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Significant Transport Savings On the Way

Shifting to Inland Rail could save Australian producers, manufacturers and growers approximately $170 million in transport costs each year, according to early results of a CSIRO supply chain analysis.

“In regional Australia distances between communities and towns, and towns and cities are measured in more than miles and minutes – they’re measured in the cost of moving essential goods where and when people need them,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

Early results of mapping the supply chains for 140 commodities show an average reduction of transport costs of 39% by changing freight from road to the Inland Rail for part of the journey. An even higher cost reduction of 44% can be achieved for freight shipped for the full length of the Inland Rail between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia would bring extensive opportunities to regional Australia.

“This study is the green light signalling to the industry to start planning now because the potential cost savings for being connected to, or close by, Inland Rail are immense for farmers and regional businesses,” Minister Coulton said. “Heavier, faster freight trains will divert non-bulk products from roads and provide the competitive edge regional Australia has been calling for.”

The Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT), developed by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, was used to analyse existing freight supply chains and the potential cost reductions based on future infrastructure investments or operational changes. “Our computer logistics tool can identify the transport benefits to every supply chain using Inland Rail and analyse potential savings over the long term. It can also be used to test future scenarios and transport technologies,” CSIRO’s TraNSIT project leader Dr Andrew Higgins said.

Full results of the CSIRO Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping Study will detail the potential cost savings for 140 commodities and is expected to be released in the coming months.

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