Article by Emily Murphy courtesy of Australian Mining.
BHP has announced it will increase the direct shipping of supplies from Singapore to Port Hedland, providing local business opportunities for Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
BHP has been trialling direct shipping to Port Hedland since 2020 and will now ship 7.5 per cent of the containerised supplies it receives into its Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) operations from all over the world through Singapore, directly to Port Hedland.
BHP’s WAIO general manager of port operations Cindy Dunham said since BHP began trialling the transport project, the business has seen safety, cost, efficiency, and environmental improvements.
“This initiative not only improves efficiency, it also improves safety and environmental outcomes, thereby benefiting the whole community,” Dunham said.
“BHP would like to work with local businesses in Port Hedland to explore opportunities to optimise their own supply chains via this shipping route. We are committed to helping develop Port Hedland as a thriving, sustainable place to live.”
Pilbara businesses will be able to benefit from the direct shipping route, through BHP’s freight provider ANL.
BHP plans to make this direct route open and available to businesses interested in reducing their transport costs for building supplies and consumer goods.
It is estimated that there will be a six-day reduction in transportation time, and the move will also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions related to the transportation of the re-routed goods into the Pilbara by up to 75 per cent per container.
Before the trial began, BHP supplies for WAIO were shipped to the Port of Fremantle and were then transported 1650 kilometres by road to Port Hedland.
Pilbara Ports Authority chief executive officer Roger Johnston said direct shipping in the Pilbara has grown faster than predicted since the first call in late 2020, with benefits to the port, proponents, and the local economy already being realised.
“PPA is proud of the work it has done to make direct shipping possible and has already trebled its first port of entry facilities to accommodate growing demand,” Johnston said.
“The service is generating more inbound and outbound freight opportunities, which in turn creates local opportunities for container de-stuffing, warehousing, and distribution.
“A recent report by ACIL Allen estimates the economic benefit of near-port freight efficiencies to be approximately $5 million per annum, while imported cargo freight efficiencies are in the order of $60 million per annum.”