WA’s major grain-shifting milestone

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
Train drivers Paul Floyd and Sean O'Rielly pictured with a grain laden train.
Camera IconTrain drivers Paul Floyd and Sean O'Rielly pictured with a grain laden train. Credit: Picture: Steve Ferrier, Steve Ferrier The West Australian.

CBH has clocked up a major supply chain milestone, moving 50 million tonnes of grain to port since taking on its own train fleets in 2012.

The company announced this morning it had reached the major milestone this month, in the midst of transporting WA’s second biggest harvest from country to port.

CBH, which is Australia’s biggest grain handler, bought 22 locomotives and 574 wagons for $175 million in 2012.

The company has contracted rail logistics, including driving duties, to rail haulage operator Watco Companies WA.

CBH operations acting general manager Ben Raisbeck said the company’s decision to purchase the fleet helped it shift grain more efficiently.

“Our decision to invest in rail has benefited our growers,” he said.

“We must continue to manage freight costs and limit rail access price rises which directly impact the international competitiveness of WA’s grain industry.

“We’re proud to have reached the milestone, and thank our employees and partners, including Watco, for contributing to the success of our supply chain during this time.”

The major milestone comes just nine months after the cooperative broke a national record for the delivery of the longest and largest grain train.

The record, 1.8km train transported 9000 tonnes of wheat in 120 wagons and three locomotives from the WA Wheatbelt to the Kwinana Grain Terminal on ...

It broke CBH’s previous grain industry record of 88 wagons in July 2016, which contained 6,500 tonnes of wheat and was 1.3km long.

WA farmers are in the final throes of harvesting their second-biggest crop on record, with CBH and Watco’s attention has turned to shifting grain from bin to port.

CBH broke its December rail delivery record, shifting 907,440 tonnes on rail last month.

Watco Companies WA has a 10-year contract to operate CBH’s rail grain freight service. The contract will be up for renewal in 2022.

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