Key freight projects

The Victorian Government's freight plan, Delivering the Goods, will ensure Victoria’s freight and logistics system meets the needs of a growing population and economy.

Mode Shift Incentive Scheme

The Mode Shift Incentive Scheme is an incentive program that encourages industry to shift more containerised freight from road to rail.

Its aim is to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness in the freight sector and reduce congestion on roads in and around freight and port precincts.

In the 2014-15 State Budget, the Victorian Government invested $20 million over four years to continue the scheme until June 2018.

The 2018-19 State Budget provided $4 million to extend funding until 30 June 2019, while the Victorian Government considers options for the scheme beyond that time.

Current recipients are:

  • Shepparton corridor – Linx Portlink (Tocumwal)
  • Horsham corridor – Wimmera Container Line (Dooen)
  • Warrnambool corridor – Westvic Container Export (Dennington)
  • Mildura corridor – Iron Horse Intermodal (Merbein)

Intermodal terminals

An intermodal terminal is a location for the transfer of freight from one transport mode to another: for example between road and rail.

Intermodal hubs can play an important role in easing the transport burden on the ports and neighbouring areas. They are also essential if rail is to increase its role in the freight transport and distribution system.

A range of initiatives that seek to increase the volume of freight carried on rail, focuses on Victoria’s three rail markets.

  • Interstate, mainly inter-capital city freight, which operates over long distances on the ARTC standard-gauge network
  • Regional, mainly export trade from regional Victoria and southern NSW, which generally operates over shorter distances on the V/Line controlled broad-gauge network although also uses the southern NSW regional rail network to get to the Port of Melbourne
  • Metropolitan port-rail shuttles, which is a prospective market for rail and is currently handled almost exclusively by trucks on the arterial road network.

Terminal locations: metropolitan

Locality Operator
Altona Qube Logistics
Spotswood Sadleirs
Laverton SCT Logistics
Dynon VicTrack
South Dynon Pacific National
East Swanson Dock Patrick
West Swanson Dock DP World
Victoria Dock Qube Logistics
Somerton Austrak

Terminal locations: regional

Locality Operator
Donald Oeaco Ltd
Dooen SCT Logistics
Maryvale Qube Logistics
Merbein Iron Horse International
Tocumwal Gray's Container Terminal
Mooroopna Qube Logistics
Warrnambool (Dennington) Westvic Container Handling
Deniliquin SunRice

Western Interstate Freight Terminal

The proposed Western Interstate Freight Terminal will include the construction of an interstate rail freight terminal and warehousing precinct at Truganina in Melbourne’s west and a rail link to the interstate rail freight network.

At present, interstate containers bound for distribution in Melbourne are railed to terminals at Dynon, next to the Port of Melbourne, and then trucked to the outer suburbs. The Dynon terminals have limited space and capacity and can be difficult to access.

The WIFT will move freight more efficiently by providing modern terminal facilities closer to the warehouse precincts in Melbourne's west, reducing the time and length of truck trips. It will also reduce freight traffic through the inner west by removing the need for trains and trucks to bring interstate freight into the Dynon precinct.

The WIFT will be key to the success of the Commonwealth’s Inland Rail project, which is expected to accommodate longer trains with double-stacked containers, which cannot be efficiently accommodated at Dynon. Both projects are expected to be operational by 2025.

The 2018-19 State Budget included funding to commence the business case for the WIFT.

Port Rail Shuttle

The Australian and Victorian governments are investing in projects to take trucks off local roads and connect the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs using the existing rail network.

The Federal Government has committed $38 million to the initiative along with $20 million from the Victorian Government.

In 2017, Expressions-of-Interest (EOIs) were invited from private industry to deliver a series of rail freight shuttle initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.

In March 2018, shortlisted respondents were invited to submit firm proposals by June so any grant allocations can be determined by late 2018.

Following a public, competitive request-for-proposal process, $16.2 million will be invested at Austrak in Somerton and $9.5 million at SCT Logistics in Altona to connect these major freight hubs to the Port of Melbourne by rail.

These are the first fully-funded Port Rail Shuttle network projects - further project funding will be announced.

Murray Basin Rail Project

The Murray Basin Rail Project will deliver important upgrades Victoria's rail freight network to meet increasing demand for freight services.

The project will drive economic growth, create jobs and provide a major boost to the transport industry, agricultural sector and regional communities.

Bridge strengthening for freight

A program of bridge strengthening is designed to bolster the productivity of the freight network by increasing the capacity of the road and rail overpasses that dot the network.

Bridge strengthening delivers an immediate efficiency dividend by better connecting Victoria’s freight to its destination.

The program that is particularly beneficial to Victoria’s primary producers, who rely on road transport for at least the first leg - and often the entire journey - to port.

Bridges with access restrictions force road transport operators to use vehicles with less payload capacity to move freight less efficiently or use more circuitous routes to service their customers, adding cost and damaging Victoria’s export competitiveness.

Most Victorian bridges were built when the heaviest combination on the network was only 33 tonnes. Even a number of freeways built as recently as the 1990s have overpasses unable to cater for the industry’s most efficient road-freight combinations.

Up to date information on current and proposed bridge strengthening projects can be found on the "HPFV B-Double" and "HPFV A-Doubles" maps on the VicRoads website.

High productivity freight vehicles

Vehicles designed to higher safety standards that emit fewer noise and exhaust emissions are moving more freight with less impact.

The community and the freight industry are sharing the benefits of the more widespread use of road-freight combinations that are quieter, cleaner and feature technological innovations that boost safety.

Industries involved in the freight and supply chain systems can access more information at:

West Gate Tunnel

The West Gate Tunnel will enable permanent curfews on parts of Francis Street, Moore Street and Somerville Road while allowing high-productivity freight vehicles direct access to Swanson Dock at the Port of Melbourne.

North East Link

The North East Link will connect the freight-generating areas of the metropolitan south east with regional and interstate markets, while clearing residential areas of heavy truck traffic.