Western Sydney Airport CEO Graham Millett says Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport has the potential to become Sydney’s most important freight hub.
He was speaking after the announcement that 10 of Australia’s major freight companies have entered memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Western Sydney Airport.
The MOUs will see Western Sydney Airport work with the air freight industry to design concepts for an on-airport freight precinct and begin discussions about potential operations from Sydney’s new airport.
“The airport’s unrestricted 24/7 operations will be the key to unlocking new export opportunities for businesses and producers across Western Sydney and NSW,” Mr Millett said.
“Goods produced in NSW will no longer have to be trucked to Brisbane or Melbourne in order to reach lucrative Asian markets overnight.”
Freight companies signing up to work with Western Sydney Airport on concepts for the air freight hub include Australia Post (including StarTrack), DB Schenker, DHL Express, DSV Air and Sea, FedEx, Menzies Aviation, Swissport, Qantas Freight, Skyroad Logistics and Wymap.
“The fact that Western Sydney International will be able to operate domestic and international freight services around the clock presents an enormous growth opportunity for the industry and is a clear win for consumers,’’ said Nick McGlynn, the chief customer officer for Qantas Freight.
Australia Post chief operating officer Bob Black said: “Western Sydney International will change how we develop our business.
“The ability to operate 24/7 will mean we can provide greater speed, flexibility and choice to our customers both here in Australia and around the world as ecommerce continues to boom.’’
Mr Millett said insights from these international freight leaders would help Western Sydney Airport optimise the design and functionality for its customers.
“The ongoing growth of online shopping as well as demand from Asia for Australian fresh produce, has had an enormous influence on the international freight market,” he said.
“Growing demand for pharmaceuticals, temperature-sensitive and perishable products will also play a key role in the future of air freight.”
Australian airports currently transport more than one million tonnes of air freight annually and this is forecast to grow considerably over the next decade.
The first stage of the airport has the potential to process around 220,000 tonnes of air freight each year through its proposed on-airport freight facility, with multiple dedicated freighter aircraft stands.
This is set to scale up with demand, potentially handling 1.8 million tonnes of air freight each year in the future.
The airport’s freight precinct is set to have dedicated road access off The Northern Road, separating heavy vehicles from passenger traffic, which will enter the airport from the M12 on the opposite side of the site.
While the freight MOUs signed today focus on the air freight industry, Western Sydney International will also provide significant opportunities for Australian exporters, including the agribusiness precinct located adjacent to the airport.
Construction of Western Sydney International is well under way and on track to open in 2026.