australia and we’re very excited to have John as our chairman," he says.

"Our strategy for going forward we doubt will change a lot."

When asked by VTA CEO Peter Anderson how Australia compares to other ports around the world, Kruse praised its accessibility.

"The ability to have capacity to grow to meet demand of the market is still strong and the efficiencies continue to improve after a lot of gains not only from a terminal perspective but from a port operator as well," he says.

"So we sit well."

Some 130 people attended the annual seminar at Docklands, which was followed by a boat tour of the Port of Melbourne.

The subject of Coode Road closure has gained momentum in the past few months following repeated calls by DP World in its favour.

However, opinions within the transport sector remain largely divided.

While road transport operators claim the closure will affect productivity and operational costs, and increase traffic woes, DP World argues it will help improve productivity by making room for an increased terminal capacity and boost intermodal operations.

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