Seven year rail agreement provides certainty, facilitates productivity improvements
Aurizon and GrainCorp have extended their long-term partnership with the signing of a new seven-year agreement for the rail haulage of grain in South West and Central Queensland.
The new agreement commenced in December 2012 and runs to November 2019.
The agreement provides for haulage of up to one million tonnes per year from key grain growing regions of Queensland.
This includes haulage from the Roma, Thallon and Goondiwindi regions in Southern Queensland into the Fisherman Islands and Pinkenba port terminals in Brisbane, and from the Emerald, Capella and Mt McLaren regions in Central Queensland into the Mackay and Gladstone port terminals.
Under the agreement, current grain wagons will be modified to a fully automatic unloading system with Kwik Drop Doors (presently partial automatic unloading system) improving both productivity and safety for both Aurizon and GrainCorp.
GrainCorp Group General Manager, Storage & Logistics Nigel Hart said that, combined with the long term agreements that will soon be available at GrainCorp’s Queensland ports, GrainCorp and other exporters would have greater certainty and improved ability to plan their export programs.
“This agreement is good for GrainCorp and good for the growers who use our network. It provides GrainCorp and Aurizon the certainty we need to explore productivity improvements and how to get more grain onto each train. Rail is the most cost-efficient means of getting grain to port, so this will ultimately make Queensland grain more internationally competitive,” Mr Hart said.
“We are very pleased to continue our positive partnership with Aurizon,” he said.
Aurizon Commercial and Marketing Executive Vice President Paul Scurrah said Aurizon was pleased to continue its long-term relationship with a new performance-based agreement.
“Over many years Aurizon has worked closely with GrainCorp to develop a strong commercial relationship. We recognise the need for a flexible agreement that allows both parties to scale up services in response to seasonal demand, and this was instrumental in both parties signing this contract,” Mr Scurrah said.
“This agreement delivers supply chain certainty for the grain industry at a time when there is a concerted push for more grain tonnages from the export market.
“This is also great outcome for the local communities with more tonnages being hauled by rail from South West Queensland, addressing the increasing use of road vehicles down the Toowoomba range to the Port.”
GrainCorp is Australia’s leading agribusiness, with integrated end-to-end grain handling and processing infrastructure in Australia and overseas. The company plays an important role in the grain supply chain for the supply of wheat and flour; barley and malt; canola and edible oils, through handling around three-quarters of eastern Australia’s annual grain production. Around 90% of eastern Australia’s bulk grain exports pass through a GrainCorp port and the company contracts up to 6 million tonnes per annum of rail freight capacity to transport the grain efficiently to market.
Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2011/12, Aurizon transported more than 250 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. The company also operates and manages the 2,670 kilometre Central Queensland Coal Network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone. Previously known as QR National, Aurizon has more than 147 years of rail freight industry experience.