Qube has announced that Patrick Terminals has extended its tenure at the Port of Melbourne to 2066 and will invest $15 million to develop a rail terminal at its adjoining logistics site at Coode Road.
Qube holds a 50 per cent interest in Patrick Terminals, securing Australia’s leading container terminal operator as a strategic long-term partner.
The lease agreement, that is locked in for the next forty six years, cements Patrick’s giant footprint at East Swanson Dock at Port of Melbourne and an adjoining logistics site at Coode Road.
The Coode Road logistics site will be developed over the next few years to deliver rail capacity and to interface with Patrick’s container terminal.
Patrick has entered into a Development Deed with the Port of Melbourne (“PoM”) to cofund and build the rail terminal. Michael Jovicic, Patrick CEO said that Qube and Patrick are planning to invest approximately $15 million into the project.
Patrick has recently upgraded its capabilities at East Swanson Dock to handle vessels carrying over 11,000 TEU, but once the rail terminal is built it is expected that 200,000 TEU will be able to be brought into the Port.
“The new facility will provide a direct interface with Patrick’s East Swanson Dock Container Terminal, reducing cost of last mile between the rail terminal and quayside for rail based container movements,” Michael Jovicic said.
Patrick’s Swanson Dock Rail Terminal will be an open access facility under the Port of Melbourne rail access protocol. Michael said it is envisaged that Qube and other rail operators will utlise the Patrick facility.
PoM will oversee the construction and when complete, the terminal will form an important part of the broader Port Rail Transformation Project to increase rail modal share in Melbourne.
“Over time, it is expected that rail modal share for will increase, with metro rail being a major driver of growth alongside the development of metropolitan inland terminals. Rail modal share on rail will be dependent on take up of rail, particularly for metro container movements – which today are dominated by trucks,” Michael said.
The development supports Patrick’s landside efficiency focus and is expected to facilitate the development of metro-based rail shuttle services over the medium term.
The CEO said the project will provide flexibility to importers and exporters seeking modal choice as well as the other benefits from using rail for container movements in and out of Swanson Dock.
The rail terminal is expected to be complete by mid 2023. Port of Melbourne’s overall investment in rail under the Port Rail Transformation Project is $125 million.
Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke, said it’s a key project of PoM’s Port Development Strategy.
“Our Plan is vital to successfully accommodating future growth at the port. This new on dock rail terminal supports the introduction of the Governments Port Rail Shuttle Network, which will reduce truck trips on the Melbourne road network,” he said.
“We stand ready to accommodate increased freight from the regions now, and future port rail shuttles from metropolitan intermodal terminals.”
Port of Melbourne is currently undertaking a Request for Tender process for the PRTP infrastructure works with construction expected to commence early next year.