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Freight forum focuses on urban NSW supply-chain strategy

At the Sydney Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Forum, held in late July in Eastern Creek by the Hargrave Institute and Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Sydney, a select group were invited to discuss urban freight supply chains in Sydney, the performance of the current freight system, and its projected future performance.
Simon O’Hara, General Manager of Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) shared several key takeaways from the event, noting that the value of products moved by freight in New South Wales is $200 billion, transport can make up 30 per cent of the final cost of commodities, freight’s value to the New South Wales economy is $66 billion, it accounts for 12 per cent of the state’s gross product and, perhaps most important of all, it is expected to double over the next four decades.
Freight challenges discussed included urban encroachment, last mile, rail access competition, freight facility access and heavy-vehicle regulations, he shared.
“There were discussions around disruptors to road freight like connected and autonomous vehicles, truck platooning and m2m (machine to machine)/telematics,” O’Hara added.
He stated that the increase of volumes at Port Botany and Port Kembla was also in focus. “The figures for the increase are extraordinary with a tripling of container volumes out to 2045,” he said. “It is worth noting 80 per cent of import containers through Port Botany are delivered with a 40km radius of the Port and will continue for the next 40 years.
“This means container volumes which sit at 2.3 million (TEU) stretch out to 7.5 TEU at the lower end or 8.4 million TEU at higher end by 2045.
The increases are projected based on strong population growth in Sydney and the Illawarra region.
“Importantly, infrastructure plays a key role in the requirements for this freight task through Sydney and Western Sydney,” O’Hara added. “Protected and efficient freight corridors are needed, as is a connection of Port Botany to WestConnex.”

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