Tuesday, 28th May 2019 – 4.30pm at Horsham Town Hall.
On Tuesday night, the SCT Group (owners of Wimmera Container Line) hosted 60 guests that filled Horsham Town Hall including exporters and importers, government agencies, stevedores DP World and VICT, Port of Melbourne, ARTC, Horsham Rural City Council, shipping lines, potential and existing clients and likeminded freight companies that can work together with SCT. The purpose of the evening was to promote rail to the Port (import/export) and draw interstate freight from up to a 200km radius into destinations as far as Perth and Brisbane.
The 2.5-hour event comprised of an opening speech by the Horsham Rural City Council Mayor, Cr Mark Radford, and presentations by:
Vlad Jotic, Head of Business Development – Port of Melbourne
Glen Richmond, Manager Marketing & Business Development – ARTC
Matt Eryurek, General Manager Ports Development – SCT
Vlad Jotic highlighted the forecasted growth of the port precinct, their development strategy up to 2050 and the role that rail needs to play for growth and congestion. As part of their commitment to the owners and the Victorian state, Port of Melbourne are committed to delivering a Port rail strategy. In Vlad’s words, “We are currently at 10% and for the largest container terminal in Australia, we have a lot of work to do in a short time.”
Glen Richmond gave insight into the varying benefits of rail, both current and into the future. The presentation also included information on Inland Rail, where it ties in to the region and the work currently underway by ARTC. Glen added, “ARTC own 8,500km of rail infrastructure around Australia and the final mile to Port of Melbourne from regional and metro areas is a big focus point to our organisation. We are delighted that SCT is promoting the benefit of rail to the Port and we are keen to help with projects like mineral sands from this region. In addition, SCT is well positioned as they have 3 intermodal hubs (Barnawartha VIC, Parkes NSW and Bromelton QLD) situated on Inland Rail and 1 hub (Altona VIC) nearby, which is nominated as the Port Shuttle location by the Port Rail Shuttle Network (PRSN).
Matt Eryurek spoke about the WCL (SCT Group) history and relationship in the region: “historically, the former owners and WCL have focused on exports. As a company, we never introduced minimums or ‘take-or-pay’ arrangements. Our focus has been on seasonal export work and we have been challenged. The Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS), Port rail access, and increased High Productivity Vehicles in the region have all contributed to this.”
SCT are exploring options to link the Wimmera region to the Port as both imports and exports and into SCT’s national rail network. Matt highlighted the major achievements of the SCT Group, as well as the current and ongoing challenges, stating “if our customers are hurting, we are hurting with you. We seek your support and best endeavours to take a medium to long term view on rail.”
Well known by all levels of industry, SCT Group are experts in building intermodal hubs from paddock to terminal, having built 3 metro and 3 regional intermodal hubs nationally. SCT Barnawartha (Wodonga) was built in less than 12 months, opening in October 2016. Today, this intermodal hub services 2000 tonnes of interstate freight and 80 import and export containers per week. In Matt’s words, “the key to sustain a good business model is one that allows diversification. We are 100% Australian and privately owned. Our people are hardworking Aussies, with the intent to keep them in jobs and continue growing. Our clear message to the region is simple: WCL (SCT Group) is an export only rail hub today. It needs to change with the support of all. Our goal is “Diversify” – if you have any freight requirements, do not hesitate to contact Greg James (National Major Accounts and Projects Manager) or Matt Eryurek (General Manager Ports Development) to discuss opportunities.
The SCT company will be seeking regional support to draw interstate volumes into Horsham and transport them as far as Brisbane and Perth on rail. “Our 29 mainline locomotives stop up to 100 times a year in Horsham and if a client needs a container moved interstate and as far as Perth or Brisbane, we can bolt this on to our existing services.”
A Q&A session with the panel (Matt Eryurek, Vlad Jotic, Glen Richmond, Greg James, and Tim Guidera – WCL) concluded the event, answering questions regarding capacity, capability and opportunities. The feeling was warm and well received.SCT Group would like to thank Horsham Rural City Council, ARTC, Port of Melbourne, Wimmera Development Association, Regional Development, Freight Victoria and industry for making the time to attend our Horsham event and invest in our future.