West Swanson port-rail completes first trial

Shuttle trains ran between the under-construction West Swanson rail terminal to the Altona terminal

West Swanson port-rail completes first trial
Port of Melbourne intermodalism has taken another step.


DP World Australia and SCT Logistics have announced a "successful" trial of the new rail freight service between Port of Melbourne’s West Swanson terminal and Altona.

The metropolitan port-rail shuttles ran on the 24km route between February 20 and 27.

Both companies remain confident that the new rail service will provide importers and exporters in the western suburbs a "reliable metropolitan on-dock rail service" in the face of growing freight volumes and a rising intermodal transport sector.

The trials were important to recognise the value of intermodal networks, DP World Australia COO Max Kruse says.

"Through the successful trial, DP World Australia and SCT Logistics have proven that metropolitan rail shuttles between West Swanson terminal and Altona can work.

"DP World Australia and SCT recognise the ever increasing congestion and productivity impacts presently being felt through the Melbourne Metropolitan supply chain and see real value in rail helping to offset these issues."

The companies are working together to provide real value to exporters and importers in Melbourne, SCT Logistics MD Geoff Smith says.

"We are now focussed on providing a reliable and consistent rail shuttle service, delivering real intermodal solutions, lower costs and greater access to our West Swanson Terminal for exporters and importers based in Melbourne’s west," Smith says.

Recently, roads and ports minister Luke Donnellan also highlighted the importance of improved rail freight efficiency to boost productivity within the long-haul intermodal sector.

However, it has not been an entirely smooth ride for DP World as the company has been struggling to deal with landside congestion on road since the project began in September last year.

Last week, some of the road transport companies operating in and around the Swanson Dock area voiced their concerns over DP World’s plan to temporarily close Coode Road – part of Phase Two of the project – citing productivity and operational issues.

Despite these concerns, the company maintains that, once completed, the project will "reduce costs for exporters and increase competitive advantage for shipping lines through Melbourne".

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