News story

Forklift operators needed for rural freight centre

Thursday, 27 July 2006 ( #270 ) - PARKES, NSW, Australia
by Daphne Haneman

Australian east-west rail transport and logistics company SCT Logistics needs more forklift operators for its new AUD12 million (USD9.15 million) rail freight centre in the New South Wales town of Parkes.

SCT, a Melbourne-based family business with more than 700 staff, was the first private company in Australia to operate a non-government rail freight service.

SCT operations manager Mark Krzeminski said the new freight centre would be completed in October. It would include a 7,400 square metre transit warehouse and a 3,000 square metre container unloading hard stand area.

"We'll need an operator for a double-stacking, 60-tonne fully loaded container and 12 2.5 tonne to 4.5 tonne forklift operators."
He said the forklifts would probably be hired as part of an ongoing arrangement with Powerlift Australia Pty Ltd.

Parkes, on the Newell Highway, is a major junction between Australia's eastern seaboard cities of Melbourne and Brisbane. It is 365 km from Sydney.

A Parkes Shire Council statement said Parkes was "literally the crossroads of the nation because of its strategic location on the north/south road and east/west rail corridor" and connected Australia's capital cities.

SCT general manager property Michael Zerbst said Parkes was an ideal location for forwarding freight by rail to Western Australia.

Using rail instead of trucks was important environmentally and economically.

"We keep freight costs down, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by getting trucks off the road at Parkes, and reduce road trauma," he said.

"We will bring freight from Brisbane and Sydney to Parkes for railing direct to Perth."

Parkes Shire Council said the new rail terminal brought the area closer to its dream of becoming the "Chicago of Australia".

Zerbst said at first there would be a weekly 1.8km-long train. The demand for forklift operators could increase after rail services rose to two or three trains a week.

He said SCT Logistics founder and chief executive officer Peter Smith raised the idea for the freight centre.
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