DP World Australia has agreed to plans with Austrak to further develop Austrak’s intermodal freight hub at Somerton. DP World Australia will operate the new inland freight hub known as Somerton Rail Port, 23 km north of the Port of Melbourne and Melbourne CBD.
The facility will be fully customs bonded and will connect Somerton directly by rail shuttle to the Port of Melbourne.
Somerton Rail Port sits inside the 300 acre Somerton Business Park and is surrounded by industrial precincts.
The facility has direct road access to the Hume Highway and Somerton Road, and rail connections to the Port of Melbourne, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Chief commercial officer for DP World Australia Brian Gillespie said the new facility at Somerton would have the capacity to handle 200,000 TEU per annum.
“As a full customs bonded port for both import and export containers, Somerton can be offered as a port of origin and destination by shipping companies,” Mr Gillespie said.
“We expect capacity will grow to 400,000 TEU over time.
“A rail shuttle service running between Somerton and Port of Melbourne will provide a rapid turn-around service for imports and regional rail exports.
“We will increase freight transport options for local importers — and particularly regional exporters — by handling longer length regional train services that struggle to get access to inner city rail terminals,” Mr Gillespie said.
“With the planned closure of Coode Road next year, Somerton will have rail shuttle access to an on-dock rail connection, which significantly increases the effective capacity of our West Swanson container terminal.”
National development manager at Austrak Clarenzo Perna said it has long been Austrak’s vision to fully develop the Somerton intermodal freight facility.
“The Somerton Rail Port will create new efficiencies and competition in the import-export (IMEX) supply chain. The rail shuttle will immediately remove around 100,000 plus truck movements from the roads of inner city Melbourne each year.
“We expect Somerton Rail Port to become a regional freight hub, and an extension of the container handling terminal at Port of Melbourne.”
The Somerton Rail Port is planned to start operation in December 2016.