SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Emerald Grain’s Melbourne Port Terminal has recorded its strongest month of exports since it began operating in 2000, the company said on March 4.
During February, more than 185,000 tonnes of grain passed through the facility and on to eight destinations across Asia and Africa including China, Japan and Mozambique.
Emerald Grain General Manager Storage & Handling Glen Collision said the record month  was thanks to improved efficiencies across Emerald’s supply chain.
“Emerald has a long-term lease of two locomotives which transport grain quickly from  Emerald’s storage sites in New South Wales and Victoria and through to the port.”
He said the terminal requires grain exporters to deliver a minimum 50% of grain  via rail to help increase throughput.
“Emerald has also introduced an efficient truck-scheduling system enabling 4,000 tonnes road deliveries per day,” Collison said. “The system assists with the flow of traffic through Appleton Dock and means logistics companies enjoy a much faster turnaround.”
Collison said everyone along the grain supply chain benefits from port efficiencies.
“Growers see better returns on their grain, exporters can meet their shipping slot requirements and international customers have access to high quality grain from southeastern Australia.”
Most grain leaving the port over February was exported in bulk (loaded directly into the ship’s hull) while around 20,000 tonnes was packed in containers.
“Some African destinations don’t yet have the capacity to receive grain in bulk. Melbourne Port Terminal’s container packing facility means Emerald still has the ability to reach this important export market,” Collison said.
Emerald took control of Melbourne Port Terminal’s operations when it acquired storage  and handling group Australian Bulk Alliance in March 2012.
The facility has 48,000 tonnes of on-site storage and the capacity to export more than 1.2 million tonnes of grain per year.
Most exports are destined for ports in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Melbourne Port Terminal’s previous highest month of exports was 145,000 tonnes in July 2012.