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CSIRO Supply Chain Mapping

Collaborating with CSIRO: Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping Study

The results from a pilot study looking at the potential transport cost savings available from Inland Rail were announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, on 21 March 2019.

The results demonstrate an average transport cost savings of $76 per tonne, when shifting specific agricultural supply chains from road to Inland Rail.

Read the executive summary:

Read the full report:

Expanding the evidence base

The Australian Government is committed to maximising the benefits of the inter-generational Inland Rail.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was commissioned by  the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities to apply its Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT) to Inland Rail as part of a pilot study in the Parkes, Dubbo and Narromine regions.

TraNSIT provides an evidence base for industries to maximise transport cost savings. It uses a ground up approach that optimises transport routes between enterprises and their markets – a key consideration in Australia, which is characterised by long supply chains with large distances between production, processing and markets.

The tool’s outputs inform operational, investment and regulatory decisions and freight supply chain strategies from a local to the national scales.

Key findings

Reduce supply chain costs

The pilot study found that an average transport cost saving of $76 (or a range of $64-$94) per tonne could be achieved for horticulture and post-processed food supply chains when shifting from road to Inland Rail.

For horticulture products currently transported by rail on the coastal line there is a potential average transport cost saving of $31 per tonne when shifting to Inland Rail.

Reduce heavy vehicle congestion

The analysis indicates a substantial benefit to the community in the study area through a reduction of up to 63,000 heavy vehicle trips per year along various segments of the Newell Highway.

The study area in numbers

  • 40% more post-processed food is destined for the study area’s market than leaves for domestic locations elsewhere.
  • 71% of all freight movements associated with the study area, pass through the study area.
  • roughly 923,000 tonnes of horticulture and post-processed agriculture are set to benefit from using Inland Rail.
  • 80.5% of horticulture freight passes through the study area and is the largest contributor of traffic on the Newell Highway in the study area out of all the commodities analysed.
  • 14.9% of total freight for the study area has an origin within the study area, with grains and fuels prominent.

The pilot study

The pilot tested the suitability of TraNSIT to analyse existing regional freight supply chains. TraNSIT was applied to model supply chain movements, costs and transport durations for horticulture and post-processed food that pass through the Parkes to Narromine region of New South Wales.

TraNSIT has been used in previous research to test the benefits of road upgrades and calculate transport benefits for industry and various levels of government.

Future work

During 2019, the study will be expanded to include further supply chains and capture a broader geographic region, from Narromine (NSW) to Seymour (Victoria).

The department will be working closely with State Governments, local councils and other key stakeholders to ensure the project complements local land use planning and freight network strategies.

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