Sydney is set to become the largest container port in Australia and will supersede Melbourne as a result of the lack of rail connections, with Sydney looking to focus more on rail with its US$1.5 billion rail-freight precinct to boost its business and the potential for transporting shipping containers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The potential of strong rail connections was seen in North America recently, with Canadian Rail outlining plans to create a rail terminal as a way to steal some of the booming rail traffic coming into the US.
Maurice James, Managing Director of Qube Logistics, said: “We are already seeing the growth rates of containers through Port Botany exceeding Melbourne. It's at risk of losing its number one container port status because of the economics of moving freight and the potential cost of going forward.”
Qube is planning to concentrate on developing the Moorebank rail freight precinct in south-west Sydney in the hope that this facility will become the biggest intermodal freight hub in Australia.
The Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance will spend $1.5 billion developing the 240-hectare Moorebank over the next 10 years in a bid to avoid the surge in transporting freight via road.
Mr James concluded: “Our master plan is to put in 850,000 square metres of warehouse, an import and export rail terminal, and an interstate rail terminal, handling a total of 1.5 million TEU.”