What we didn't want was a failure of the schedule because we've got a lot riding on these hits arriving on time.

Faced with the need for the reliable and on-time delivery of its newly ordered locomotives and bogie sets, Australian grain handling giant, CBH Group, asked WWL to manage their entire passage from the production site in the US to its home turf in Australia.

Leading Australian grain handler, CBH Group, is making a major investment in new rolling stock as the grain harvest in Western Australia reaches new heights. The region will produce 15.06 million tonnes of grain in the 2011/12 growing season.The order is one part of significant spend on the infrastructure in the region, where rapid economic growth is being fuelled by worldwide demand for natural  resources. Western Australia is now the fourth most productive state in the country with a gross state product equal to 14.6 percent of Australia’s GDP. CBH placed the order for the 22 newlocomotives and bogie sets with Wabtecsubsidiary,  MotivePower in Boise, Idaho,USA, and they will be shipped to Fremantle, Western Australia during 2012. Once CBH knew that the new rolling stock would be sourced from the USA, the company carried out a full due diligence port survey to review what were the best shipping options and supply chain providers. As a result, CBH turned to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) for full supply chain management support.

Mike Poore, Freight Contracts Manager, CBH, says: “We looked at who had the best systems to manage and oversee certain sections of the contract. When we saw WWL’s offering to us in their presentation,we saw it was easy to lock that away with one party.“Having a service provider like WWL that can not only provide the ocean freight but also offer the full coverage of cargo preparation and heavy lifts onto and off rail tracks was a key strength of their offering.”WWL won the contract against charter competitors because of its ability to provide full supply chain management to the complex project and the reliability of its regular sailings from Savannah, USA to Fremantle, Western Australia with rapid transit times.The contract provides for full port services at both ends of the route, including cleaning the cargo according to strict Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) requirements before loading to avoid delay on entry into Australia.

There are tight production schedules  for the locomotives and record levels of grain waiting to be moved in WesternAustralia. But failure of an AQIS inspection could result in a six to eight week wait before clearance from the dockside.“We did our homework on the WWL sailing schedule and having high reliability provided us with additional comfort,”says Poore. “What we didn’t want was a failure of the schedule because we’ve got a lot riding on these units arriving on time and getting them commissioned.”

“Because the sailing integrity is so good, we have a clear ETA into Fremantle on every unit and it’s really only the weather that can affect things.”WWL takes responsibility for the locomotives(each weighing up to 77 tonnes) when they arrive by rail in Savannah from Boise and they are then prepared for shipment. This involves lifting them off US-specification rail bogies and loading them onto 60-foot Mafi trailers, ready for RoRo ocean transportation.

While the US bogies are trucked back to the factory for re-use, a set of Australian bogies are allocated to each locomotive and made ready for fitment when the cargo arrives in Fremantle. Richard Bailey, WWL Regional Logistics Manager in Melbourne, Australia says experience and international cooperation between WWL offices is critical in managing the supply chain.

“Being a true supply chain management contract meant integration with a whole extended suite of contractors and suppliers that we had to source,” he says.

“There is a lot of manual work – coupling, decoupling, movement across terminals, trucking, working with the rail yard. It is on a grand scale.”

Under the SCM contract, WWL is able to provide one point of contact with one invoice covering all suppliers and subcontractors, and one reporting system to CBH. This includes real-time tracking of the cargo utilising sat-nav systems aboard the locomotives to give full visibility throughout the supply chain.

Services and solutions provided to CBH:
-  Supply chain management from port in US to railhead in Australia

-  Real-time track and trace using sat-nav systems onboard locomotives

-  Inland distribution of Australian bogies from US factory to port of load

-  Inland distribution of US bogies from port back to factory

-  Washing of locomotives and Australian bogies for AQIS

-  Storage in port warehouse until vessel departure

-  Ocean transport of locomotives and Australian bogies from Savannah to Fremantle

-  Providing bolsters and mafi trailers for ocean transport

- Attaching Australian bogies onto locomotives upon arrival in Fremantle

About: Co-operative Bulk Handling
Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) was born out of the Great Depression in the late 1920s and 1930s and has grown to become one of Australia’s leading grain handlers with assets of around AUS$1bn. The company, which nowt rades as CBH Grain and CBH Engineering, remains a cooperative and is wholly owned by its grower-members. CBH is a fully integrated business focused on delivering a greater share of the grain value chain to growers. Western Australian grain is now exported to more than 20 countries including Japan,South Korea, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and China.