Export via port pays off

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

About 2000 cattle departed the Port of Port Hedland at the beginning of this month, signalling the first live export trade in four years.

The Angus Express left the port about 6pm on Saturday, September 2, taking the six-day trip to a northern Indonesian port.

Landside operations manager Jon Giles said the recent upgrades to the port’s cattle-loading facilities led to a safe and efficient operation, with no reported incident or injuries.

“The new loading ramp functioned well and it proved to be a safe, steady and stress-free experience for livestock and staff,” he said.

The loading ramp was commissioned in April and can be used on multiple berths at the port.

Mr Giles said the shipment would benefit the livestock industry and signalled the revitalisation of the trade out of Port Hedland.

He said the interest in Pilbara livestock exports was linked to recently negotiated trade agreements, which could potentially lead to an increased demand for export cattle from the region.

“With the success of this operation, we are confident that we will be able to cater for more shipments and can accommodate larger numbers of livestock through the port, which will satisfy growing demand in the medium term,” Mr Giles said.

He said the PPA was already preparing for a longer-term solution to increase the livestock capacity for exports when the industry grows.

Munda station manager Michael Thompson, who put 200-plus cattle on the Angus Express, said there were financial benefits of being able to send cattle to Hedland instead of Perth — trucking cattle was only about 5c, a 30c saving on the Perth cost, with animals losing 3 not 10 per cent mass.

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