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Lamb consignment takes 4,000km train ride before it even hits the boats to The US

Lamb consignment takes 4,000km train ride before it even hits the boats to The US

Chilled Western Australian lamb used to be loaded onto freight trains to Brisbane closing week for a 4,000-kilometre rail dawdle to reach ships heading to North The US.

Key sides:

  • North The US is Australia’s most profitable lamb export market
  • Chilled WA lamb used to be despatched from Perth to Brisbane by train closing week for shipping to North The US
  • Shipping from Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney presently faces heavy delays

The lamb comes from the WA Meat Advertising Cooperative (WAMMCO), a farmer-owned meat processor primarily based totally in Katanning, at a time when the total world transport switch is below vital stress.

Early Newspaper

“We’re now now not ready to gain the flights and the shipping products and services we need,” WAMMCO advertising and marketing manager Damien Giumelli acknowledged.

Since January, WAMMCO has been transporting chilled lamb to Sydney and Melbourne ports by rail due to a lack of suitable US-walk ships docking in WA.

“[But now] the vessels that would robotically trot out of Sydney and Melbourne are truly bypassing these ports to establish some time. So the only possibility we enjoy is to trot to Brisbane,” Mr Giumelli acknowledged.

No longer now now not up to one extra train dawdle from Perth to Brisbane has already been scheduled.

a chart showing how lamb exports to the US have remained strong during COVID

The United States continuously accounts for between one quarter and one third of Australia’s lamb exports: $811 million AUD in the 2020-21 financial 300 and sixty five days.(

Offer: Meat and Livestock Australia Limited


Chasing a top class market

North The US is Australia’s glorious lamb export market by quantity and price.

Nonetheless, the added mark of a transcontinental rail dawdle is lively to give an explanation for for exporters.

“But it’s now now not a sustainable situation. It’s correct too phenomenal mark in the switch.”

In June, lamb exports to the US exceeded $100 million for the first time.

Packaged WAMMCO lamb products

Chilled lamb merchandise enjoy a shelf lifestyles of round 80 days, frozen merchandise closing phenomenal longer.(

Equipped: WAMMCO


The prolonged dawdle from WAMMCO’s Katanning abattoir to a North American customer is additionally placing force on the 80-day shelf lifestyles of chilled lamb.

“No longer only enjoy we got to gain it all the procedure by the nation, however the shipping transit times enjoy blown out,” Mr Giumelli acknowledged.

No port in a virulent illness

WAMMCO has endured shipping frozen lamb merchandise from Fremantle as they are now now not inclined to spoiling en-route to world markets.

“The motive we don’t need capacity out of Fremantle is now not a lack of vessels,” Mr Giumelli acknowledged.

“On the total we cross [US-bound] vessels by Singapore, however [shipping companies] couldn’t give us house out of Singapore because vessels there are being diverted to the Asia-North The US switch.”

A chart showing how US imports of Asian goods have grown during the COVID pandemic.

Commerce between Asia and the United States has risen since the initiate of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven strongly by imports to the US.(

Offer: US Census Bureau


Another fundamental West Australian lamb processor, Fletcher’s World, has now now not resorted to railing its product unfriendly-nation however has transport complications with its absorb.

“Rescheduling is one thing we rarely traditional to fabricate. Now we enjoy to fabricate it nearly each day.”

An aerial view of a container port

The drift of cargo by Fremantle Port is below vital stress from world shipping supply shortages and industrial action.(

ABC Records: Gian De Poloni


It remains to be viewed how lengthy WAMMCO will need to rail its lamb unfriendly-nation however the world shipping supply scarcity appears to be like likely to proceed.

“What wants to happen is extra capacity wants to come into the switch,” Mr Giumelli acknowledged.

“But the timeline is anticipated to be 2-3 years before they come into provider.

“We could well additionally very well be going by challenges for quite a while.”

Lamb consignment takes 4,000km train ride before it even hits the boats to The US