On the move in WA

26 July, 2017

Trade through Western Australia’s ports is expected to reach more than one billion tonnes by 2030, the Department of State Development says.

This huge increase, coupled with WA’s surging population – Perth is expected to reach 3.27 million people in less than a decade – means logistics and supply chain businesses are literally steering our economic future.

Mainfreight is one of those WA companies who will play a big part in that future.

Mainfreight’s 239 branches in 21 countries have seen them deliver everything, from heavy earthmoving equipment to earthquake-damaged New Zealand, to crocodiles to Dubai.

Last year Mainfreight Australia handled 3.61 million cubic metres of cargo, up 600,000 cubic metres from the year before, making it a big player in the logistics space.

Project logistics is booming, opening doors for it to work with companies on larger projects with more complex cargo.

Perth-based national projects manager Bronwyn Wassell says air freight will almost always be the quickest way to get freight to its destination but price is a drawback and in Australia there are sometimes limited flight options.

“Air freight is expensive but if you need freight here in a hurry then there is no other way, especially into Perth because we are so far away from a lot of places in the world and there are only certain trade lanes carrying sea freight that call Fremantle a port of call,” she says.

Wassell says sea freight has traditionally been Mainfreight’s bread and butter and through its subsidiary Carotrans they move all kinds of general freight around.

“Sea freight is basically containers, both import and export, all around the globe,” she says.

“We also pack Less Container Load (LCL) cargo through Carotrans. They’re a non-vessel operating common carrier. They will pack containers from everywhere consolidating freight from other freight forwarders in the market who may not have the volume we have.”

Wassell would like to see WA shipping infrastructure improved and the coastal shipping service start up again after the State Government pulled its funding in 2013.

“The infrastructure they have in New South Wales is completely different to what we have in WA,” she says.

“Considering the booms we’ve had in WA and all the things that have happened, it's quite difficult to move cargo up and down the coast of WA.”

She says given the complexity and sheer range of freight options out there, it is important for businesses to talk with someone like Mainfreight when they need to move something.

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