Sydney, NSW


Transport for NSW


Australia conducts 98% of its international trade through ports. Port Botany, Australia’s second largest container port accounts for almost a third of Australia’s total container trade. Port Botany will continue to play a key role supporting the NSW and Australian economy as the population of NSW continues to grow, particularly within Sydney.

Sydney’s growing population and economy are driving the demand for goods – especially imports moved by containers – placing increasing pressure on existing rail and road networks. Western Sydney plays a critical role in NSW supply chains. It is estimated that the total volume of containerised freight that has its origin or destination in Western Sydney will reach over 4 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) by 2041. Investment in freight network capacity will be important for enabling this growth and supporting the future needs of NSW communities and businesses.

Full import destinations, NSW (2041)

Economic Analysis of the Sydney Intermodal Terminal

The NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 and other policy documents identify the need for a dedicated freight line and new intermodal freight terminal (IMT) to support the growing NSW freight task. Infrastructure Australia estimates that the total savings from protection and early acquisition of Western Sydney Freight Line and IMT access is potentially up to $1.6 billion.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) commissioned NineSquared and Neil Matthews Consulting (NMC) to undertake an economic analysis of the benefits of the Western Sydney IMT within the Mamre Road Precinct of Western Sydney Employment Area (WSEA). The study builds on previous work undertaken by TfNSW and will inform the proposed rezoning of the Mamre Road Precinct and future protection of an IMT for Western Sydney.

Our role

Our role in this engagement included:

  • Assessing the strategic case (‘case for change’) for holding the land for a future intermodal terminal in Western Sydney.
  • Undertaking an economic assessment of the potential benefits of the IMT development which included:
    • Catchment and terminal demand analysis to determine the likely markets (volumes) the terminal may serve and the degree of contestability of these markets
    • Preliminary economic evaluation of the economic, social and environmental benefits as a result of the development.
  • Reviewing the planning procedures required to reserve the land for the development of an intermodal terminal.
  • Facilitating an industry forum to seek feedback from developers, landowners and community stakeholders on the Draft Structure Plan for the Mamre Road Precinct and options for preserving land for a future Western Sydney IMT.
  • Presenting options to protect and/or acquire the intermodal terminal land/s for the future development of an Intermodal Terminal. This included potential staged approaches and interim land use options for the site.

Results and relevance

In June 2020, NSW Government approved the rezoning of the Mamre Road Precinct which includes protection of a site for the future development of the Western Sydney Intermodal Terminal, with revisions to the proposed IMT site supported by industry.

Click here for more information about the Mamre Road Precinct. 
Related Projects:

Strategic Review of the Victorian Empty Container Supply Chain

Strategy Development & Review Transport Economics

Phil Bullock


Uphaar Mehta

Government Transport

Impact Analysis and Regulatory Impact Statement for Australia’s Accession to the Athens Convention

Regulatory Impact Assessments Economics Research & Analysis

Rachael Marshall


Megan Roberts


Evelyn Bratchford

Senior Analyst
Related Insights:

The positive impact of Covid-19 on road fatalities

Transport Economics

Evelyn Bratchford

Senior Analyst
Transport Environment

Electric buses need the right energy mix to be a green alternative to diesel

Transport Economics Economics Research & Analysis