Saturday 16th Jan, 2021

New freight terminal boosts bulk exports to Asia

Freight transport improvements at Port Botany are one step closer, with major firms shortlisted to design and build the Botany Rail Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.

A new intermodal freight terminal in northern Victoria is set to generate millions of dollars in exports to Asia.

The QUBE Ultima Intermodal Terminal will help move freight from road to rail and is expected to cut 4000 truck trips each year from Victorian roads.

Hay from local farms is compressed and loaded into containers at the facility, which are then put on a train and taken to the Port of Melbourne for export to Asia.

QUBE, Pentarch Agricultural and Pickering Transport have invested $3.65 million into the facility, with the operations assisted by a State Government funded upgrade of the Manangatang freight line.

The $23 million upgrade saw sleepers replaced over a 90 kilometres section of the lone in the Ultima region by V/Line. Track formation was also boosted with new ballast to improve the ride quality for trains.

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Victorian Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne said the facility is creating jobs for the local community.

“The $23 million upgrade of the Manangatang freight line is making it safer and more efficient for trains to carry hay and grain to port.”

Pentarch sells oaten hay, cottonseed and other grains overseas, with the new facility to help export to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

Two trains a week currently service the Ultima facility, but it is expected to expand to three or four trains per week.

“QUBE is proud to be delivering jobs for the Mallee and taking trucks off the road through our significant $3.65 million joint venture investment in the Ultima Intermodal Terminal,” QUBE Managing Director Maurice James said.

“Already two trains a week are using this terminal to provide integrated rail solutions to the intermodal and bulk markets, and we hope to expand this when more local products become available later this summer.”