DP World to develop Austrak’s new rail port

Somerton intermodal freight hub is expected to handle 200,000 teu per annum

DP World to develop Austrak’s new rail port
Austrak CEO Mark Assetta (left) with DP World Australia chief commercial officer Brian Gillespie.


DP World Australia will team up with railway sleeper manufacturer Austrak to help develop the intermodal freight hub at Somerton, Victoria.

Part of the Somerton Business Park, the new inland rail port is located 23 km north of the Port of Melbourne.

Somerton Rail Port already has direct road access to the Hume Highway and Somerton Road, and once finished, the new customs bonded facility will connect Somerton to regional and interstate rail network via the Port of Melbourne.

DP World Australia chief commercial officer Brian Gillespie says the new facility will have the capacity to handle 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum.

"As a full customs bonded port for both import and export containers, Somerton can be offered as a port of origin and destination by shipping companies," Gillespie says.

"We expect capacity will grow to 400,000 teu over time.

"A rail shuttle service running between Somerton and Port of Melbourne will provide a rapid turnaround service for imports and regional rail exports.

"We will increase freight transport options for local importers — and particularly regional exporters — by handling longer length regional train services which struggle to get access to inner city rail terminals.

"With the planned closure of Coode Road next year, Somerton will have rail shuttle access to an on-dock rail connection, which significantly increases the effective capacity of our West Swanson container terminal."

Austrak national development manager Clarenzo Perna says the Somerton facility will boost supply chain efficiencies in Melbourne.

"I am excited about this latest project, which uses the combined expertise and assets of DP World Australia and Austrak," Perna says.

"The Somerton Rail Port will create new efficiencies and competition in the import-export (IMEX) supply chain.

"The rail shuttle will immediately remove around 100,000 plus truck movements from the roads of inner city Melbourne each year.

"We expect Somerton Rail Port to become a regional freight hub, and an extension of the container handling terminal at Port of Melbourne."

The new port is due to begin operation in December.

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