Sydney, Melbourne ports battle for wine supremacy

Casella Wines’ home town of Griffith in the NSW Riverina region is the scene of an intense battle between the NSW Government and Port of Melbourne Corporation.
The prize is Casella Wines’ and Australia’s most successful export, the [yellowtail] range of wines, or more precisely, the containers they travel in.
The winery boasts the world’s fastest bottling line at 36,000 bottles an hour, and the company accounts for 15% of all of Australia’s considerable wine exports. Casella Wines’ website claims that in 2007, it handled 9% of Australia’s total grape crush.
With such a huge amount of wine leaving the Griffith winery, it is not surprising that it has replaced the ailing rice industry as the magnet for shipping interests such as shipping lines, rail companies and, of course, ports, as Griffith lies roughly half way between Sydney and Melbourne.
There are reportedly 150 TEU on offer each week, with the majority leaving Patrick’s Griffith terminal for the Port of Melbourne. And as reported on TandLnews recently, Steve Tzaneros has launched Regional Rail Logistics to run containers into Port Botany from the Riverina.
But the two capital ports are not sitting idle at the sidelines, either. The NSW Ministry of Transport and Sydney Port Corporation have reportedly launched a feasibility study into the establishment of an open-access intermodal terminal at Griffith, with rail cartage to Port Botany.
And now the Port of Melbourne has announced that it “has opened a dedicated office in Griffith to facilitate trade in southern New South Wales.”
PoMC chief executive officer, Stephen Bradford, said: “The farming and agricultural region of southern New South Wales is a growing trade market so it is entirely appropriate that we recognise its importance by having a dedicated representative on the ground.
“It makes business sense to get a better understanding of our customer’s needs and forge relationships that can benefit exporters and cargo owners in the Griffith area.”
PoMC’s Griffith office will replace the former office which was based in Wagga Wagga.

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