Linfox Logistics, Pacific National expand capability

Linfox has entered into a consortium with Pacific National to purchase the containerised freight haulage and end-to-end freight forwarding capability on Queensland’s northern freight line. The two companies are purchasing separate parts of the Aurizon rail assets.
Forming a consortium with Pacific National is the first step towards purchasing these strategically significant assets that are currently owned by Aurizon Queensland Intermodal.
Linfox
This acquisition will enable Linfox to improve the scale and scope of the freight forwarding services it offers to national and large Australian freight forwarding customers, including those delivering freight to Northern Queensland.
If the Pacific National transaction is cleared by the ACCC, Linfox will acquire and use the rail haulage capacity supplied by Pacific National to supply intra-state and interstate freight forwarding services to customers in Queensland and Northern Queensland.
The acquisition will also include pick-up and delivery and warehousing services, but exclude standard gauge haulage to and from Acacia Ridge and hook-and-pull contracts for train services.
Pacific National
Pacific National has signed a binding agreement to buy the Aurizon Queensland Intermodal business as part of a consortium with Linfox.
This transaction includes the transfer of approximately 350 Aurizon employees, as well as assets, commercial and operational arrangements to the Linfox and Pacific National consortium.
The parties are aiming to finalise these transaction by the end of FY2018, both transactions are subject to:

  • Approval by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
  • Approval by the Foreign Investment & Review Board

Separately from Linfox, Pacific National has also signed a binding agreement with Aurizon to purchase the Acacia Ridge Intermodal Terminal in Brisbane.
This transaction includes the transfer of 30 Aurizon employees, as well as assets, commercial and operational arrangements.
The Acacia Ridge Terminal will supplement Pacific National’s national network of terminals and provides security for Pacific National’s interstate operations out of the terminal for the long term.
 

Qube announces executive appointment

Qube has announced the appointment of Sue Palmer to the Board of Directors effective 1 September 2017.
According to Qube, Palmer has extensive financial and commercial experience across a range of industry sectors in Australia and Asia, including construction, mining, energy, infrastructure and agriculture.
Palmer has over 30 years’ experience in senior executive financial roles with a diverse range of organisations, which have included Incitec, CS Energy, Leighton Contractors and Thiess, Qube said.
Palmer was identified as part of the process of board renewal following the resignation of Robert Dove in 2016 and the retirement of Chris Corrigan as Chairman in June 2017.
Welcoming Palmer to the Board, Qube Chairman, Allan Davies, said, “I’m delighted Sue has agreed to join the Qube board at this time. She has precisely the mix of skills and experience the company needs, particularly with the ongoing development of the Moorebank intermodal project.

Government backs Port of Melbourne rail shuttle

The Australian and Victorian Governments have announced that they will back several projects aimed at taking trucks off local roads and connecting major Victorian freight hubs with the Port of Melbourne, using the existing rail network.
The Governments will soon seek expressions of interest to deliver a series of rail freight ‘shuttle’ initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the proposal would take advantage of rail’s ability to shift larger volumes of freight than trucks, while also busting congestion in Victoria’s capital.
“The Australian Government’s free trade agreements are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports,” said Chester.
“This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads.
“The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness, which is why the Australian Government is investing $8.4 billion in the Inland Rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne.”
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the initiative will take trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s inner west.
“The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation. With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail,” Donnellan said.
“Alongside the West Gate Tunnel, 24-hour truck bans in the inner west and the Port’s rail access plans, this project will help shift containers from residential streets onto dedicated routes to the port.”
Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC, welcomed the Governments’ support of rail freight.
“Moving more freight to rail, where it makes sense commercially, has the potential to significantly improve freight efficiency, while at the same time improving urban amenity, reducing road congestion and decreasing queuing times at ports,” Kilgariff said.
“[The] ALC has been a consistent supporter of the Port Rail Shuttle project, which will be a significant enhancement to the Port of Melbourne, producing real benefits for freight efficiency in Victoria, and across the nation’s supply chains.
“In NSW, the state government is committed to doubling the amount of freight entering and leaving Port Botany by rail, which currently sits at 19.3 per cent. NSW Ports is likewise committed to moving 3 million TEU by rail over the longer term.
“There needs to be an equal focus on promoting greater use of short haul rail services for freight movement in Victoria.
“The Port Rail Shuttle will build on other significant investments being made in freight infrastructure – including the Inland Rail project, which will link the Port of Melbourne with the Port of Brisbane when fully completed.
“Constructing the Port Rail Shuttle to provide a rail connection between the Port of Melbourne and inland ports in Victoria is a crucially important aspect of improving the state’s freight network and driving greater supply chain efficiency and safety.”
 

Linfox celebrates top employees

Transport and logistics powerhouse, Linfox, has presented two employees with awards at the Senior Leadership Conference in Melbourne.
Each year, two Linfox employees are recognised and rewarded for outstanding performance, consistent demonstration of the Linfox values and potential for growth into a larger leadership role.
At this year’s Conference, Executive Chairman, Peter Fox, presented Andy Gissing with the Chairman’s Award. As Group Manager Consumer in the Retail business unit, Chairman’s Award winner Gissing manages customer contracts across the household brands sector.
“Andy’s hard work and leadership instilled a sense of confidence among stakeholders, while continuously displaying our Linfox values,” Fox said.
“It’s uplifting to receive such an award, but I’m extremely grateful for the support from everyone within the Resources and Industrial division,” Gissing said.
“The entire team and the drivers across the nation all played an integral role. This made my job so much easier, and I thank them all.”
Annette Carey, CEO Australia and New Zealand, presented Clint Terbogt with the CEO’s Award. Terbogt is responsible for Linfox Intermodal’s FMCG customers.
“Clint has been instrumental in driving continuous improvement programs with our customers and has developed some fantastic projects with significant savings,” Carey said.
“Clint has earned our deep respect for his consistent demonstration of the company values, and has been identified as a future leader at Linfox.”
“Congratulations to both our winners for their hard work and dedication to the company.”
The award winners will receive scholarships for personal development of their choice, in areas such as industry expertise, general management and targeted experience-based learning.

Aurizon to shutter intermodal business

Rail operator Aurizon has announced the closure of its intermodal business, following a tough financial year where the company posted a loss of $188 million. A consortium of Pacific National and Linfox will take over its Queensland facility, and Pacific National has purchased its Acacia Ridge terminal, with the transactions bringing in a total of $220 million. Aurizon’s remaining intermodal business, outside of Queensland, will be closed by December.
“The decision to exit Aurizon’s Intermodal business is in response to the continued losses in this business and market dynamics, with sale proceeds and future capital able to be recycled into other profitable parts of the company,” said Tim Poole, Chairman, Aurizon. “The exit will allow Aurizon to focus on creating shareholder value through its core strengths and capabilities of heavy rail haulage operations and rail infrastructure management.”
Andrew Harding, Managing Director and CEO at Aurizon, added: “Following the review of our Freight business, we have made the decision to exit Intermodal by closing down our interstate operations and selling Queensland Intermodal and Acacia Ridge terminal. Initiatives are in place to turn around the performance of our Bulk business following significant impairments in July.
“Going forward, we will leverage our operational and commercial capability in heavy haulage operations and rail infrastructure to create value and certainty for shareholders.”
In a message to employees, Harding explained the decision to close the company’s Intermodal division.
“Unfortunately, over the years we ave continued to see significant financial losses in this part of the business,” he said.
“The reality is that in a market serviced by a number of well established transport providers, we have been unsuccessful in establishing a significant scale and customer base to make it profitable.
“Exiting the Intermodal business is clearly not a decision we have taken lightly but one we had to make if we are to provide certainty and value for our shareholders.”

Funding earmarked for Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal

Wimmera grain growers are set to benefit from the development of new industrial lots at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal site in Victoria, following the announcement of $1.25 million in funding from the Andrews Labor Government for Stage One of its construction.
“The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is located on the national rail freight network and further investment at this precinct will create better connections from paddock to port,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.
Industrial lots with bitumen road access, street lighting and other amenities will be established on the 100-hectare precinct, for agribusinesses and food and fibre processors establishing operations at the precinct.
The Wimmera is one of Victoria’s largest dryland farming regions and the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is a key export hub for local grain producers.
“By investing in the best infrastructure, we are helping grain growers get more produce from paddock to port more efficiently – that’s good news for growers and Victoria’s booming exports,” Pulford added.
“Supporting Victoria’s agriculture sector by investing in key infrastructure is a priority for the Government.”
The $2.5 million development will be delivered by Horsham Rural City Council, with support from the Labor Government.

DP World Australia launches intermodal partnership with SCT Logistics

SCT Logistics will partner with DP World Australia on a joint capabilities initiative, focusing on improving freight services for operators moving goods from the Parkes region in New South Wales to the Port of Sydney, the Parkes Champion Post has reported.
Through the initiative, the two companies will together service regional trains providing exporters and importers direct access to the DP World Australia’s Sydney dock via the recently announced Botany Intermodal.
“Botany Intermodal will offer will offer fast and efficient container coordination, movement, cleaning, repairs, refurbishment and storage services to customers who are transiting container freight into and out of the terminals,” said Mark Hulme, Chief Operating Officer – Logistics, DP World Australia.
“Botany Intermodal’s connection to the Southern Sydney Freight Line will drive improved rail efficiency and speed of service to adjacent stevedoring operations.”
Geoff Smith, Managing Director of SCT Group added, “We currently move freight from Perth to Sydney via Parkes.
“We are well positioned to expand these services to include your export into Port Botany to meet vessel cut offs.
“Furthermore, we have 324 hectares in our regional intermodal estate that would be ideal for exporters or importers to situate themselves in the strategic Parkes rail hub.”
Parkes Champion Post noted that the partnership is expected to result in reduced truck dependency in the region, along with environmental benefits.
Cr Ken Keith OAM, Mayor of Parkes Shire, welcomed the joint initiative by the companies.
“This partnership will further connect our region to a global market via one of the major ports of Australia, placing Parkes and the Central West into an economically advantageous position,” he said.
“We compete in global markets and as such transport efficiency is critical to our competiveness.”
 

Inland Rail to enable modal shift

At the Future of Freight event held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Melbourne on 17 July, a panel of logistics industry experts discussed the need for, and barriers to, a modal shift in Australia’s freight transportation network.
John Fullerton, CEO of Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), noted that the nation’s much-discussed growing freight task will heavily impact the east coast.
“If you look at Melbourne to Brisbane, currently only 25 per cent of that freight moves by rail, 75 per cent is on road,” he said. “Compare that to Melbourne all the way to Perth, we’ve got 75 per cent of the freight on rail, primarily because we run trains to different schedules, we’re more competitive, we can run trains a lot longer, and we can double stack those trains out of Adelaide.”
The purpose for Inland Rail, he added, will be to complete the network of track between Australia’s capital cities that can carry world class–configured trains. “We’re going to get more freight onto the network, to handle freight for the future and get a better, more productive market share,” he said.
Maurice James, Managing Director of logistics and infrastructure company Qube, added that he sees the Inland Rail project as a great opportunity.
“I think [people] are underestimating the benefits of Inland Rail,” he said, adding that the time is right for the construction of a “huge” intermodal terminal at either end of the rail line, in Melbourne and Brisbane, to drive freight to rail.
“Freight doesn’t just come to rail,” he said. “Freight goes to rail when rail is more efficient against road.
“The opportunity that Melbourne and Victoria have is to identify where is that big intermodal terminal at the end of the Inland Rail [going to go]?”
James noted that Qube will soon discuss ‘fragmented supply chains’ with the management of the Port of Melbourne.
“At its worst, between a container coming into the Port of Melbourne, or any port, and the product ending up on the shelves, there could be anywhere up to 12 or 14 different truck movements,” he said. “People thinking about the product going to the warehouse, then to the store – [they don’t realise] everything behind that container, where the empty container goes, the reuse of the empty as a export commodity, how it gets back to the port.”
Qube’s model, he shared, is to focus on making sure every container coming through Australia is used as efficiently as possible.
“The logistics challenge ahead for the country is quite simple,” he shared. “It’s truck movements to rail head, a rail movement to Brisbane, and a truck movement to a final destination, competing with a truck, door to door.
“[Truck door to door] is quite easy, from a pricing, costing, efficiency perspective, but if you had…an intermodal hub in Melbourne and Brisbane and you’ve effectively [got] rail competing door to door with road, then you’ve got a serious chance of a significant modal shift.”

Goodman to develop warehousing at Enfield for NSW Ports

One of Sydney’s most geographically central and strategically connected logistics areas is set to be developed into a new industrial estate.
NSW Ports and industrial property company Goodman Group will develop NSW Ports’ industrial estate at Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre (Enfield ILC).
Enfield ILC is set on 60 hectares of industrial zoned land located at Mainline Road, Strathfield South. The site includes the active Enfield Intermodal Terminal, currently operated by Aurizon, empty container storage areas, and 30 hectares of serviced industrial land, ready for development.
Strategically located only 15km west of the Sydney CBD, the site benefits from direct access to the M4 and M5 motorways and dedicated freight rail infrastructure.
NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said: “Our 30 year Master Plan for the Enfield site is focussed on increasing the number of containers moved by rail to and from Port Botany. In order to make this a reality, we need to ensure the site includes high quality warehouse and logistics operations for our customers.”
Goodman’s general manager for Australia Jason Little said: “The key differentiator of this site to other warehouse and logistics facilities in Sydney is its proximity to the onsite intermodal facility and the dedicated freight rail line, providing direct access to and from Port Botany, and rail connections to regional NSW and interstate locations.
“In addition to rail access, being located so close to the Sydney CBD means that Enfield ILC is ideal for facilitating ‘Last mile delivery’, ensuring customers are close to their end consumers,” he concluded.
With 24/7 access and General Industrial (IN1) zoning, the site is suitable for a range of customers in the logistics, freight forwarding, pack-unpack, import-export, transport, and warehousing sectors.
The facilities will be built to Goodman’s standards and will integrate ecologically sustainable designed principles. Goodman is marketing the site for pre-lease development ranging from 2,000 square metres, capable of delivery in 2018.

Qube project to fundamentally transform supply chain

Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest intermodal precinct, continues to make headlines with yet another multi-million funding boost.
Freight and logistics company Qube which is developing the project, has secured $150 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under the premise of increasing the use of rail networks to distribute containerised freight to and from Port Botany.
According to the CEFC, the project is expected to reduce freight truck emissions by switching the movement of over 1.5 million freight containers at Port Botany from road to rail, with an estimated annual abatement of more than 110,000 tonnes of CO₂.
As such, it is expected to reduce the distance travelled by container trucks on Sydney’s road network by 150,000km every day, and 93,000km per day for long-distance interstate freight trucks.
Locally in Sydney, it will cut an estimated 3,000 truck journeys per day from Sydney’s road network, particularly the M5, according to the CEFC.
“Emissions from road freight transport are a substantial part of our carbon emissions challenge. By switching to rail solutions, the Moorebank project will reduce emissions, reduce urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity for years to come,” said CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth.
Learmonth added that despite its massive scale – operating across a site the size of Sydney’s CBD – the freight and energy efficiencies delivered via the Moorebank Logistics Park are expected to result in net emission reductions totalling more than two million tonnes of CO₂ over a 40-year period.
However, this net reduction takes into account construction emissions, embodied energy within building materials, offsite transportation, operational emissions and savings from the onsite use of renewable energy. It does not factor in inevitable advances in technology over that 40-year period – for example the imminent introduction of Euro-VI engine technology.
Still, Qube Holdings’ Managing Director, Maurice James, said the Moorebank Logistics Park would transform the containerised freight supply chain in Sydney and deliver significant community-wide benefits.
“Our focus at Qube has always been on how we can improve the efficiency of the import and export supply chain, how we can provide a faster and more cost-effective way to get goods to consumers and the Moorebank terminal is certainly a key part of that strategy,” he said.
“Being able to deliver a faster and more reliable supply chain that creates savings for our customers, as well as remove thousands of truck trips from our roads at the same time as delivering very significant environmental benefits is a great trifecta.”
The Moorebank Logistics Park will be developed across 243 hectares in south-western Sydney, taking advantage of its location near the Southern Sydney Freight Line, M5 and M7 motorways and in an area of rapid population and economic growth.
It is expected to deliver “significant job creation”, with the precinct employing as many as 6,800 people when operating at full capacity and over 1,300 jobs to be created during the construction phases.

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