Work to start on ‘Hamburg-style’ Moorebank automated freight hub

A new, automated freight hub at Moorebank is planned to open in 2017, with the federal government approving a land development at the site.

Logistics company Qube Holdings and rail operator Aurizon will now go ahead with the $1.9 billion project, which will also include 850,000 square metres of warehousing space.

The Australian Financial Review reports that 240 hectares of government land adjoining the two companies’ land (about half the size of the government’s) will be put in trust. The government land is used by the Department of Defence.

The hub – located at the junction of the M5 and M7 Motorways – is predicted to eventually handle 1.05 million export/import containers a year, and 500,000 for interstate logistics.

Its aim is to improve links by rail to Port Botany, and to decrease truck traffic from western Sydney to Port Botany.

"This is going to be a highly sophisticated and automated operation," Dr Kerry Schott, chair of the Moorebank Intermodal Company, told The Australian Financial Review.

"The sort of thing you see if you go to Hamburg or some of the European ports, in Australia we've always done things in a pretty basic fashion."

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