Issues in Dry Port Location and Implementation in Metropolitan Areas: The Case of Sydney, Australia
The basic idea behind the concept of a dry port is a more efficient seaport access, movement of the seaport’s interface inland with the shift of flows from road to rail. The application of the concept results in a reduction of road transport to/from the seaport together with the associated broad social and environmental benefits. This paper examines the complex factors influencing the timeframes and location of close inland intermodal terminals with dry port characteristics - metropolitan intermodal terminals, as they are usually referred to - and their implementation, with a case study of the Sydney metropolitan region and Port Botany, Australia. The issues surrounding suburban freight terminals are a sub-set of the wider social and environmental problems of the interactions of seaports with their hinterland. Port Botany and its close inland intermodal terminals are very distinctive: there are very few ports in the world with such a well-developed network of close inland intermodal terminals. Nevertheless, the Moorebank terminal was first mooted in 2003 but the latest plans anticipate operations commencing in 2018. The paper illustrates some problematic aspects of long timeframes for the development of significant freight infrastructure.