The CBH Group has concluded the Request for Proposal process for its above rail operations and is pleased to announce that Aurizon has been selected as the preferred rail service provider.
Aurizon has proposed an operating model that includes three fleets in addition to CBH’s 10 existing fleets, access to maintenance and operational facilities at Forrestfield, Narngulu, Merredin, Albany and Wagin, and an investment in Avon to bring the maintenance facility and yards back into operation.
Under the new agreement Aurizon will be responsible for rail logistics planning services including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance, inventory control and crew management.
The agreement is for six years with two 2-year options to extend, which is contingent on Aurizon meeting their relevant contract KPIs.
Watco has agreed to transition the contract to Aurizon before the coming harvest and will begin a three-month transition later this month.
CBH Acting Chief Executive Officer Ben Macnamara said the new rail service agreement was a high capability model that delivered the best value to Western Australian growers and CBH.
“Aurizon presents the most effective and efficient model of maintenance, scheduling, and execution of rail services to meet the needs of the growing Western Australian crop,” Mr Macnamara said.
“Rail transport plays a vital part in CBH’s ability to get tonnes to port efficiently with around 60 per cent of tonnes transported by rail to port, providing growers a low-cost pathway to port.
“I would like to thank Watco for their service to Western Australian growers over the past nine and a half years, and for working diligently and collaboratively with Aurizon to transition ahead of our peak rail period.
“Given the significance of rail operations to our business, we will work closely with Watco and Aurizon to ensure the transition is effectively managed to minimise any disruptions for our employees, growers and customers.”
CBH wholly owns a rail fleet consisting of 28 locomotives and 574 wagons that generally transports grain from upcountry sites to three of our four port terminals (Geraldton, Kwinana and Albany).