A COLLABORATION aimed at opening up rail freight access to the Port of Melbourne for 300,000 tonnes of freight annually has been announced by logistics companies SCT Group and ACFS.

SCT managing director Geoff Smith said the announcement would be the first of many “based on our on-going investment in rail freight in the state”, supported by the Victorian government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network Strategy.

“SCT has substantial plans around increasing rail freight volumes, and this collaboration with ACFS will provide a strong foundation for future growth,” Mr Smith said.

ADVERTISEMENT  

ACFS managing director and CEO Arthur Tzaneros said the new port access arrangement was “a pivotal step in our off port expansion into metro Melbourne”.

“The site will offer a broad range of services to our existing and new customers, including 3PL warehousing and e-commerce activities,” Mr Tzaneros said

The ACFS site at Altona in Melbourne’s west. Credit: ACFS

“We also look forward to making a major contribution to reducing congestion in and around Melbourne’s West, with this project removing over 70,000 truck movements from the roads.” 

Mr Smith said the development provided direct port connectivity to regional Victoria, with increased volumes flowing from SCT’s Horsham and Wodonga sites to the Port of Melbourne.

“This aspect of opening the port to regional and rural businesses is crucial” Mr Smith said.

“Export supply chains for Victoria’s regional businesses are more important than ever.

An SCT train on the move. Credit: ACFS

“This partnership will provide direct access for a broad cross-section of companies seeking to sell their products into Asia-Pacific markets and beyond”.  

Minister for ports and freight Melissa Horne said the project was part of a range of longer term investments facilitated by SCT’s enhanced rail connectivity to the port.

Freight minister Melissa Horne is keen to increase the proportion of freoght moved by rail. Credit: David Sexton

“It is fantastic to see our policies regarding both the Port Rail Shuttle Network and Port Rail Transformation Project combining to achieve outcomes like this,” Ms Horne said.

“This collaboration will provide a major boost for both metropolitan and regional Victoria and will make it easier for farmers to access new export markets.

“It also marks another big step forward in our goal to get trucks off local roads by shifting more freight from road to rail.” The collaboration efforts seek to increase support growth to 600,000 tonnes of rail freight to the port annually by 2025.

ADVERTISEMENT