CBH Port of Albany_Photo courtesy CBH Group
The CBH Group exports wheat through its terminal at the western Australia Port of Albany.
Photo courtesy of CBH Group. 
WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — CBH Group broke the Western Australian shipping record for the month of April with 1.6 million tonnes shipped. It followed the largest ever amount of grain being shipped over a one month period when January’s shipping volumes broke through 1.8 million tonnes.

In addition, a record amount of 964,832 tonnes was moved across the state in March. This achieved the largest amount of grain ever transported via rail during a one-month period.

David Capper, CBH Group general manager, operations, said the successive records demonstrated the ability of CBH’s supply chain to respond to a record harvest.

“Without the appropriate infrastructure and dedication of our regional and port teams, we wouldn’t be able to consistently break records,” he said. “It’s important that we’re able to export growers’ grain to international customers at the time they’re wanting it and demand is normally higher in the early part of the year. So far we’ve exported around 62% of the record 16.6 million-tonne crop brought in during last harvest, not accounting for domestic outturns.

Capper said CBH is pleased with record, especially while combating challenges such as flooding in February which impacted our road and rail capacity during February and March.

CBH said it had utilized a number of strategies to increase shipping volumes.

“We’ve continued to increase the total tonnages available through our shipping stem, aided by initiatives including better berth utilization and increased capacity to bring grain from our upcountry network to port,” he said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to respond to the needs of our customers and growers as we roll out the Network Strategy, focused on delivering an optimal supply chain from paddock to port.”

As part of the co-op’s Network Strategy, CBH recently announced its exploring the potential for a new receival site at Roelands, near Bunbury, to enhance services to growers in the western Australia region.

The possible investment is a part of CBH’s Network Strategy that Wally Newman, CBH chairman, discussed in the co-op’s annual report in January.

“Over the past 12 months, we’ve commenced a Network Strategy that will see investment of A$750 million over the next five years, focused on the 100 sites that currently receive 90% of the annual average crop,” Newman said. “Our network is the core of your cooperative and the best way in which we can create and return value. The Network Strategy is aimed at ensuring we continue to deliver a cost-effective and efficient storage and handling service to growers and marketers for generations to come.”

A final investment decision on whether to proceed with the development will be subject to approval from the CBH board following the due diligence process.