Now is the time for us to ask the big questions about how freight will move to and from the new terminal, over the next 100 years. Will it be mainly by road or rail? How can we make it sustainable? What emerging technologies could completely change freight transportation?
Taking a long-term, strategic approach to planning Westport is investigating what technologies are likely to become available this century, and how community expectations will shift over this time. We are often asked if we are considering electric vehicles, higher freight volumes on rail, and global changes to shipping trends. The answer is yes. Designing an efficient, world-leading, and sustainable terminal and supply chain is key to the success of the Westport Program.
It is an exciting time to be planning long-term infrastructure, with significant developments in the transport and energy sectors. Technologies such as electric vehicles, hydrogen power, automated rail, could be the norm in the next 50 years. That’s why we are planning for innovation, building flexibility into our design, and empowering our team and stakeholders to explore innovative solutions.
Westport’s Managing Director Patrick Seares described the program as a “Greenfield opportunity” and says now is the time to challenge the way that “things are done.”
“We want industry, academics, researchers, the community and government to come to us with their ideas. Nothing is off the table; we want to consider as many options as possible to achieve the best possible outcomes for our state,” Patrick said.
“Already, through projects such as Westport’s Landside Logistics Opportunities Study, we have sought input from the users of today’s supply chain on what the current system lacks, where it is inefficient and how it could be improved.”
Going forward, Westport will be refining design options through the Supply Chain Integrated Design Project and will be testing options that incorporate electric vehicles, increased rail freight volumes and other innovative solutions.
This article featured in the September 2022 of Westport's Navigate Newsletter.