Following are extracts from the NSW Ports publication: “Navigating the Future: NSW Ports’ 30 Year Master Plan, October 2015”.
Who we are
NSW Ports is a consortium of leading institutional investors: IFM Investors, Australian Super, Tawreed Investments Limited and Q Super, Cbus, Hesta and Hostplus. Our shareholders represent over five million Australian superannuation fund members and are long- term investors with interests in a range of Australian infrastructure assets.
NSW Ports’ 30 Year Master Plan presents our view on the actions required to create a sustainable port supply chain that will meet the needs of NSW over the next 30 years and beyond.
Over the next 30 years:
- Port Botany will remain Australia’s premium port and NSW’s primary container, bulk liquid and gas port servicing Australia’s largest population centre.
- Port Kembla, as the NSW port of growth, will continue to be NSW’s largest motor vehicle import hub and bulk grain export port while catering for a growing range of dry bulk, bulk liquid and general cargo. Port Kembla will also be home to NSW’s second container port.
Port Botany and Port Kembla combined will be required to cater for growing trade volumes over the next 30 years.
- Container volumes could more than triple from 2.3 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) to 8.4 million TEU.
- Bulk liquid volumes could more than double from 5.1 million kilolitres to 10.8 million kilolitres.
- Motor vehicles could more than double from 390,000 to 850,000 motor vehicles.
- Dry bulk products could grow from 20.3 million to 30 million tonnes.
We have identified the following five objectives to sustainably cater for forecast trade growth. This Master Plan identifies the requirements to deliver on these objectives.
- Provide efficient road connections to the ports and intermodal terminals
Efficient road connections to and from ports and intermodal terminals are vital to the efficient movement of freight and essential to be able to cater for the growing NSW freight task. While increased use of freight rail will assist in managing the growth in truck volumes, roads will continue to be the primary means of moving freight to and from ports and intermodal terminals. It is therefore essential that efficient road connections are available to ports and intermodal terminals.
- Grow rail transport of containers
Increasing the movement of containers by rail to and from Port Botany will assist the Port to maximise its throughput capacity. In this way, forecast container growth can be accommodated in a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable manner. We have set a target to move three million TEU per year by rail by 2045. Achieving this target requires action by all stakeholders involved in the container rail supply chain. The operation of intermodal terminals will be essential for achieving this target. The Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre and Cooks River Intermodal Terminal will be part of this solution, with both being inland extensions to Port Botany.
- Use land and infrastructure efficiently
Land and infrastructure within our ports and at our intermodal terminals is finite and in demand. Optimising the utilisation and productivity of existing land and infrastructure before investing in new land and infrastructure is at the core of our approach to sustainable asset management.
- Grow port capacity
Even with improved productivity and greater land utilisation, new infrastructure will be required to cater for forecast trade growth. The timing for increased capacity will depend on actual trade volumes, productivity improvements and wider market developments.
- Urban Encroachment
Ports and intermodal terminals need to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to meet the demand of businesses and consumers and to maximise productivity of significant asset investments. Activities at the ports and intermodal terminals will intensify to cater for growing trade volumes. These activities can impact on the amenity of sensitive land uses such as residential. Ports and intermodal terminals require protection from urban encroachment and redevelopment to higher-value land uses such as residential, retail and commercial uses in order to operate efficiently.
This Master Plan outlines our priorities and the actions we believe are required for a sustainable and efficient port supply chain well beyond the 30 year horizon. We have recognised that we cannot achieve the objectives that will ensure the ports and intermodal terminals can efficiently and sustainably cater for NSW’s future needs on our own. Many stakeholders will need to work in a coordinated and collaborative manner if we are to successfully deliver on this Plan.
The people of NSW rely on imported containers to supply the items they use every day, such as electronic goods, furniture, whitegoods and food. Australian products are loaded into containers and exported to overseas markets, filled with wine, farm produce, manufactured goods, wool, cotton and other goods. Container shipping connects NSW with the rest of the world and keeps the NSW economy functioning.
Port Kembla is NSW’s port of growth. Located south of Wollongong, Port Kembla is a key infrastructure asset for NSW and an economic driver in the Illawarra region.
Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre
The intermodal terminal will be able to accommodate 900 metre trains with port rail shuttles travelling 18 kilometres to and from Port Botany carrying full and empty containers. Cargo from regional trains will be transferred to shuttle trains destined for Port Botany, then regional trains will be loaded with empty containers to be repacked in the regions with products for export.
Cooks River Intermodal Terminal
The Cooks River Intermodal Terminal, ten kilometres by road and eight kilometres by rail from Port Botany, is directly connected to the Port by the Port Botany Freight Line. The Terminal is an inland extension to the Port and provides an important contribution to the container logistics freight task.
… The Intermodal Terminal offers container storage as well as facilities for the repair, washing and upgrading of empty containers and other ancillary container-related services. Trucking operators use it to deliver empty containers and collect full containers, optimising truck fleets and minimising the number of trucks travelling to Port Botany.
The Australian Government has been particularly focused on improving efficiencies in the freight logistics chain and identifying the need for efficient use of Australia’s existing infrastructure. The National Ports Strategy (2011) aims to facilitate trade growth and improve the efficiency of port related freight movements across infrastructure networks.
New South Wales Government
The NSW Government recognises the economic significance of both Port Botany and Port Kembla and the importance of creating efficiencies in the State’s logistic chain. The NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan (2012), NSW Freight and Port Strategy (2013), A Plan for Growing Sydney (2014) and the Draft Illawarra Regional Growth and Infrastructure Plan (2014) recognise the economic importance of the Ports including recommended actions to improve the logistics chain. The NSW Freight and Port Strategy outlines a number of actions to improve transport network capacity including the policy and planning requirements to achieve a sustainable transport network. Actions identified within these strategic policies:
- foster the delivery of an intermodal terminal network within metropolitan and regional areas
- embed freight requirements within planning schemes
- ensure planning decisions consider freight logistics needs and network implications such as truck route and truck access times
- facilitate increased rail capacity and use between Port Botany and intermodal terminals such as the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre
- implement measures to shift port-related truck movements into the off-peak period.
Road and rail transport companies and shipping lines are essential to the port logistics supply chain and can influence the performance and efficiency of the freight supply chain. To meet the growing freight task, transport companies will need to drive improvements in road transport efficiency by:
- increasing the number of TEU carried by each truck
- using more high productivity trucks
- increasing two-way truck loading
- spreading traffic through the 24/7 period
- investing in engines with greater efficiencies and reduced emissions.
Rail operators will need to drive improvements in rail productivity and growth in rail usage by:
- increasing the utilisation of each train
- increasing train two-way loading
- improving on-time running
- investing in new rolling stock with improved environmental standards.
With the number of empty containers forecast to grow, shipping lines will play an important role in reforming the way in which empty containers are managed. This will include reducing dwell times; de-hiring containers at intermodal terminals; planning in advance for the return of empty containers to vessels; maximising the return of empty containers by rail to port; and making sure facilities at stevedore terminals can accept empty container arrivals by rail. To meet overall growth, the logistics industry must operate on a 24/7 basis.
Planning and Investment in Infrastructure
Doing nothing is not an option. The port supply chain will not meet the long-term needs of NSW without action. Government policy will also need to ensure infrastructure delivery is not just focused on constructing new infrastructure, but also focuses on protecting the long-term efficient use of existing and future infrastructure.
At Port Botany
The majority of imported containers will remain destined for metropolitan Sydney, with 80 per cent delivered within a 40 kilometre radius from Port Botany. There will be a greater proportion of containers destined for west and south-west Sydney over this time period. More containers will be transported by rail, supported by a network of existing and new metropolitan intermodal terminals. We have set a target to transport three million TEU by rail by 2045, with the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal and Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre supporting this task.
Even with significant growth in containers moved by rail, trucks will remain the primary means of moving containers to and from Port Botany over the next 30 years. Managing the growth in truck numbers will be important to limit congestion at Port Botany and to limit impacts on the local community. Port truck traffic is, and will remain, a small component of the overall traffic volumes on Sydney’s roads. NSW Government agencies are tasked with managing the key arterials of the metropolitan road network – these are the connections that are vital to the efficient movement of freight.
… • Operations: Support actions to spread truck movements at the ports and intermodal terminals across the 24 hour and seven day week (24/7) to reduce traffic congestion.
… • Infrastructure: Facilitate increased mass limits on roads in and around the Port Botany precinct by strengthening the Bumborah Point Road bridge, Botany Road bridge and several culverts.
Maximising the transport of containers by rail between Port Botany and Sydney metropolitan intermodal terminals will be essential for cost-effective, efficient and sustainable container distribution throughout Sydney. Growth in use of rail will benefit the road networks surrounding the Ports by reducing the numbers of trucks. Significant growth in containers moved by rail will reduce the growth of trucks around the Port and will enable Port Botany to achieve its optimum capacity.
Port Botany will not achieve an annual container throughput of over seven million TEU without rail becoming a more significant component of the port logistics chain.
We have set a target of three million TEU per year to be transported by rail by 2045 – around 40 per cent of forecast container volumes. Achieving this target requires action by all stakeholders involved in the container rail supply chain including NSW Ports, all levels of government, rail operators, shipping lines, stevedores and intermodal operators.
Land and Infrastructure
Planning: Work with stevedores, Sydney Airport, Commonwealth aviation authorities and the Port Authority of NSW to address interface issues relating to future larger vessels and quay cranes.
Grow Port Capacity
- Infrastructure: Deepen isolated locations in the Port Botany Shipping Channel and Brotherson Dock to cater for unrestricted access by 10,000 TEU container vessels and Long Range 2 tanker vessels.
- Infrastructure: Facilitate early reclamation works in the Port Kembla Outer Harbour to support opportunities to use surplus clean material, such as from excavation projects. This will allow the Outer Harbour to be readily developed to meet demand.
- Infrastructure: Enable the development of additional container capacity, when required, at Port Botany through additional land area/berth length and/or at the Outer Harbour Development in Port Kembla.
- Infrastructure: Progressively develop the Hayes Dock Services Area to provide additional accommodation for small service boats such as lines boats and tugs.
Ports and intermodal terminals require protection from urban encroachment and redevelopment to higher-value land uses such as residential, retail and commercial uses in order to operate efficiently.
Industrial lands close to the Ports provide space for uses that do not require direct connectivity to berths but which benefit from proximity to the port. These lands are an extension to the Port precinct, supporting port-related uses and facilitating efficient movement of goods. Similarly, industrial lands around intermodal terminals facilitate container-related businesses close to rail hubs, reducing transport distances for containers. These lands need to be protected.
The consequence of reduced industrial land supply around the Ports and intermodal terminals is an increase in interface issues with surrounding residential areas. Port and intermodal-related activities can generate traffic, noise, light and aesthetic impacts on nearby areas. These impacts can increase as trade volumes grow. For these reasons, we need a buffer between port and intermodal related activities and any sensitive uses such as housing.
The planning system can no longer rely on design mitigation as the solution to addressing landuse conflict matters and allow industrial and sensitive uses to be developed side by side. Physical land separation and protection of industrial and employment lands from sensitive uses is required as a fundamental principal of good landuse planning policy.
Trade Demand – Containers
The primary form of trade through Port Botany is containers. Port Botany is expected to become Australia’s largest container port by volume in the next 30 years. Containers are forecast to grow from 2.3 million TEU now to between 7.5 million and 8.4 million TEU per year by 2045. The key drivers of container growth through Port Botany are domestic demand, population growth, the strength of the NSW economy, the value of the Australian dollar, levels of domestic manufacturing, government trade policies and the location of key distribution centres.
What’s in the box
Growth of full import containers over the next 30 years will be stronger than full export containers, resulting in an increase in empty container exports from 62 per cent of exports now to more than 74 per cent by 2045.
Container trade from Asia dominates container imports and exports through Port Botany. This is expected to remain for the next 30 years, with direct European services expected to be replaced with transhipments via Asia.
Over 80 per cent of import containers through Port Botany are delivered within a 40 kilometres radius of the Port, remaining within metropolitan Sydney. The goods associated with those 80 per cent of import containers are either destined for the Sydney market or are unpacked at Sydney-based distribution centres, repackaged, and distributed to regional NSW or interstate.
While we expect this trend to continue, there will be an upward shift in the proportion of containers destined for Sydney’s western and south-western suburbs, especially to the local government areas of Blacktown, Fairfield, Holroyd and Liverpool, due to the availability of large parcels of land and the lower cost of land for the development and operation of distribution centres in these local government areas.
Port Botany’s three container terminals have 3.6 kilometres of quayline and 147 hectares of land. Each is accessed via a different intersection off Foreshore Road and Botany Road. Container terminal capacity is sensitive to factors such as terminal operating practices, vessel scheduling, vessel size, container dwell times and truck arrival patterns. We have assessed the container handling capacity of Port Botany’s combined container terminals to be at least 7.2 million TEU per year.
Road and Rail Connectivity
Without improvements to the road and rail connections to Port Botany, the Port will not achieve an annual container throughput of over seven million TEU. Even with a focus on growing container movements by rail, trucks will continue to be the primary means of moving containers to and from Port Botany over the next 30 years. We will advocate for investment in road infrastructure that provides efficient access to the Port to meet forecast growth in the face of growing background traffic.
Truck volumes at Port Botany are forecast to increase from 3,900 to between 6,300 and 6,900 trucks per day in 2045. Growth in trucks will be managed through a gradual increase in rail mode share to 40 per cent and greater use of higher productivity vehicles with increased two-way loading to grow truck capacity utilisation to 80 per cent so that the number of TEU carried per truck to and from the Port grows and trucks do not travel empty. Without these improvements, truck volumes would be higher, growing to between 8,800 and 9,900 trucks per day. We will also manage impacts on peak congestion if we can achieve more uniform truck distribution over 24/7 operations.
The roads and intersections immediately surrounding the Port, including Bumborah Point Road, are managed by the NSW Government. Within the next 10 years, critical intersections immediately adjoining the Port at Foreshore Road/Botany Road/Penrhyn Road and Botany Road/Bumborah Point Road will require upgrades to accommodate forecast traffic growth. Road widening works for Foreshore Road and Bumborah Point Road, together with other traffic upgrade works on Bumborah Point Road, will also be required within 10 to 20 years. Any new high traffic-generating non-port developments, such as higher density housing and retail developments, could adversely impact road service levels around the Port. We will encourage planning authorities to consider these developments carefully and only in the context of suitable road upgrades to accommodate such developments.
We believe the scope of the WestConnex project should be expanded to meet the needs of the port freight supply chain for the Sydney metropolitan area. We will therefore advocate for the intersection between Foreshore Road and General Holmes Drive (both left and right turns in and out of the Port) to be improved to achieve suitable truck linkages from Port Botany to the M5 East and the new WestConnex. Ideally a freight dedicated corridor would provide a link to the main road corridors.
To grow the volume of containers moved by freight rail we need to begin by resolving operational issues and make rail more reliable and cost-effective.
The introduction of mandatory performance standards for rail service providers and stevedores will address current operational issues provided they cover minimum lift rates at stevedore terminals, on-time running of trains, window availability, standardisation of train lengths, dedicated trains and minimum train utilisation. The existing rail infrastructure at Port Botany has capability to handle one million TEU based on realistic productivity levels. Allocation of additional equipment and labour to rail operations, together with the required improvement in rail operation performance, will allow this capacity to be realised.
Growing capacity at the Port can be achieved through staged investment in additional rail sidings and the use of rail mounted gantry cranes. Rail mounted gantry cranes span over a number of sidings while maintaining lift rates and train turnaround times, thereby increasing the overall capacity of the rail facilities. Sufficient port land is available to develop the stevedores’ rail terminals to cater for three million TEU on rail.
While each stevedore currently has its own dedicated rail sidings which connect to the Port Botany Freight Line, stevedores may choose to share rail facilities in the future to maximise efficiencies.
Moving three million TEU per year by rail will require up to 56 port shuttle trains over a 24 hour period arriving and departing the Port via the Port Botany Freight Line. Currently about 16 trains per day use this line.
We understand from work conducted by ARTC that the Port Botany Freight Line will have capacity to cater for the forecast port shuttle volumes once the line has been duplicated between Port Botany and Mascot and operational improvements on the line have been implemented.
Duplicating the line between Port Botany and Mascot is an important element of securing increased capacity and reliability of the freight rail network. Duplication work needs to be progressed as a priority to ensure there is redundancy for the existing single line but also to minimise the impact to rail operations during the works. As the duplication works are complex and will occur in an operational and narrow rail corridor, undertaking the works before rail volumes significantly grow, is essential.
Capacity improvements on rail beyond the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre, for example passing loops near Warwick Farm on the Southern Sydney Freight Line, will also be required to cater for the growth of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and future intermodal terminals in western Sydney.
Operations at Port Botany occur within an increasingly constrained environment. Urban encroachment on the Port, port-related lands, road and rail connections, and industrial lands could impact operational efficiency of the freight logistics network and compromise the Port’s capacity.
Industrial Land Supply
Industrial lands close to the Port provide space for uses that do not require direct connectivity to berths and which benefit from proximity to the Port. These lands are an extension to the Port precinct. Over the next 30 years, the volume of containers having a destination within 10 kilometres of the port is forecast to triple.
Container-related activities require large paved areas for container stacking and other transport operations, and warehousing for container pack and unpack activities. Land larger than two hectares is more attractive for container related uses.
Of the 390 hectares of industrial land surrounding Port Botany, 219 hectares is made up of lot sizes exceeding two hectares. Few vacant sites are found within this area where container handling is permitted.
Urban encroachment and pressure from higher-value land uses such as residential, retail and commercial uses impact the supply of industrial lands close to the Port. A recent NSW Government report found that between 2006 and 2014, 223 hectares of industrial land in Sydney was rezoned for business uses. In 2015, a further 124 hectares of industrial land was rezoned in the Southern Sydney Employment Lands precinct for residential and business uses.
Port activities can generate traffic, noise, light and aesthetic impacts on nearby areas. These impacts can increase as trade volumes grow, due to greater intensity of activities and 24/7 operations. For these reasons, we need a buffer between port activities and any sensitive uses such as housing.
The consequence of reduced industrial land supply around the Port has led to an increase in interface issues between the Port and surrounding residential areas. Noise-related complaints have been received from residents up to two kilometres from the Port.
We aim to operate in harmony with the surrounding environment; however, this is not practical if residential development exists 200 metres from port operations as is the current case.
Port Botany is located close to Sydney Airport. Port operations and developments must consider the regulatory environment related to airport operations. All current quay cranes at Port Botany have appropriate approvals in place to intrude into Sydney Airport’s protected airspace known as the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS).
For the Port to accommodate forecast container trade growth and for port operations to remain cost effective and competitive, there will be a need to install more, and in some cases higher, quay cranes. Future vessels, depending on their physical height, their loading utilisation and the tidal levels, may also intrude into the OLS when operating in the Port’s navigational areas.
We therefore foresee further intrusions into the OLS but no penetration of the critical protection surfaces associated with the Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Aircraft Operations (PANS-OPS).
We will work with Sydney Airport, stevedores, Commonwealth aviation authorities and the Port Authority of NSW to address interface issues relating to larger vessels and quay cranes. Appropriate aeronautical assessments will be undertaken and approvals sought to ensure that the port and airport can jointly grow to their full potential supporting the Sydney and NSW economy.
Trucks travelling around Sydney Airport on Qantas Drive and trains on the Port Botany Freight Line currently penetrate the OLS. With growth in both truck and train volumes required, we will work with government and airport stakeholders in relation to interface issues.
Moving up to three million TEU by rail requires a network of metropolitan intermodal terminals connected to Port Botany by a dedicated freight rail network. It also requires the mandatory performance standards to address current rail operational issues.
Intermodal terminals facilitate landside transport-logistics efficiencies. They offer a sustainable and practical transport solution to meet the challenge of Sydney’s growing freight volumes. They allow containers to be loaded onto rail at Port Botany for transportation to intermodal terminals throughout Sydney, getting containers closer to their end destination and reducing the distance travelled by trucks.
They also allow export and empty containers to be returned to the Port by rail from an intermodal terminal, further reducing the distance travelled by trucks. Where warehouse/distribution centres adjoin an intermodal terminal, containers can be transferred between the warehouse and the intermodal terminal without travelling on the external road network.
Transport operators that use intermodal terminals reduce the distance travelled by their trucks, making better use of their truck fleet.
Port Botany is serviced by trains from the Cooks River, Minto and Yennora intermodal terminals and, from 2015, intermodal terminals at Chullora and Enfield.
Collectively, these intermodal terminals do not have sufficient capacity to meet the forecast freight task. Future intermodal terminals at Moorebank, Eastern Creek and Badgerys Creek, all with dedicated freight rail access, will be critical to meeting future rail demand.
The transportation of containers by rail to the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre is cost competitive against road transportation within a catchment extending from Enfield, west to Penrith, north to Baulkham Hills and south to Campbelltown. Currently 430,000 TEU have been estimated as being contestable for rail transport via Enfield and this is forecast to grow to 1.7 million TEU by 2045.
The Cooks River Intermodal Terminal has eight sidings with a total length of 4.5 kilometres. It currently handles 330,000 TEU per year, which could increase to about 500,000 TEU subject to some site reconfiguration, increased use of port shuttle trains and optimisation of the average container storage time on site.
Further capacity increases would be possible with the introduction of rail mounted gantry crane operations over existing rail sidings and reduced container storage time on site.
Capacity improvements on rail beyond the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre, for example passing loops near Warwick Farm on the Southern Sydney Freight Line, will also be required to cater for the growth of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and future intermodal terminals in western Sydney.
Port Kembla – Containers
When completed, Port Kembla’s Outer Harbour Development will cater for NSW’s future container trade volumes. Planned for operation once Port Botany nears capacity, the Outer Harbour Development may be completed sooner if an operator wishes to develop a container terminal at Port Kembla prior to this time.
The Maldon-Dombarton Line could unlock the potential of Port Kembla and maximise rail transport of bulk products. It would free up capacity for commuter needs on the Illawarra Line while providing a more direct rail connection to the Sydney metropolitan freight network.
The rail infrastructure requirements for an Outer Harbour container terminal would involve reconfiguration and upgrades of the internal port rail network. The Maldon-Dombarton Line will be important for the efficient movement of containers between the Port and the growth areas of western Sydney.
Regional Container Exports
Port Botany Regional container exports through Port Botany originate from the North West, Central West, Riverina, Hunter and Southern Inland NSW regions.
Containerised exports from regional NSW via Port Botany include: grain, meat and timber from the Central West; paper products, grain, wine and meat from the Riverina; and wheat, canola, fava beans, chickpeas, cereals, assorted grains and cotton from the North West.
We expect modest growth in regional container volume exports over the next 30 years. However, with improved transport connections to Port Botany, more regional containers would be exported via Port Botany over this time horizon.
Many operational issues affect the efficiency, reliability and viability of regional rail. These in turn affect the logistics costs of exports and hence the selection of export port. Specific issues to be addressed include:
- availability of rail services to the port
- availability of rail windows at the port to service regional trains
- on-time running of regional trains
- ability to service and accommodate long trains
- regional trains calling at multiple stevedore terminals at Port Botany
- underutilisation of available slots on regional trains
- loading of trains with empty containers for return to the regional areas
- competing uses of rail, from passenger and other freight demands, resulting in limited path availability.
These issues can be addressed through a combination of infrastructure investment and operational performance standards, as recommended for metropolitan rail.
Addressing these issues is important to provide effective container export connections to Port Botany. At present, some produce sourced from southern NSW is exported via the Port of Melbourne and some produce sourced from northern NSW is exported via the Port of Brisbane. Effective rail connections, improved intermodal infrastructure and regular rail services to Port Botany will make Port Botany a competitive alternative for product currently being exported via these interstate ports.
Port Botany has the additional advantage of being able to supply empty containers, which can be back-loaded onto trains and returned to the regions for filling.
We will advocate for investment in regional rail infrastructure in support of access to Port Botany, including as part of the NSW Government’s rail sidings investment program. The NSW Government has committed three more years of investment under this program.
The Inland Rail project is not expected to improve connections from the regions to Port Botany or Port Kembla.