TRANSPORT Minister Troy Buswell’s announcement to extend the life of Wheatbelt Tier 3s last week had no bearing on CBH’s recently announced freight rate estimates for 2012/13 according to CBH’s general manager of operations Colin Tutt.
Last week CBH announced its growers would start to reap the benefits of the bulk handler’s $175 million rail investment which was demonstrated by the widening difference between road and rail transport costs in WA.
Mr Tutt said this season, rail rates had experienced an average reduction of about seven per cent while road rates, on average, rose by five to eight per cent.
He also said CBH had been conservative in setting its freight rates this year given it was the co-operative’s first year on the tracks and it needed to ensure all the company’s transition costs were covered.
“A reduction in rail rates by an average of seven per cent is certainly still a significant saving for growers,” he said.
Mr Tutt went on to say that CBH was now responsible for buying fuel for its locomotives and covering the track access costs.
He said by “taking out the middle man and his profit margins” CBH growers were able to reap the reward.
CBH’s investment in rail proved timely with road transport becoming more expensive every year.
Mr Tutt said there would be an average increase in road rates of five to eight per cent in 2012/13 caused by a number of factors including an increase in road contractor rates (the Consumer Price Index for road transport increased at a greater rate than under CBH’s new rail contract) and the diesel fuel rebate being reduced this year.
“CBH’s new locomotives and wagons are also more efficient than those used to move grain previously which means more tonnes are being carted in each train trip to port,” he said.
“Again, this allows us to pass that benefit to growers through better freight rates.”
CBH also verified there was no cross-subsidisation of road and rail rates.
It reported that the rates reflected the direct expenses involved in providing the specific services.
CBH reiterated that road continued to become increasingly expensive and over time growers would see the gap between road and rail rates become even greater due to the decline in government rebates on diesel and the introduction of the carbon tax.
Mr Tutt was also careful to note that the freight rates released by CBH last week were estimates only and may be reviewed during harvest to reflect any significant changes to expected delivery patterns and fuel prices.
CBH’s finalised freight rates will be released in February 2013.
Growers who nominate their grain between October 2012 and January 2013 will be invoiced freight charges using February 2013 revised freight rates.
Nominations after the release of final freight rates in February 2013 will be issued with separate invoices on a monthly basis.
p Growers can find estimated freight rates for their local delivery at 老域名cbh老域名备案老域名 or on LoadNet.
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