Australia’s Port Botany Expanding Container Capacity

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord

NSW Ports has built a new 2.4 hectare empty container park at Port Botany in Australia, and an expansion of rail services to the port is in the final stages of planning. 

The new empty container park is leased by Tyne Container Services and will operate 24/7, providing a full service facility when it opens in June 2020. It adjoins the existing Tyne (MT Movements) container park, delivering an additional 5,000 TEU in empty container capacity. It will have capacity to handle both empty containers bound for overseas re-deployment as well as empty containers for re-use as full exports. 

NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said: “NSW is an import dominant container market, which can lead to high demand for empty container storage capacity during peak seasons. We continue to invest in Port Botany to ensure its ability to efficiently and sustainably cater for trade growth, and through this development we have optimized the utilization of existing land to create an additional 5000 TEU in container storage capacity to enhance the productivity and efficiency of empty container movements.”

The port is also undertaking a new rail project which will support increased volumes of container movements. The project, which involves the duplication of the remaining 2.9 km freight rail single track section of the Port Botany Rail Line between Mascot and Botany and construction of a passing loop on the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Cabramatta, is fully funded by the Australian Government and will be delivered by the ARTC. 

Funding of the $400 million project was announced by the Australian Government in May 2018. In October 2019, ARTC submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project to the NSW Department of Planning for approval. The EIS is now in the final stages of the planning approval process.

Port Botany handles 99 percent of NSW’s container volume and has the highest volume of containers transported by rail of all ports in the country, at 440,000 TEUs per year. For every one million TEU moved by rail the number of trucks around the port are reduced by 900 trucks per day.

Calfas says the project aligns with NSW Ports’ own long-term strategy to move three million TEU by rail, “Port Botany is the only container port in Australia with on-dock rail at all three of its container terminals and, together with the stevedores, we are making significant investments to increase port-side rail capacity to meet this goal. The first stage of investment of A$190 million commenced in 2019 and will be complete by 2023. This will double existing rail capacity at Port Botany.”

Once complete, the Port Botany Freight Line Duplication is expected to provide the capacity required to meet the forecast rail demand generated by the supply chain activities of regional NSW and metropolitan intermodal terminals, including Enfield Intermodal Terminal, Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and future intermodal terminals in Western Sydney.

The port’s 30 Year Masterplan shows that 80 percent of containers moving through Port Botany are delivered to locations within a 40 kilometer radius of the port, and port rail shuttles are essential to help move more of the freight task to and from outer Western and South Western Sydney freight precincts and to reduce truck growth on Sydney’s roads.