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CBH Group has announced that it broke Western Australia’s shipping record for the month of April, a feat made possible by record rail movements across the state in March.
Responding to a record 2016-17 harvest of total of 16.62 million tonnes of grain, CBH had already shipped the largest amount of grain over one month in January when shipping volumes went past 1.8 million tonnes.
Last month’s shipping record of 1.6 million tonnes was made possible by a record in rail freight movement in March which delivered 964,832 tonnes, the highest ever volume of grain for a single month to be transported by rail.
According to David Capper, CBH Group’s general manager of operations, the successive records indicate the efficiency of CBH’s supply chain in the wake of the massive 2016-17 harvest.
“Without the appropriate infrastructure and dedication of our regional and port teams we wouldn’t be able to consistently break records,” Mr Capper 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 per cent of the record 16.6 million tonne crop brought in during last harvest, not accounting for domestic out-turns.”
The record grain freight came after CBH finalised a new interim access agreement with Brookfield Rail for continued access to their networks throughout 2017.
Heavy rainfall in early February led to significant flooding and damage to several sections of the rail network in the Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields regions. Work by Brookfield Rail teams — a cleanup it labelled their largest ever — was able to restore enough of the tracks to enable the resumption of as much rail activity as possible, ensuring steady supply of grain to ports.
Joel Trouchet, Brookfield Rail’s service delivery manager, was quoted in The West Australian applauding efforts of its maintenance teams.
“It’s a massive testament to our maintenance teams who worked around the clock to reopen the majority of the grain lines damaged by the recent flooding,” he was quoted as saying.
“These record results are really rewarding for everyone … who work together every day to ensure WA growers get their grain to market.”
Capper said that CBH was pleased they able to achieve these records while combating flooding which had impacts on road and rail capacity in February and March, and that the increase in total available tonnage was made available by an increased capacity to bring grain from the rail network to port.
“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.”
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