Centurion takes major role, joining Linfox, Woolworths, in Western Australia flood relief

The recent flooding of the Trans-Australian Railway saw Centurion, in one week, deliver some 2,100 pallets of primary produce to the East Coast.

On return legs the logistics and transport company also moved essential items and supplies back into Western Australia.

As supply chain disruptions continue, Centurion is leveraging the capability of its national freight network.

“Centurion have swiftly implemented alternate East to West services to provide vital support to our long-term FMCG customers, ensuring essential supplies continue to reach the communities that need them most,” the company said in a statement.

“The dedication of our drivers and operators continues to ensure that we remain flexible in adapting to deliver for our customers and communities.”

The rail line was damaged on January 21 due to a once in a 200-year flooding event that adversely impacted multiple locations along a 300 kilometre stretch of track.

It officially reopened today, once again providing a crucial link between Western Australia with the east coast via Adelaide.

Crews had been working around the clock to repair the damage while the Western Australian Government worked with industry, retailers and the Commonwealth to ensure the continued supply of freight and essential goods into the state.

This included working with Pacific National and Linfox to create a ‘land bridge’ with freight transported by triple roadtrains from Adelaide to Kalgoorlie via the Eyre Highway.

Once at Kalgoorlie, containers were loaded onto freight trains and hauled into Perth.

Triple roadtrains were permitted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to use Eyre Highway and access Kalgoorlie directly.

As of last Sunday, 55 triple roadtrains (53.5 metres) had used these exemptions to bring essential goods across the Nullarbor.

Another 43 high performance freight vehicles (36.5 metres) were given restricted access from Northam into Perth via Greenmount with a safety escort.

Woolworths have also utilised the option to ship goods to Western Australia, with the first ship having left Sydney on 11 February and due to arrive at Fremantle Port by 22 February.

The shipping option is anticipated to bring in more than 3,500 additional pallets of goods into Fremantle.

Deliveries will be able to be made to supermarkets 24/7, under planning law changes made in 2020, which will help ease some of the backlog of supply.

Around 200 containers of stock will be sent via coastal shipping from Sydney and Melbourne over three shipments.

The containers include the essentials such as flour, sugar, cereal, canned food, rice, nappies and toilet paper.

Around 150 additional trucks carrying 4,700 pallets of ambient and refrigerated products have been dispatched from the East Coast to support supply into Western Australia.

Western Australia Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, who singled out truck drivers for their herculean efforts during the unprecedented event, said it would take some time to clear the backlog of supplies.

“We are continuing to allow truck deliveries to supermarkets 24/7, under changes to planning laws in 2020, which will mean we can get more essential goods and supplies back onto our supermarket shelves quicker,” she said.

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