In State the size of WA, in a region the size of the Pilbara, and a town that boasts the largest bulk export port in the world — it seems only fitting that most things about import and export logistics services company QUBE are big.
Addressing the February Community Industry Forum, QUBE Bulk Logistics Manager James Waltham gave an overview of the Port Hedland operations and the company’s extensive links with the community.
QUBE employs 400 staff in Port Hedland with close to 70 per cent living in the town. The remainder are predominantly made up of road train operators, who work FIFO rosters and are accommodated in a QUBE-owned 100-person camp in the town.
It operates the Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility, which receives approximately 500 quad road train deliveries every day.
Utah Point is a joint QUBE and Pilbara Ports Authority bulk handling facility and berth which caters for junior miners and exports approximately 24 million tonnes of bulk cargo a year.
QUBE also operates the East Side wharf facilities, using its own 124 tonne mobile harbour crane for bulk export and break-bulk cargoes.
It handles and transports about 6,000,000 tonnes of bulk cargo a year in the Pilbara and operates 70 road trains and a range of front-end loaders and ancillary equipment across a variety of operations within the Pilbara.
It also owns and operate a 100,000-tonne capacity bulk storage facility in Wedgefield.
Given the size of the road transport operation, James said a constant adherence to safe work practices was critical.
Improved heavy vehicle safety features and increasing fleet and driver monitoring had combined to reduce incidents related to speeding by 80 per cent from 2017 to 2020.
The monitoring had also raised 1200 fatigue incidents in the same time — often with drivers not recalling that they had closed their eyes — and reduced motor vehicle insurance premiums and workers compensation insurance premiums, and distractions such as mobile phone and smoking,
The QUBE fleet is monitored year-round from a central location.
The company provides sponsorship and school-based traineeships through the Port Hedland Senior High School and supports a range of local community and sporting groups in the town.
It also has a longstanding partnership with the Clontarf Academy across WA.
The safety theme continues with Road Train Education sessions with local schools in the Pilbara and Mid-West to teach children about trucks and heavy vehicles and their operating capabilities and restrictions.
“These sessions are all about providing children with awareness of how long it takes for the quad road trains to slow down and stop, while also providing them an insight into the cabs and features of modern day, industry leading trucks and technology,” James said.
QUBE runs similar sessions with Grey Nomads to ensure they are aware how long it takes for a quad road train to slow down and stop.