Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) announced it will soon start the construction of Somerton intermodal terminal situated Melbourne’s north area which will be key node of the AUD 58 million (USD 41 million) Victorian Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network project.
The private company will construct and operate the 45 hectare intermodal freight terminal which is estimated at AUD 400 million (USD 283 million).
ITC was launched in December 2022 and is backed by one of Australia’s leading funds, Aware Super, which last year also entered into a joint venture operation with the Victorian Government to operate the Registration and Licencing and Custom Plates businesses for VicRoads.
“The Port Rail Shuttle Network will not only enhance the strategic importance of local freight and logistics operators – it will also deliver efficiencies and cost-savings for businesses. The shuttle network will also deliver a huge safety boost for motorists by moving freight off the roads and onto rail,” the Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Catherine King said.
The new terminal is expected to create 190 jobs during construction and a further 50 permanent jobs for Victorians once the terminal is operational in 2025.
The terminal will create jobs, remove thousands of truck movements from suburban roads, reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency as well as safety for producers, farmers, freight operators and exporters.
When operating at its full capacity, the Somerton Intermodal Terminal is expected to take 500,000 truck trips off Melbourne’s roads which is equivalent to 454 million truck kilometres. Each year, it will also save 451 million litres of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 189,000 tonnes.
The governments of Australia and Victoria want to move more freight by rail in the state by 2050, and with the Port Rail Shuttle Network is expected to move 30 per cent of Melbourne’s containers by rail from Somerton, Altona and Dandenong South to the Port of Melbourne, avoiding thousands of truck trips on roads each year.
The Port Rail Shuttle Network will enable trucks to deliver or pick up containers from the transport hubs in outer metropolitan Melbourne instead of driving to the Port of Melbourne, which is in turn investing AUD 125 million (USD 88.4 million) for on-dock rail infrastructure to cater for these shuttle trains. The network will develop and upgrade rail connections and metropolitan intermodal terminals in key industrial areas, including Somerton.