Rail and Road the Backbone to our Global Transport Network

Rail and Road the Backbone to our Global Transport Network | The Cultivator Autumn 2020

Rail and Road the Backbone to our Global Transport Network

Manildra Group’s extensive network of domestic rail and road transport assets are the backbone for bringing our finest Australian-grown and made food ingredients and industrial products from the properties of our producers, to our customers on every continent.

As one of the largest exporters of value-added products through Australia’s biggest container port at Botany, NSW, logistics and transport are a full-time operation at our world-class Shoalhaven Starches manufacturing facility near Nowra on the state’s South Coast, where specialised modes of transport are required for our industrial and beverage-grade ethanol, industrial and food-grade starches, vital wheat gluten and animal stockfeeds.

Underpinning this global transport network, our Australian family-owned agribusiness operates our own rail yards and rolling stock — including shunting locomotives, flour wagons and container wagons — throughout regional NSW.

Further afield, working with our main line rail provider Pacific National, our fleet is expanded by a further grain wagons, container flat wagons, and main line locomotives that take grain from farmers across NSW, Victoria and South Australia directly to our flagship Manildra Flour Mill and Shoalhaven Starches facilities — from where a diverse range of end-products are returned by rail and road to Port Botany for export, or nationwide distribution.

Manildra Group National Transport and Logistics Manager Mark Owens said the daily runs of loaded grain trains — each hauling 40 wagons on average — were timed in and out of Shoalhaven Starches to avoid Sydney peak periods, as part of our on-time performance model. “Having our own rail infrastructure is integral to our agribusiness for both manufacturing purposes and outbound products, domestic and export,” Mr Owens said.

He said Manildra Group’s team of more than 50 regional-based rail safety workers, locomotive operators, forklift loaders and drivers for our shunting locomotives, were supported by Pacific National train drivers and assistants on the NSW main line operations.

“After almost three decades, Manildra Group remains the largest single rail freight user on the NSW regional network,” Mr Owens said.

“Every week, Manildra Group trains criss-cross the state to and from our regional sites, carrying hundreds of containers of wheat or end-products to major export channels.

“We have rail services that arrive and depart Nowra daily, split between our grain and flour services, and up to four export trains out of Nowra every week carrying food and industrial ingredients to Port Botany.”

Bulk sugar produced at Manildra Harwood Sugars is also moved by rail through Pacific National from nearby Grafton, in the NSW Northern Rivers region, to the Sydney suburb of Clyde for the soft drink, brewing and confectionery industries.

Trains also transfer containers packed with drums of our 100 per cent Australian-grown and made canola and vegetable oil, produced by MSM Milling, between the town of Manildra and Port Botany for export and domestic distribution.

And a wide range of packaged products are transported by rail from Shoalhaven Starches to Port Botany, bound for markets including Indonesia, North America, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

This includes Manildra Group’s premium, 100 per cent Australian gluten, which is exported to North America, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa and Thailand – as well as being distributed nationwide through our extensive domestic road transport network.

To feed fish farmed in Tasmania, our vital wheat gluten and wheat starch are also trucked from Nowra to Melbourne for sea road shipping to Devonport, and on to Burnie by road prior to customer delivery at Hobart.

Road tankers take our ethanol to Port Botany for export and domestic distribution, as well as our liquid starch directly to key customers in east coast, and our liquid glucose to confectionery manufacturers and brewers nationally.

Tipper trucks take our stockfeed mill mix, pellets, and syrups from Shoalhaven Starches to various feedlots and farmers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

From our Gunnedah flour mill in the north west NSW, we truck bulk semolina for making pasta directly to customers nationally, and into Port Botany for bulk export.

Grain is also transferred by road daily to our flour mill at Narrandera in the Riverina region of NSW, from where we truck our packaged flours, bread premixes, sweet and savoury premixes, oils and sugars for Bakers Delight in Victoria; along with dry flour bulk tankers destined for the greater Victorian market.

Local delivery trucks also take our flour, premixes, oils and sugars from the Narrandera mill to bakeries across southern NSW and northern Victoria.

From our Manildra mill, we transport packaged flour, bakery premixes and oils with trucks daily to retail customers in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Brisbane — then on by train to Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin.

The Manildra mill also sends several flour trains a week to our Nowra site, as well as containers of packaged goods via coastal shipping between the port of Botany and Fremantle in Western Australia.

Retail flours, bakery premixes and oils from the Manildra mill are further transferred by road (and onto Perth by rail from Adelaide) to supermarket distribution centres across Australia; and bulk flour tankers deliver directly to east coast breakfast cereal makers and other food producers.

From Manildra Group’s Victorian base in the Melbourne suburb of Altona, we distribute bakery premixes across Australia and internationally.

For the domestic market, our bakery products are transferred from Altona by road to Manildra Group warehouses in every state of Australia, for delivery direct to customers by our local subcontractors.

Packaged products from our mills at both Manildra and Narrandera are also received at Altona, for direct delivery with our premixes to bakeries throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Mr Owens said every day, Manildra Group coordinates deliveries of our Australian-grown and made premium sugar, oils, flour and premixes for bakers, retailers and food service operators across the nation.

“We’re like Australia Post – we deliver to every point in Australia,” he said.