Aurizon confirms freight volume decline

Tough September quarter for rail firm sees freight, coal and iron ore haulage declines

Aurizon confirms freight volume decline
Aurizon sees freight declines in September quarter.


Rail freight giant Aurizon has announced an eight per cent decrease in freight numbers in its 2015 September quarter results today, despite recording its best period for the year.

The rail operator moved 11.7mt of freight during the quarter, ahead of the 9.8mt in the March quarter and 11.3mt in the June quarter, but 1mt less than the same time in 2014.

The five per cent decrease in bulk volumes compared to the previous September period was due to "a range of commodities reflecting the challenging macro environment," an Aurizon statement says.

The 0.5mt drop in intermodal tonnage was impacted by the CRT disposal in December and the loss of a major cement contract.  

Volume for twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) bucked the trend, rising two per cent, thanks to ongoing growth from interstate beneficial freight owner customers.

In its other fields, Aurizon’s iron ore numbers fell seven per cent during the quarter, caused by the end of contracts in August and October last year.

Coal volume also dropped during the three-month period, falling 1.6mt to 52.6mt (three per cent) in the 2015 September quarter from the same time in 2014, dragged down by a five per cent decline in its biggest market Queensland.

The expiry of a 2mt per annum German Creek contract in November and the rise of a third-party operator in Goonyella weakening numbers, hampered the rail operators results, it says.

Earlier this month, Aurizon confirmed a three-year range of restructuring measures, including new investments and operational changes, which it hopes will reshape the business’ efficiency.


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