Intermodal Group and Qube link in WA

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  • Plant & Equipment

Strategic partnership aims to fast-track growth of Perth container intermodal business



Intermodal Group (IMG) and Qube Logistics have agreed to join forces in Western Australia and leverage both organisations’ capability in the container freight handling market.

IMG is the operator of North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT) and manages the inland Forrestfield Intermodal Terminal (FIT), where significant volumes of containers are transported on rail to and from Fremantle Port.

"This strategic partnership with Qube is all about bringing onboard an astute investor with strong industry expertise that will bring considerable container volumes onto rail and assist with IMG plans to expand services and terminals to meet growing demand in WA," IMG chair Grant Thompson says.

"We have worked closely with our customers and key stakeholders to achieve record growth in container numbers through the NQRT over the past 12 months and having Qube onboard only strengthens IMG’s capability."

Qube emphasises the strategic opportunity the alliance partners gain from the deal

"Partnering with IMG was the obvious choice for us in WA," Qube director logistics John Digney says.

"IMG have a well‐established and successful business model and with Qube’s market share of container volumes and supply chain expertise, IMG will grow rapidly and importantly enable the state government to better manage container freight in and out of Fremantle Port by moving more containers on rail.

"We are looking forward to being part of IMG and as with elsewhere in Australia, rail being a core part of our business model for many years to come."

Concurrently, newspaper The West Australian reports that Qube has taken a solid minority interest in the ownership of IMG from its owner, the US railroad firm Watco Companies. In response, a Qube spokesperson referred ATN to the announcement.

IMG notes that, with the NQRT Management Agreement currently out to tender by Fremantle Ports, the partnership will strengthen existing plans to significantly grow rail volumes and enable improved operating efficiencies at NQRT to reduce costs and increase volumes between the container wharves and the rail terminal.

It points out that the proposed development and investment in inland intermodal terminals to attract greater volumes of containers onto rail remains a high priority.

IMG intends to continue working closely with its customers, industry and government stakeholders to facilitate the required investment to drive greater volumes onto rail and through NQRT.

"Providing our customers with reliable, quality service is the key to maintaining momentum with the growth of container volumes on rail," Thompson says.

"IMG brings the experience of successfully operating NQRT as an open access terminal for the past 10 years.

"We strongly believe continuity in operations at NQRT, improved wharf interfaces, continued support from the state government and the development of appropriate inland intermodal facilities to attract container volumes onto rail underpins the ultimate success of this strategy."


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