Getting products from mine to port for export is a key step in the supply chain. Australian Mining speaks with LINX Cargo Care Group about its flexibility in helping mining companies move their product to port throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
With numerous industries scaling back operations as a result of the pandemic, mining has remained one of the most important industries in keeping the Australian economy afloat by providing end markets with essential commodities.
With businesses across port, forestry, road, and rail transport, as well as the automotive sector, LINX Cargo Care Group is a key link between the mines and the products reaching their customers.
The pandemic has interrupted interstate and particularly international supply chains and deliveries, further underpinning the importance of reliable and local logistical companies like LINX Cargo Care Group.
Carlo Cutinelli, executive general manager for customer and business development at LINX Cargo Care Group, says the key to the Group’s success in supporting its mining customers in unprecedented times is being flexible to their needs and expectations.
“It is a really opportunistic time to offer interchangeable options regarding which modes we are using for our customers,” Cutinelli tells Australian Mining.
“For example, rail works really well from a cost effectiveness and environmental point of view and is beneficial for transporting product long distances, but a lot of the time it is very difficult for mining operations to have dedicated rail facilities.
“Working together with our customers, we can help to reduce their supply chain costs and leverage LINX’s abilities in both the trucking and rail space to develop a boutique solution, allowing them to export at a more cost-effective rate.”
LINX Cargo Care Group prides itself on having valuable knowledge not only in the logistics space but also of the industries and markets it is supporting, such as mining. The Group is able to apply this expertise when developing a port, rail or road solution.
This includes knowledge of the commodities mining companies are transporting, including the market conditions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this has impacted their exports.
“Some commodities are holding their ground, but the mining operations like battery metals that were waiting on market movement to make their mines feasible for production require additional support trying to reinvigorate those activities,” Cutinelli says.
“LINX Cargo Care Group is working alongside them to look at unique opportunities to encourage their operations and developing a broader suite of service offerings.”
For example, LINX Cargo Care Group has overcome border closures impacting exports across state lines by putting customers’ products that are usually transported by rail to be trucked by road and vice-versa to maintain continuity of supply.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit we ran a substantial fleet and when the state borders were shut, we were flexible and made changes to assist our customers, putting rail exports onto the road or vice versa,” Cutinelli says.
“Our role in the supply chain didn’t skip a beat, even with the initial stage three lockdown in Victoria, we helped keep the export supply chain moving.”
Being versatile to change according to customers’ needs is an important part of LINX Cargo Care Group’s business model, to support its customers throughout the range of industries the Group’s businesses service.
As well as being flexible with its options for customers, LINX Cargo Care Group attributes its success to keeping its part in Australia’s supply chain rolling to its quick reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic to adhere to Government restrictions and put the appropriate safety and protective measures in place.
Cutinelli says this extended from LINX Cargo Care Group’s efforts, with the logistics industry as a whole working together to ensure safe continued operations for its people and customers.
“LINX Cargo Care Group reacted very quickly to enact our pandemic business continuity plans across all of our sectors of business,” he says.
“This is testament to the logistics industry as a whole. The industry already had robust work plans in place with regard to managing fatigue and safety.
“From here, our businesses could flex very quickly to put forward COVID response management plans, such as additional safety measures and managing recruitment, to ensure we had enough drivers for the additional road operations.”
Cutinelli says the mining industry’s preparedness and focus on safety was also paramount to quickly adapting to the situation and keeping exports moving despite border and travel restrictions.
“The mining industry has led the safety charge and culture we’ve seen across many industries,” he says. “Dealing with various companies over the last five to seven years I have seen those robust plans they have in place.
“Their safety plans and requirements are very stringent and uncompromised, it’s a testament to mining companies and their industry.”
This feature also appears in the October edition of Australian Mining.