Friday, July 11, 2008

Eddington Report Online Forum - Freight

Here is a transcript of the entire text.


The Port of Melbourne handles around 2 million containers each year. There are approximately 9,000 truck movements in and out of the Port of Melbourne area each day.

In his report, Sir Rod Eddington estimated that if rail’s share of freight transport does not improve significantly, by 2035 there will be at least 18,000 truck movements to and from the port every day.

He has made a number of recommendations to improve freight handling including:

  • improving amenity in the inner west by implementing a Truck Action Plan
  • taking action to improve rail’s share of freight
  • Giving the Port of Melbourne overall responsibility for implanting an intermodal hub network in Melbourne
  • Permit the introduction of high productivity freight vehicles on designated routes

22 Responses to “Freight”

  1. millfordj responded:

    anything to get freight movement off of suburban streets should be prioritised.

  2. christinefoster responded:

    That is correct millfordj. I made a comment on the other forum, that my husband that goes from Dandenong to Melton finds it a nitemare to get from A to B. There needs to be a greater link.

  3. Victoria responded:

    Environment Victoria supports the general purpose of a number of the proposed freight recommendations. However in regards to the Truck Action Plan, moving freight from one residential street to another is not a solution.

    The focus on moving freight to rail should be commended. All improvements to the rail freight network need to be planned so as they are able to deliver to a capacity well above the government’s short term targets. The recommended infrastructure improvements need to be prepared for the long term requirements, as well as the short.

    Our road freight is currently very inefficient, however freight efficiency examples internationally (including the UK and Sweden) of Collaborative Distribution have the capacity to drastically reduce our freight task, and consequently our impact on carbon emissions.

  4. Cory responded:

    Rail links to the docklands need to be optimised and increased. Prior to the development of the Docklands precinct, this was certainly the case. Now, there is still some rail, but not enough.

    If Melbourne is to remain to be a major container port (and that seems to be the intention, with the dredging project continuing undaunted), we need to provide a more effective method of moving the containers out from, what is essentially, the centre of the city, other than relying upon trucking.

    Rail is an appropriate solution. Rail could be used to take containers out to staging points closer to existing truck routes (Hume Fwy etc), or (of course) the rail could be used as the primary means of transport. The suggestions of moving towards standard gauge are long, long overdue.

    I think as fuelling costs continue to increase ($8 a litre petrol anyone?), rail will increasingly be the only affordable option.

    And yes… I’m saying this when I live alongside the railway line that is likely to be most affected. Although I’m not wild about the prospect, I would prefer rail traffic to be increased ten-fold, than one sod of soil be turned to provide the East-West Link tunnel.

  5. Alex_H responded:

    Melbourne cannot continually expand forever. The cost of moving freight through Melbourne always increase as the size of Melbourne increases. The solution is to stop over-subisiding Melbourne so that other ports become commericially viable. The government talks about regional Victoria, by allowing other ports to florish, those local communities will also florish.

    Victoria is a relatively new institution. It will continue to grow for a long time. The growth can’t all happen in Melbourne.

    If the government continues to subsidise freight in Melbourne, the situation will become more and more unsustainable. Allow Portland and Hastings to be developed, stop crowding out investment by over-subsidising Melbourne.

  6. dayg responded:

    I have already commented (in the public transport section) on a proposalto connect commuter (Werribee, Williamstown, Sunshine lines)trains to SouthernCross via a tunnel from Newport. This will significantly improve capacity for Appleton/Dynon/Footscray rail traffic for an out-of-town freight hub and interchange.

  7. jmq responded:

    Can someone please explain how shifting truck traffic from Yarraville to Ashley STREET (ie its not a highway) is going to solve truck problems. Obviously there are issues in Yarraville but to be fair trucks have been driving down Francis Street since before many of the current residents moved there and have been complaining about it. The development of Central West Plaza has led to many young children and families crossing the road to do their shopping. The road is also used as a major pedestrain thoroughfare for people walking to Tottenham Station. Just this week a young mother with a pram was hit by a car crossing Ashley Street to get to a bus stop- sending truck traffic down this road will only increase these problems. Maribyrnong City Council has come up with some alternatives that I urge the government to consider.

  8. peterc150 responded:

    Moving freight off roads to rail should be the priority as freight on roads creates higher greenhouse gas emissions and greatly detracts from Melbourne’s liveability.

  9. millfordj responded:

    the movement of freight needs to be better planned, better optimised and better coordinated.

  10. Cathy Sage responded:

    Cory has encapsulated the stand that I would take. More roads and trucks are not a solution. A good rail system is badly needed. Peterc 150 also points to the higher greenhouse gas emissions the road option encourages. Milfordj has outlined another important point. In transporting things around our city, are not very efficient at what we already do. We could certainly look at processes to enhance efficiency. And lets not shift the problem from one suburb to hurt another, which is what the Eddington proposal suggests to re-route trucks onto the East west tunnel. While an underground option sounds good on the surface, it means smoke stacks will need to be put in Kensington, and a big tunnel opening is planned for Holland Park, next to childcare centre, playing fields and the community centre. Not smart!

  11. millfordj responded:

    not smart…but hell it is good on a CV.

  12. tonycanavan responded:

    Moving freight to rail is important, but with 80% of the freight entering our port staying within the metropolitan area, it will always be tough for rail to compete with road on a cost and logistical basis. Rail is better at longer journeys. It is possible to move freight from the port by rail to hubs and then distribute by road. The report talks about that. But keep the port in perspective. There are currently 9,000 truck trips in and out of the port each day, but there are 500,000 freight trips per day around the city. It will be difficult to get these movements on to fixed rail. They need to move from factory gate to warehouse to households. So let’s get this traffic off local roads !

  13. christinefoster responded:

    I am sure that taking the freight of the roads is a good thing, but we need to take into consideration those that are employed in the trucking industry. My husband works really hard for the money tha he gets. He loves his job. If you build the roads that will get him there quicker then I would love to see that.

  14. millfordj responded:

    ban the $2 dollar outlets and remove half of those 9000 truck movements.

  15. millfordj responded:

    the problem is, christine, if you build a road, it will get filled by cars. what YOU need is a road for trucks not cars.

    if we create the incentive/alternative for people to not use the cars (i.e public transport, work/shop local) then there would more space for trucks.

  16. Bruce responded:

    Tonycanavan are totally on the mark!! 80% of the freight entering the port is destined for the metropolitan area. The trick is to get this freight to its destination in the most effective and efficient manner. The Eddington Report provides a number of positive solutions in the Truck Action plan to reduce the impact of freight movement on local roads and should be supported.

  17. Cory responded:

    Tony, I’m not sure how you can say it will ‘always’ be tough for rail to compete with trucks. There’s going to be big changes wrt transport in the next 10 years… Trucks idling in traffic will very, VERY quickly become uneconomical. (And no.. this tunnel would not be a solution to trucks idling in traffic).

  18. millfordj responded:

    it is possible to have dedicate a road or “corrider” to trucks?

  19. Cory responded:

    Millfordj, I can’t see why it couldn’t be. But car commuters would complain, as it they would be left idling in traffic. Consequently, to need to provide alternatives to commuters (or, for that matter, commuting in the first place).

    If you reduce the amount of private traffic on the roads, you free up the road for trucks, buses and taxis.

    But, you need to provide that viable alternative.

  20. tonycanavan responded:

    Yes, it is possible to dedicate a road to trucks. For example, in Dublin a new road connection sets very high tolls for cars, effectively making it a truck-only route.
    Truck traffic is high profile, but in fact only a small percentage of total traffic. So it makes sense for freight routes like the Docklink Road in the port area, but is questionable in the broader context. We need to cater for the broad range of trips such as tradesmen, social trips, shopping trips and indeed the many public transport trips that use the roads as well..

  21. robhudson responded:

    Just a quick note to let you know that this forum has five minutes to go. I will be providing an overview of today’s forum, which will be posted later this afternoon on this website.

  22. millfordj responded:

    As an aside, we get a lot of truck movement down McCauley Road, Kensington, which is off the road alongside the docks.

  23. chrisg responded:

    2 million containers/year now is unsustainable for our climate.
    8 million is forecast - but is this a wish for the port of melborune corportation’s growth policy, or is it a government policy to achieve this?
    Does the government have a view that 8 million containers per year is desirable? Or could we improve out quality of life with less containers?

  24. chrisg responded:

    8 million containers of junk!

  25. millfordj responded:

    less consumables = less containers.

  26. robhudson responded:

    Thank you to everyone who has participated in today’s online forum. Details of any future forums will be posted on the Premier’s website.

    Additional comments can be sent to the Government via the Premier’s website. Formal submissions can still be made on the Eddington Report until the 15th. July.

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