Up to 80,000 annual truck trips will be taken off Sydney’s motorways with the opening of the St Marys Freight Hub later this year.
Dean Dalla Valle, CEO of Pacific National, the private rail freight giant behind the massive project, said St Marys Freight Hub will shift up to 301,000 shipping containers onto rail each year.
“By shifting more freight onto rail between Port Botany and Western Sydney, the number of truck trips on the congested M4 and M5 motorways will be reduced by 8.7 million kilometres each year – that’s equivalent to 23 (one-way) truck trips to the moon,” he said.
Pacific National has partnered with port logistics operator ACFS who will manage and operate the St Marys Freight Hub and deliver shipping containers the ‘last mile’ by truck to retail and wholesale customers at surrounding warehouses and distribution centres in Western Sydney.
ACFS Port Logistics Managing Director and CEO Arthur Tzaneros said St Marys Freight Hub was ideally located to process large volumes of containerised freight, with many of Australia’s major retailers and wholesalers operating national warehousing and distribution centres within 15 kilometres of the new intermodal facility.
“Imported shipping containers will be hauled from Port Botany to St Marys Freight Hub by train and transported to nearby warehouses and distribution centres by truck,” he said.
“There are enormous opportunities to unlock the full potential of the Hub with future development of the site to enable unpacking of containers onsite, storage of goods, and then rapid distribution for B2B and e-Commerce. The opportunities are unparalleled in Western Sydney.”
Tzaneros said St Marys Freight Hub will be a game changer for commercial and industrial areas and facilities in Western Sydney where many large-scale customer warehouses and distribution centres are located.
“The strategically located 43-hectare hub – initially 10-hectares in size – will increase reliability and cost efficiency of freight movements for ACFS customers. It is located outside of Sydney’s road toll zone and will help ensure freight deliveries are not delayed in traffic congestion on the city’s motorways,” he said.
Pacific National said the hub will also create more than 175 ongoing jobs in Western Sydney, including full-time roles for 100 truckies.
St Marys is close to the M4 and M7 motorways and Great Western Highway and has direct access to the T1 Western Rail Line allowing for a 58km shuttle run to Port Botany.
The hub is expected to receive 1,200-metre regional trains from Parkes to be broken into 600-metre port shuttles to better access stevedoring terminals at Port Botany.
“The Penrith region will act as conduit for regional freight between Western Sydney and Western NSW and further afield to Australia’s second largest port at Botany,” said Dalla Valle.