Farm-to-ship service a hit with grain growers

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
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CBH Group has hailed its new direct-to-vessel service a success after a strong response from both growers and marketers.

The service, introduced in the 2016-17 harvest, enables growers to bypass CBH’s storage system by selling grain for export on specific ships, which are identified by grain marketers. Growers then have to deliver the grain direct to port within a 14-day window before the ship docks.

Growers using this system receive a $3.80 per tonne rebate, making the total supply chain cost almost 25 per cent lower than CBH’s other storage and handling services. During the 2016-17 harvest, 358 growers took part, loading 193,000 tonnes on to 22 ships. These growers had $730,000 returned through receival fee rebates.

Five grain marketers, including CBH Marketing and Trading, used the services this year, receiving a $3.50 tonne rebate.

CBH general manager of operations David Capper said the service aimed to encourage more shipping during harvest, and to reward growers already delivering straight to port.

“Every year, whether a big or small harvest, harvest shipping is an important part of our planning,” he said. “The most efficient grain is that which goes out on a boat during harvest. We can offer the rebate to growers because we don’t have to tarp, fumigate or double handle grain.”

He said the service would continue to be offered outside harvest, providing a chance for farmers looking to save costs by backloading fertiliser.

The service was offered at the Geraldton, Esperance, Albany and Kwinana ports.

Mr Capper said as of Monday a massive 16.6 million tonnes had been delivered to the CBH network from the current harvest, with just a few thousand tonnes still trickling in daily.

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