WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group has marked a milestone, transporting more than 50 million tonnes of grain on its rail fleet since the co-operative purchased its own locomotives and wagons in 2012.

The milestone was reached this month as CBH continues to receive what is now the second largest Western Australian crop on record.

The co-op noted the large crop also resulted in several CBH supply chain records falling, including moving 907,440 tonnes on rail in December 2018, which is a record volume for the month of December.

In 2012, CBH purchased 22 locomotives and 574 wagons at a cost of A$175 million for grain rail freight in Western Australia.

Since this initial investment, CBH has continued to invest and grow the rail fleet, adding a further three locomotives.

Ben Raisbeck, acting general manager of operations at CBH, purchased the rail fleet to increase the efficiency of the supply chain, and move more grain, faster across the network to our four port terminals.

“Our decision to invest in rail has benefited our growers, however we must continue to manage freight costs and limit rail access price rises that directly impact the international competitiveness of Western Australia’s grain industry,” Raisbeck said. “We’re proud to have reached the 50-million-tonne milestone, and thank our employees and partners, including rail operator Watco Companies, for contributing to the success of our supply chain during this time.”

The Australian subsidiary of U.S. company, Watco Companies, has a 10-year contract to operate CBH’s rail grain freight service.