Strong export demand combined with favourable seasonal conditions to drive a 32% increase in the amount of grain hauled by Aurizon in 2016.
The Brisbane-based operator says it transported over 750,000 tonnes of grain for export in the calendar year.
Craig Acutt, the company’s key account manager for grain, said Aurizon rails ten grain trains a week in South West Queensland, up to seven a week in Central Queensland, and up to four in NSW, during peak grain season.
Acutt said trains were loaded with wheat, sorghum, chick peas and barley.
He said Aurizon is working with customers to increase the tonnes being hauled on rail during peak periods.
“Favourable spring weather has driven bumper grain yields across Australia, resulting in increased demand for grain trains to haul large crops of wheat and chickpeas to port for export,” he said.
“In Northern New South Wales, grain growers have experienced their largest wheat crop on record, which has significantly boosted export demands.”
Southern Queensland’s chickpea crops have been a key driver for growing demand, Acutt explained.
Roughly 95% of Australia’s chickpeas exported to India and Pakistan.
“We have been working closely with customers to ensure we meet their large export demands,” Acutt continued.
“A fully loaded Queensland grain train carries up to 1,750 tonnes of grain to export, the same as 44 trucks, and is the most efficient way of transporting grain to port for export.”
Aurizon reported this week grain haulage volumes from the Roma, Thallon and Goondiwindi regions in South West Queensland were the largest in 2016.
Volumes in Central Queensland reduced slightly on the year prior, the company noted, but tonnages remained strong.