SCT in regional plea for diversification support

Rail firm in Horsham bid as drought exposes exports-only limits

SCT in regional plea for diversification support
The Horsham Town Hall event


Intermodal operator SCT Group has pitched for interstate and imports business at a meeting in the major western Victoria town of Horsham.

The company urges firms using its Wimmera Container Line (WCL) business to look beyond exports through the Port of Melbourne at a time when the drought has reduced traditional freight.

SCT says the purpose of the evening was to promote import/export rail services to the port "and draw interstate freight from up to a 200km radius into destinations as far as Perth and Brisbane".

It gains strong Port of Melbourne support as the infrastructure owner seeks to reduce road congestion and fulfil its port rail strategy remit.

"We are currently at 10 per cent and for the largest container terminal in Australia, we have a lot of work to do in a short time," Port of Melbourne head of business development Vlad Jotic is reported as saying at the meeting.

Read how SCT planned the Horsham meeting, here

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) was on hand to underline its commitment to helping create a port rail solution for the port.

 "ARTC own 8,500km of rail infrastructure around Australia and the final mile to Port of Melbourne from regional and metro areas is a big focus point to our organisation," ARTC marketing and business development manager Glen Richmond was reported as saying.

 "We are delighted that SCT is promoting the benefit of rail to the port and we are keen to help with projects like mineral sands from this region.

Richmond notes that SCT is well positioned in eastern Australian regions, with intermodal hubs at Barnawartha in Victoria, Parkes in New South Wales and Bromelton in Queensland situated on Inland Rail nearby to which is its Altona facility in Melbourne, which is nominated as the port shuttle location by the Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN).

SCT general manager ports development Matt Eryurek makes plain his firm remains committed to servicing regions, despite strong challenges from climate and trucking.

"As a company, we never introduced minimums or ‘take-or-pay’ arrangements," he emphasises to the audience.

"Our focus has been on seasonal export work and we have been challenged.

"The Mode Shift Incentive Scheme [MSIS], port rail access, and increased High Productivity Vehicles in the region have all contributed to this."

He adds that "if our customers are hurting, we are hurting with you. We seek your support and best endeavours to take a medium to long term view on rail".

SCT says the Horsham Town Hall event featured 60 guests including exporters and importers, government agencies, stevedores DP World and VICT, Port of Melbourne, ARTC, Horsham Rural City Council, shipping lines, potential and existing clients and "likeminded freight companies that can work together with SCT".


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