WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group exported a record 1,106,931 tonnes from its four grain export terminals in Western Australia in July, the company said on Aug. 7.
CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the July shipping record was an especially satisfying achievement given the complex transition currently underway to a more efficient grain rail freight system using a new operator and new rail fleet.
“I thank the CBH Operations team, our new rail provider, Watco, and our road contractors who have worked so hard to achieve this,” Tutt said. “Following the record 15 million tonne harvest, many of our people have been working very long hours since last October, and the demands will continue for some months yet as we clear the network for next harvest.”
Tutt said CBH was passionate about moving tonnes to port quickly, efficiently and safely to service the needs of Western Australian growers and the customers of their grain.
“It is not uncommon earlier in the year to ship more than 1.1 million tonnes a month as capacity is boosted by stocks at port and more grain is accessible at country storages closer to port,” he said. “However achieving this monthly volume later in the year is much more challenging as every tonne has to brought from further away. To do it in the middle of the rail transition is particularly pleasing.
“This achievement also reflects the ability of our Grain Express logistics system to co-ordinate grain movements to maximize the efficiency and capacity of the WA supply chain to port.”
The previous biggest July shipping volume was 1,076,433 set in 2004.
CBH expects to have its full new rail fleet of 22 locomotives and 574 wagons in operation for the next harvest. To date, 10 locomotives have arrived from the U.S. and are either operational or being commissioned and more than 400 wagons are in use.
“We expect to ship approximately 13.5 million tonnes by Oct. 30 which will certainly be an all time annual shipping record for Western Australia and an achievement that growers and CBH can be proud of given the challenges of the past 12 months,” Tutt said.