WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The first harvest shipping period under CBH’s new long-term agreements is coming to an end and major export customers have expressed their satisfaction with the arrangements, citing flexibility and certainty as the real benefits, the company said on Jan. 19.

The CBH Group introduced long-term agreements last year to provide its storage and handling customers with certainty on the shipping capacity they could access over the next five years.

CBH Group Logistics Manager Ben Raisbeck said with 10.2 million tonnes booked under the long-term agreements and another 3 million booked under short-term capacity arrangements for this year, the system is providing the market with what they need.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback from exporters that the system is working, it’s providing them the flexibility to move capacity around when it’s required to reflect market demands and the IT system that sits behind it provides real-time data,” Raisbeck said. “This harvest has seen strong shipping programs but we’re certainly not done yet. 1.75 million tonnes of capacity has been released for March and this could mean record tonnes shipped during a single month.”

“Rail has been performing well, helping feed into our ports to aid the shipping programs and we’re expecting to hit some records during the next few months for that too,” Raisbeck said.

The CBH Group said it welcomes competition into its system through offering all exporters the opportunity to store and ship through the network. The co-operative has led the industry nationally in developing innovative ways to allocate shipping capacity to ensure that customers can meet international market demands, the company said.

“We currently have 13 grain exporters operating in our system,” Raisbeck said. “Long-term agreements suit some of them while the flexibility to secure capacity through the short term, first-in-first-served, approach suits others. I think we’ve got the balance right now but we will continue to work with our customers to ensure we address any concerns. Satisfied exporters mean competition for growers’ grain, and having a supply chain that is working to meet growers’ international customers’ needs is how we can create value for our growers here on the ground.”