NT freight hub construction set to begin

Construction of the long-awaited freight hub is imminent, with NT Airport’s director of property and operations, Ross Baynes, telling ABC Rural plans have altered slightly compared to the original expectations. 

"It was originally forecast to be around 2,000m2, we've now got a total facility of over 6,000m2,” Baynes said in an interview with ABC Journalist, Daniel Fitzgerald. 

The facility will have 3,000m2 of dry-storage and the same size set aside for cold storage.

The construction is expected to be completed by August 2020, just in time for that year’s mango season, and will be an open-access facility, meaning any producer can use the services on offer.

One of the current options for producers wanting to export to Asia is to freight their produce to a shipping port in the East of Australia. This can add up to five days of transit prior to leaving the country, and as a result, reduce the shelf-life of the produce.

It’s anticipated that sensitive and high-value products, such as melons and mangoes, as well as some highly sought-after Indigenous fruits, will be the main produce exported through the facility.

As per Australian biosecurity laws and Chinese import laws, mangoes must be treated for fruit-fly prior to export. The facility will therefore be equipped with the Northern Territory’s first vapour heat treatment plant.

At peak capacity, this plant will be able to process 200-400kg of fruit per day, which Baynes said will be enough for the first few years, with room for further expansion if necessary.

In the meantime, Qantas’s freight service remains another avenue for producers looking to export to Asia. 

Source: Asia Fruit

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