Freight figures well on track
MORE containers are arriving at Fremantle Port via rail than other major city ports across the country.
An ACCC report said Fremantle Port was leading the nation for freight on rail, being 57 per cent higher than the national average.
Fremantle’s percentage of freight on rail increased from 16 per cent in 2017-18 to 18.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19.
The port was the only one in the country to experience an increase in freight on rail in the past financial year.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said freight and trade was part of the government’s integrated plan.
“Other initiatives (include) planning for intermodal terminals, long-term planning for the Inner and Outer harbours through Westport, and making road improvements to ease congestion,” she said.
The report attributed the increase to a rail subsidy increase from $30 to $50 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).
Curtin University professor of sustainability Peter Newman said the result was good but needed to be qualified.
“The increase has happened because of the increased subsidy given to rail,” he said.
“This is not as good a result as having a new port where rail is structurally more sensible to use for exports and imports.
“Rail freight is much better as trucks going through the city create too many issues.”