Logistics News

Viterra in Port Lincoln truck facility boost

Upgrades follow high-profile transition away from rail freight


Grain handler Viterra has moved quickly on its full transition to road transport, completing a $6 million investment to upgrade its Port Lincoln trucking facilities.

The works include the conversion of three sheds to unload trucks, electrical upgrade works, and construction of roadworks to accommodate newer classes of high-productivity vehicles.

The move “ensure[s] the site can provide a high level of service to local growers as well as meet shipping demand from export customers”, the company notes.

Viterra Western region operations manager Nick Pratt says the Port Lincoln site balances being a local delivery site for growers with being a key export terminal in South Australia for multiple exporters shipping a range of commodities.

“We can efficiently load vessels larger than panamax vessels in under three days with loading rates of up to 3000 tonnes per hour, which provides significant value for the industry,” he says.

“We have strong demand for shipping out of Port Lincoln in the coming months with bookings from multiple exporters bound for different export markets.

“Port Lincoln is also a key site for Eyre Peninsula growers to deliver into and the new infrastructure will improve efficiency and help growers deliver more quickly at the site given there is more unloading points and a larger area to operate in.

“The $6 million we’ve invested in this project forms part of our $15 million capital investment at the Port Lincoln site over the last three years, and we plan to inject an additional $3.8 million in 2020.”

The firm says it will continue to focus on investing “in areas that give our customers the greatest value”, all but ending any foreseeable return to rail freight since its announcement to transition away from the service.

Viterra cited efficiency and cost for its move away from rail freight

“Investments at Viterra’s upcountry sites have also formed an important part of the smooth transition to road transport,” Pratt adds.

“Our Cummins and Lock sites underwent roadwork upgrades for trucks to safely and efficiently outturn.

“We’ve built an additional 50,000 tonnes of storage at Cummins, and also installed extra equipment at the site as well as at Rudall, to efficiently load grain from silos to trucks.

“This harvest, we’ve created efficiencies that we’ve been able to pass back to growers and made investments in the supply chain for the benefit of growers including reducing freight rates, dynamic binning for barley and the new Viterra app.”


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