WA plan to push freight from trucks to rail

Incentive-based truck congestion-reducing plan announced for Fremantle Port

WA plan to push freight from trucks to rail
Rail will play a bigger role under a new WA plan at Fremantle Port.


A new allocation of funds from the Western Australian government is looking to ease congestion for trucks moving freight through Fremantle Port by taking them off the road.

The new plan, announced over the weekend ahead of the 2017/18 State Budget, will see a greater incentive for freight movements to be handled by the port rail service thanks to an allotment of $19.4 million over the next four years to increase the container rail subsidy from $30 to $50 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).

Equating to an additional $9.8 million, the WA government believes the new funds will assist in growing the rail yard’s share of movements by around five per cent.

It would bring the overall number close to 20 per cent, a figure that WA transport minister Rita Saffioti says is the goal.

"In the last year, just over 15 per cent of the Inner Harbour container traffic was transported by rail and we are aiming to increase this to 20 per cent in the coming years," she says.

"Rail is playing a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in Fremantle Port's supply chain while reducing the impacts of truck traffic on the community."

The current impact of the rail strategy sits at between 70,000 and 100,000 one-way truck movements removed on metropolitan roads annually.

Alongside the rail share goal, the WA government has hinted at plans for an Outer Harbour in the long term, ideas of intermodal facilities to further develop the rail supply chain and upgraded road links for truck movements around the port.

A former shadow transport minister, Saffioti took over the transport, planning and lands portfolio in March when new WA premier Mark McGowan announced his first cabinet.

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