Transport shortages are looming as a serious problem as preparations
are made for Australia’s third biggest winter crop on record.
The grain harvest is expected to top 40mt (million tonnes) this season
after good rains across most eastern states.
But Peter Bradley from the Australian Grain Harvesters Association says
there’s not enough trucks and trains, and that will cause a problem.
“There’s been little grain to cart in the last few years and the people that have
been involved in carting any grain anywhere have been doing it fairly tough,” he says.
“So there’s been a lot of guys who have fallen out of the trucking industry because of it
or they’ve gone into areas, like in central Queensland where we’re based, into the mining
Grain handler GrainCorp is preparing for the bumper harvest by reopening old storage
sites and creating overflow bunkers.
Graincorp’s David Ginns says the handler can store 20 million tonnes of grain on the east
coast, which should be enough to cater for demand.
“We’ll also be, in just about all areas, receiving grain initially into bunkers instead of
permanent storage,” he says. “Which will dramatically increase the rate at which we’re able
to turn trucks around.”