CBH raises freight rates for WA grain growers

By: Paul Howell

New freight rates for CBH customers are below inflation.

CBH raises freight rates for WA grain growers
The WA grain harvest runs from around October and November until February each year.


The CBH Group, which handles freight for its 4,200 grain farming members in Western Australia, has released its estimated freight rates for the coming 2014-15 harvest.

Its charges have risen by around 1 per cent on most routes, "well below" growth in the state’s consumer price index for the past year (2.5 per cent).

There are larger increases for growers in areas along the tier three rail lines, including the Narembeen to Merredin and Bruce Rock to Merredin lines in the heart of Western Australia’s wheatbelt region.

These have been closed to CBH freight since June.

CBH says higher freight charges for affected areas will reflect the higher costs associated with road-based movement of grain for that portion of the supply chain.

Ongoing negotiations with Brookfield Rail, which manages the freight rail network in southern Western Australia, are just one of the uncertain elements in the CBH price estimates.

While the tier three lines remain closed, the parties are also yet to finalise an agreement for general access across the network.

"These estimates have been calculated in uncertain times, as the CBH Group continues to negotiate a rail access agreement with Brookfield Rail, through the Economic Regulation Authority," it says.

The rates will also be reviewed during the harvest to reflect any significant changes in delivery patterns, fuel prices, and rail arrangements, with the final rates to be confirmed in February next year.

The Western Australian grain harvest takes place around October and November (though some growers have already begun harvesting) through until February each year.

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