WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — On March 30, the CBH Group and Watco reached their first year anniversary working together to move the state’s grain harvest on rail.
CBH Group General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said that since CBH and Watco ran their first rail service from Kwinana 12 months ago, nearly 5 million tonnes have been moved on rail.
“Together, we have moved 3.5 million tonnes into Kwinana port and Metro Grain Centre, and 1.5 million tonnes into both the Geraldton and Albany ports,” he said. “We have been through a transition period during these first 12 months while the new locomotives and wagons were slowly brought online. We are extremely pleased with the volume of grain that has been moved on rail, especially in the wake of the record 15 million tonne crop of the 2011-12 season.
“This performance will improve over time to provide Western Australian growers even more efficiency and lower freight rates.”
Watco WA Rail provide rail logistics services to the CBH Group including train crewing, planning, scheduling and tracking, rolling stock maintenance and inventory control.
Watco WA Rail Chief Operating Officer Jim Griffiths said that while there have been some teething issues and challenges in operating on the WA tracks, overall the efficiency of the fleet is performing very well.
“In some instances the new locomotives and wagons can in pull up to 25% more grain to port with each journey, so while we are limited by track infrastructure, the increased load capacity helps us to better achieve tonnes to port,” he said.