Efforts by government and industry to move more containerised freight by rail in NSW are paying dividends with ‘rail mode share’ currently sitting at its highest level in six years.
A communiqué issued by the Port Botany Rail Optimisation Group (PBROG) reveals that a positive shift is taking place and rail mode share is tracking at 18.4 per cent for 2016/17 – up from 16.3 per cent in 2015/16 and 13.5 per cent in 2014/15.
Rail volumes through Port Botany reached 36,369 TEU in October 2016 – the second highest level ever recorded. Both road and rail transport have a role to play in transporting shipping containers, but rail is currently under-utilised.
The creation of the CEO-level PBROG has been a key initiative in the last 12 months to optimise rail container movements through the port.
Stevedores, rail operators, rail network managers and NSW Ports are represented on the group which is working to identify policy and regulatory impediments that impact on the efficient movement of containers and infrastructure enhancement projects.
The group is also advising Transport for NSW on performance standards and methods of measuring key metrics such as on-time arrival, capacity utilisation and turnaround times.
Most of the 2.3 million containers (twenty-foot equivalent unit – TEU) moved through Port Botany last year travelled on trucks. With throughput at Port Botany forecast to triple to 7 million TEU by 2040, shifting more of these containers onto rail is vital for meeting demand and for managing congestion on Sydney’s roads.
Every 1 million TEU moved by rail takes about 1,200 trucks off Sydney’s roads so Transport for NSW’s Cargo Movement Coordination Centre (CMCC) is working with rail operators, rail networks, shipping companies, stevedores and port operators to lift rail’s share of the freight task.
Find out more about the Port Botany Rail Optimisation Group.
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