GrainCorp has reached agreement with national transport and logistics company QR for the provision of main line trains to service the company’s Mackay, Gladstone, and Fisherman Islands (Brisbane) export grain port terminals.
GrainCorp managing director Mark Irwin said: “The contract with QR’s specialist bulk freight subsidiary Australian Railroad Group (ARG) secures three trains for a period of three years. One train will service our Mackay and Gladstone terminals, and two will service our Fisherman Islands terminal. GrainCorp will be responsible for deployment of rail assets and the coordination of the freight task for these contracted trains.
“Our agreement with ARG underpins a significant percentage of the transport requirement for Queensland grain exports. This provides certainty for growers at a critical time.”
GrainCorp general manager of storage and logistics Bruce Griffin said: “As a result of our contract with ARG, weekly rail capacity between Toowoomba and Brisbane will increase by 50%, providing a much-needed boost in haulage capacity for the southern Queensland grains industry. It also means fewer trucks on the road between those two cities, and more export capacity at our Fisherman Islands port terminal.
“In NSW last harvest, our management of rail assets led to a significant increase in rail efficiency. Per-train efficiency rose by 60% or more, compared to management of the same assets under the old single desk export monopoly. With the right management, coordination, and support from state and federal governments for maintenance of track, rail transport is both more environmentally sustainable and more efficient than road transport,” Mr Griffin said.
GrainCorp also confirmed the addition of two trains to its existing contract with Pacific National, bringing the total number of trains under that contract in NSW and Victoria to 10. Both new trains will service the GrainCorp Geelong (Victoria) port terminal, one running on the standard gauge and one on the broad gauge lines.
Mr Irwin said: “We have taken on the additional rail capacity in Victoria in response to demand from grain exporters and worked closely with exporters to forward sell a significant proportion of our rail capacity in both NSW and Victoria. We expect to do the same in Queensland.
“The demand for more rail capacity in Victoria comes at a time when crop prospects look positive in that region. We are anticipating a welcome return to a higher level of grain exports from Victoria this harvest, following two very disappointing seasons.”
The new Queensland rail contract, and additions to the existing Pacific National contract, bring the total number of trains under GrainCorp management to 17.