No. 13: Mitchell’s Livestock Transport

James Nason, 02/12/2013

A Mitchell's Livestock Transport triple road train passes Ayers Rock. Over the past 70 years three generations of the Mitchell family have grown Mitchell’s Livestock Transport into one of Western Australia’s largest livestock transporting companies, with an operational footprint that covers Western Australia and extends into all corners of Australia.

The business was established by Eric “Mick” Mitchell and his wife Margaret in 1948 at Waroona between Mandurah and Bunbury in south western Western Australia.

The company started out as a general carrying business carrying “anything and everything” from local timber and agricultural products ranging from beef and dairy cattle to grain, dairy, fertiliser, fodder and fruit and vegetables.

In 1968 the business suffered the first of two major setbacks when Mick passed away suddenly. Son Jack stepped up to take over the company with the help of his mother Margaret, and over the next 20 years developed key relationships with customers that laid the platform for the company’s evolution to become a major livestock transporting specialist. Jack also helped to form the WA Livestock Transporters Association and later served as its president.

As the WA’s meat processing industry began to rationalise away from small local abattoirs towards larger regional facilities, Mitchell’s Livestock Transport focused on filling the need for a professional carrying service with the logistical and fleet capacity to move cattle longer distances.

With Jack’s sudden and unexpected death in 1988, the responsibility for running the business fell onto his then 23-year-old son John, employed at the time as a fitter and plant mechanic with Alcoa. With strong support from his siblings David and Jenny, and many loyal and long-serving staff members, Mitchells Livestock Transport managed to survive and overcome the tragic loss.

In the past 25 years under John’s management the business has grown from operating eight prime movers to now running 16 prime movers and carting more than 600,0000 cattle a year.

Soon after John took over Mitchells Livestock Transport, the company became one of the first transporters in WA to introduce B-Double trailers, a significant step forward in efficiency and safety.  In 1998 if also became one of the first transport companies in Australia to run the ‘Double B Double’ – two B doubles in Road Train form.

Under John’s management the business has also dramatically extended its geographic footprint by specialising in the logistics of managing large-scale cattle lifts and focusing on moving high-value cattle to all corners of the country.

The biggest lift in John’s time involved moving 2000 Angus cows no less than 5100km from WA’s west coast to Cloncurry in NW Qld. The company also undertakes large lifts in the Kimberley and Pilbara for the shipping trade, and moves across to the Eastern States.

“What we aim and aspire to do is to transport high value cattle very well,” John explained.

“We like to work with people that put a value on their livestock and have a genuine interest in the value of the animal and the health of the animal.

“That is basically what we have tried to do differently. Coordinating logistics, animal welfare, vehicle safety and Innovation have been the underlying themes of our evolution.”


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28 Fouracre Street

Waroona WA 6215


P – (08) 9733 1246

F – (08) 9733 2314

M – 0418 420 880


Email – bookings@mitchellstransport.com.au


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