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Prime Mover Magazine

Grain transport sees modal shift

According to consistent media reports, Victoria’s grain transport industry is currently experiencing a shift from rail to road.

The ABC’s Jess Davis reported on Wednesday that “road deliveries to Victorian ports exceeded rail this year” – with some companies reportedly seeing the share of road transport increase up to 20 per cent.

The Weekly Times followed up today, saying more grain was transported by road than rail for the first time since 2012.

“According to one industry insider, who did not wish to be named, 55 per cent of Victoria’s grain was transported by rail in the past two grain harvests, with 45 per cent by road,” wrote The Weekly Times’ Kath Sullivan.

“But this year the ratio has flipped, with just 45 per cent of the bumper grain harvest transported by rail.”

The modal shift is widely attributed to a bumper harvest and industrial action by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

“Based on the assumption [that] two million tonnes of grain have moved so far this year, an extra 200,000 tonnes of grain [have] travelled by road. This equated to 90 fewer trains and 4,000 extra trucks,” Sullivan explained.

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