New South Wales’ Parkes is set to become the new freight capital of Australia due to the town’s strategic location in the national logistics network.
Parkes Shire Council plans to use their geographical advantage by ‘preserving corridors for future development’, according to Anna Wyllie, the council’s economic and business development manager. Wyllie said that enough land has been made available in the last 10 years for the Parkes National Logistics Hub.
Parkes’ unique position in between the east, south and west of Australia will allow it to support cargo distribution nationwide by acting as a hub for logistics companies. The reserved land lots for future development projects mean that becoming the next freight centre in the country seems doable.
This initiative has paid off as the federal government set aside $8.4 billion for an Inland Rail project under the fiscal year 2017 budget. The development plan includes the construction of a freight network connection between Parkes and Narromine, which is scheduled to break ground this year. An improved hub complements the Australian government’s efforts to improve trade with other countries, highlighted by a recently signed, free trade agreement with Peru.
Free Trade Deal
Increased freight will also boost demand for support industries. Logistics and shipping companies in Australia will need to use more cord strap products and other cargo solutions once the country accepts more than 96 per cent of Peruvian products without tariffs. It will be a significant increase in exports, as shipments to Australia from Peru currently account for 0.4% of the latter’s exports.
Farm produce from Peru such as coffee, fresh grapes, avocados, mango, asparagus, cocoa, and artichokes will be among new export opportunities under the free trade agreement, according to Carlos Posada, Peru’s former Vice Minister of Foreign Trade.
Win Win Situation
Do you think Parkes is fit to become Australia’s next freight capital? Whether or not you agree, cargo operators need to consider how they can make more business from the town’s potential and the new free trade deal with Peru.