THE CBH Group has commenced a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for its above-rail operations.
The current 10-year agreement with incumbent rail operator Watco Australia will expire on April 30, 2022.
Since CBH invested in its own rail fleet in 2011, it has managed to halt inflationary increases in freight costs and hold freight rates flat.
In the current agreement, Watco has been responsible for the rail logistics planning services including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance, inventory control and crew management.
In commencing the process for a new contract, a number of rail companies, including Watco, have been invited to submit a proposal for the operation, service and maintenance of CBH’s above-rail operations.
CBH wholly owns a rail fleet consisting of 28 locomotives and 574 wagons that generally transport grain from upcountry sites to three of four-port terminals – Geraldton, Kwinana, and Albany.
Between 2016 and 2020, an average 2884 trains have travelled to all CBH ports and terminals annually, delivering on average 7.6 million tonnes of grain per year.
Rail transport plays a vital part in CBH’s ability to get tonnes to port efficiently with about 60 per cent of tonnes transported by rail to port.
It is anticipated the RFP process will be completed in the second half of 2021, with the new contract to take effect on May 1, 2022.