ONE hates to be a continual nay-sayer but this has all been tried before with a great deal of fanfare and a conspicuous lack of success.

ANL ran a Queensland coastal service successfully for a number of years and had terminals in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Port Alma and Brisbane.

Eventually they were unable to continue in a situation where the vast majority of freight was northbound with insufficient southbound to make the round trip economical.

Good luck to anyone who wants to start up a coastal service but I hope they have deep pockets because at the end of the day the service has to make money and it is difficult to see how that will be possible given the rates that they will have to charge to compete with the rail who are running a daily service.