Inland Rail is a major national infrastructure project that will deliver direct and indirect benefits to regional producers and industries. Capitalising on Inland Rail’s full potential to support these industries requires a robust understanding of the characteristics of local supply chains, including transport distribution patterns.
The Parkes to Narromine Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping pilot project was designed to apply the capability of CSIRO’s Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TraNSIT) to the underlying data to identify and assess any competitiveness improvements in certain supply chains due to Inland Rail.
A baseline of existing freight movements associated with the study area was established using TraNSIT, with input from stakeholders, to model any potential transport cost savings for supply chains should they use Inland Rail. The pilot project sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of TraNSIT as a means of modelling complex supply chains at the national and local level.
While some further refinements will be made to the analysis as the project is rolled out along the Inland Rail corridor, the pilot demonstrated:
- the ability of TraNSIT to identify potential supply chains that might benefit from Inland Rail
- the relative significance of the potential transport savings, and
- the potential for modal shift from road to rail as a consequence of lower transport costs.
The results of this pilot are preliminary and will be tested further in subsequent phases of the project.