Freight solutions

In by SEM

The South East Freight Hub

South East Melbourne is one of Australia’s most important manufacturing regions.

SEM is calling for a comprehensive freight strategy for South East Melbourne to ensure that our region remains competitive nationally and internationally. This includes the development of a plan for Port of Hastings.

Why the South East Freight Hub is necessary

With almost 40 per cent of all shipping containers passing through the Port of Melbourne either originating from, or arriving in the south east, South East Melbourne (SEM) recognise the need for new infrastructure solutions to ease and assist freight transportation in the region.

One project that will assist in this is the South East Freight Hub (also known as the Dandenong South Inland Port). If built, the port would offer an onsite rail terminal operating frequent rail services to and from the Port of Melbourne, not only reducing congestion but also costs to importers and exporters.

A critical component of the project is the extension of the rail network to the inland port site, a connection the Government is yet to commit funding for. Without the connecting rail line the project can’t go ahead, and so the freight hub has hit a standstill.

A freight rail link and freight hub in Melbourne’s  south-east would:

  • take thousands of trucks off local roads and the Monash Freeways
  • significantly lower costs for importers, exporters, consumers and businesses (road freight is 50% more expensive than rail freight)
  • create 6100 local jobs in the south east when  completed
  • create 2800 jobs during construction
  • ease congestion 
  • help air quality, cutting transport related emissions by an estimated 66 per cent per for each shipping container transported by rail, and;
  • provide competition to road freight operators

Key asks: Declare South East Melbourne a nationally significant freight zone, create a freight plan for the South East, including a plan for the Port of Hastings, and build the connecting rail spur to the South East Freight Hub site.

If you want to know how you can help SEM advocate for this project, please contact us on