Ramping up cattle export efficiency at Darwin Port
A new livestock loading ramp at Darwin Port is streamlining the delivery of large consignments of export cattle while maintaining animal welfare and worker safety standards.
Built for stevedoring company Qube’s Darwin livestock operations, the new ramp was developed in close collaboration with major cattle exporter Frontier International.
The new ramp can complete loading into a G-class vessel in about half the time and twice as efficiently as was previously possible.
Frontier International spokesman Tick Everett said the new ramp reflected confidence in the livestock export industry.
“This sort of new infrastructure, in time, benefits our entire industry,” Mr Everett said.
“We first used the ramp on some smaller shipments before Christmas and that allowed us to test the systems out and make sure the last touches and modifications were fit for purpose.”
Qube operations manager Scott Sims said the ramp was a collaboration between Frontier and Argyle Engineering in Kununurra.
“Innovation, safety and welfare have been at the forefront of our effort and we’re proud to be supporting this important industry with this investment,” Mr Sims said.
“The complete unit is easy to set up, reduces wait and load times and includes a raft of safety features for both animals and crews.”
The new ramp is custom built to act as a bridge connecting unloading trucks to the awaiting ship and is designed specifically for smooth, controlled cattle movement in mind.
“The hydraulic feet take the weight of the ramp and is a massive game-changer because the greater stability means there’s less bouncing around and less noise,” Mr Everett said.
“That makes a huge difference to the cattle because they move more smoothly and safely from the truck, through the ramp and onto the ship.
Loading 3500-4000 cattle on to a typical G-Class vessel could now be completed in five to six hours with the new ramp, representing a significant improvement in efficiency factoring in it could previously have taken 10 hours or more.
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