SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp said on April 4 that significant additional capacity will be available at key port terminals in the next shipping period, including at Geelong, Newcastle (Carrington) and Port Kembla, Australia.

“GrainCorp has substantial elevation capacity to help our customers meet the growing global demand for Australian grain,” GrainCorp General Manager of Ports Ron McCalman said. “This is another demonstration of our commitment to be the leading open access logistics provider for exporters of East Coast Australian grain. We’re pleased to increase our nominated capacity by 455,000 tonnes annually at Newcastle from October, 132,000 tonnes at Geelong and 48,000 tonnes in Port Kembla. This will bring the total nominated capacity of these ports to around 45% more than what was exported from last year’s record crop. ”

McCalman said the revised nomination capacities are a reflection of GrainCorp’s assessment of the supply chain’s improving ability to get grain to the ports.

“There have been a number of positive changes over the past few years. In 2008 GrainCorp commenced rail operations with 12 train sets on the east coast and this has now expanded to 22. We’ve increased the productivity of each of our trains by nearly half, from 180,000 tonnes per annum to over 250,000 tonnes. In addition, projects like the new bridge on the Wee Waa line allow us to run heavier locomotives on key routes to port. This rail capacity is supplemented by about 3.5 million tonnes of road capacity going into our ports.”

GrainCorp’s ports have a potential export capacity, should supply chain resources be sufficient, of approximately 16 million tonnes. Even in record harvest years, only around half of GrainCorp’s total port capacity is used.

“This is a clear an indication that capacity at our ports is not an issue. Getting the grain to us efficiently, so we can use the capacity, has been the real challenge in our supply chain. Our exporters need to ensure they are contracting the appropriate rail and road transport to ensure their grain gets to port in a timely manner.

“After two strong harvests, the extra port capacity will be useful to support a busy export program and should help us to efficiently handle a third large harvest in a row, should that eventuate,” McCalman said.