Freight industry gets a boost

Two announcements in Victoria this week have given a boost to the prospects of the freight industry in Melbourne. The Victorian budget included funding for an extension to the East/West link road project to ensure connection to improve productivity for freight movements as well as the naming of a new operator for the container port included in the new Webb Dock development.


The Coalition Government announced it would be investing up to $9.1 billion in the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget on Victoria’s freight network. $58 million, including federal funding of $38 million, for the establishment of Port Rail Shuttle services connecting the port to major outer suburban freight hubs by rail.


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The week also saw funding confirmed, including $1.5 billion from Canberra, for the western section of East/West link and the widening of the Tullamarine Freeway and City Link, all of which will benefit freight movements by road in and out of the city and the Port of Melbourne.


“The western part of the East West Link is also necessary to make the proposed Port of Hastings work from a land side logistics perspective, as well as to facilitate more efficient freight movements from Melbourne’s western suburbs where many major freight logistics facilities are located,” said Australian Logistics Council Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff. “This project, combined with the Government’s confirmation that City Link and the Tullamarine Freeway will be upgraded and widened, will help to reduce congestion in the city and improve road freight efficiency.


The Victorian Government also announced the winning bid to run the container terminal at the new Webb Dock development, to the west of the current docklands.The third international container terminal in Melbourne is to be run by a consortium including International Container Terminal Services and Anglo Ports.


The first phase of the development, by the end of 2016, will see a first 330 metre berth completed, with three cranes moving containers to and from ship to automated yard operations, in an area with a capacity for 350,000 TEU 20 foot container units. A year later, and a further two cranes will come on stream on a second 330 metre berth.


“The new terminal will handle over one million standard containers each year and Victoria International Container Terminal will concentrate on promoting off peak truck movements to improve the efficiency of Victoria’s transport logistics and feed expanding supply chains,” said David Hodgett, Victorian Minister for Ports. “The Port of Melbourne services one of Australia’s fastest growing cities and the new terminal will feature container handling equipment that can operate with reduced levels of noise and lighting.”

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