A southern Queensland meat processor says it is on track to make the switch from road to rail freight.
Whats the chances of cattle trains coming in from NSW (at least the northern parts) once Inland Rail comes through and assuming SG access can be granted to Oakey?Maybe, but unlikely. QR CattleTrain is not commerically viable on its own and part of the reason for the large cut back in services through the late 90's and 2000's and 100% closure of pig transport and switch to only usually frequent block trains and abandonment of cattle train services from branch lines that had little or no other traffic.
Hmm, interesting RTT. Thanks. Is there any large fixed cost to be covered, such that additional volume would help the profitability? Or is it just a difficult cargo to make profitable?The problem with catle is the volumes in the tonnage required to move them by rail is just not there for most of the state. Farms are obviously very spread out and there is considerable labour and time required for modal transfer and the whole time you are dealing with a live animal that is soon to be food. Hence you need to look after it or it devalues and of course the legal side. You need to water it, they cannot just be locked up in a rail wagon for days on end etc etc etc.
As an aside, I have it in my mind that there is something like that number of cost recovery for the NSW grain lines, though id have to dig through some reports to check that.
Whats the chances of cattle trains coming in from NSW (at least the northern parts) once Inland Rail comes through and assuming SG access can be granted to Oakey?The Bothwicks contract has been made outside of any state subsidies and is a 100% commercial arrangement as best as I can tell...so based on that, providing the origin area for cattle production can produce high enough volumes then it may be possible Aurizon and processors may consider cattle railings from south of the border...but bear in mind, cattle production in Northern and Central NSW is a fraction of that produced in Central and North West Queensland, and the Northern Territory, so volumes may not be there. The cattle crates used by Aurizon are fitted to container wagons so are easily gauge convertible with demand.
It would be interesting then to understand what sort of margin Aurizon is looking to make on the Oakey trains.
At a minimum, break even would be required.It would be interesting then to understand what sort of margin Aurizon is looking to make on the Oakey trains.
They would need to be sufficient to meet internal hurdle rates and probably on an agreed GM?
What might be interesting is cattle trains from QLD to NT or NT/QLD for slaughter?
What cattle processing plants are adjacent to the rail network in NSW? Aberdeen Meats used rail.
If there is that much cattle in the NT, would it not be easier to build a meat works in Darwin and simply rail/truck the animals and then export from there or for domestic rail haul back to the SE corner where the consumption more than likely exceeds local production.AACo opened a 1000 head per day export meatworks outside Darwin in February 2015...I don't know if it's near the Darwin Railway, but I dare say rail wasn't considered at the time it was designed and built. Looking at the numbers, the Northern Territory has an annual cattle production rate of 600,000 (about half of these are exported and the remainder sold domestically) and Queensland produces 3.5-million (of which 336,000 were exported last year - 250,000 through the Townsville Port and the rest through Darwin).
As for live exports, personally I would prefer this to be wound back to zero over the next decade if not sooner either by choice or via legislation. The meat industry has enough issues domestically ensuring our food is brought to a respectful and quick death. Off-shoring this to places with animal rights abuses is the same as off-shoring pollution and child labour.
On the commerical haulage of railed cattle to Oakey, this is an excellent outcome and helps prove rail can be competitve. Thanks for the info on this. For NSW meat works, if it works it works, but not holding my breath. If the Inland gets up, who knows.