Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Bridges, R, Buckley, N, Goodall, J and Seeley, D, Joint industry planning platforms for coal export supply chains, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 429-445.


Improving the performance and reducing the costs associated with export logistics chains is critical to the competitiveness of export coal mines. The fundamental practices associated with the use of export logistics chains made up of mine, trucking, rail and port operations are being challenged by the advent of third party operators on rail systems and the use of the Internet. Whilst individual mines can improve their processes to drive down their mining costs, they face major challenges in their endeavour to improve the performance of export logistics chains and reduce the significant logistics costs of moving coal from the mine to export ships, via the shared infrastructure of rail systems and ports. There is an increasing realisation that global competition is not only between mines but between coal export regions that are defined by their rail system and ports infrastructure. The development and use of a joint industry planning platform for the export logistics chains of the Western Australian Grain Industry has demonstrated that an industry facing significant restructuring and increased competitiveness can achieve major throughput and cost reduction gains when stakeholders in export logistics chains share key planning information using the Internet and state of the art planning tools. Joint industry planning platforms for export logistics chains are being considered or are at initial stages of development for a number of Australasian coal export logistics chains. This paper reviews the development of a joint industry platform for the W A Grain industry and reports on the state of development of similar planning platforms for the export logistics chains of the Illawarra, Hunter Valley, SE Queensland, Blackwater / Moura. Goonyella and Mt Isa / Townsville export coal regions. This paper addresses the key components of joint industry planning platforms, the key information that should be shared, the use of the internet and information servers, and the contractual Structures required to enable stakeholders of an export logistics chain,w ho are competitors or potential competitors, to work together to improve the competitiveness of a coal export region.