ALC says port sale must be backed up by infrastructure investment

The long-term lease of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7 billion must be accompanied by significant investment in road and rail infrastructure linking the port to the wider transport network to maximise its economic contribution to Victoria and the nation, says the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
“Now that an agreement has been reached on the long term lease of the Port, ALC encourages the State and Commonwealth Governments to prioritise infrastructure investment to the port to ensure it can meet its economic potential,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.
“This includes an appropriate investment of the $58 million set aside for the port rail shuttle, which has been on hold while the Port lease transaction was being finalised.
“An appropriately regulated port, supported by efficient road and rail links, is vital to sustaining the Victorian economy and driving productivity improvements across the supply chain.
“Today’s confirmation that the Port has been leased for 50 years to a consortium comprising of the Future Fund, QIC, GIP and OMERS provides certainty to the logistics industry and unlocks significant funds for reinvestment.
“ALC looks forward to the Government prioritising logistics infrastructure investment from the proceeds of the sale, and from the 15% dividend to be provided to the state under the Federal Government’s Asset Recycling Scheme.
“Infrastructure Australia has predicted the volume of containerised trade going through our ports and airports will increase by 165% from 2011 to 2031.
“This significant growth underscores the need for all governments, including Victoria, to invest in appropriate national infrastructure to ensure our landside infrastructure can keep pace with waterside growth.
“This investment must incorporate all modes of transport, including short haul rail, which needs to play a greater role into the future as our ports continue to move greater number of containers each year.
“With the Victorian Government securing a record $9.7 billion windfall from the Port of Melbourne lease, now is the time to get Victoria’s supply chains right by investing in the state’s logistics infrastructure to maximise the port’s future potential,” he concluded.

Train control designed for extreme weather conditions

The MA50C is a modular system for safe train control, with its mechanical design complying to the AAR S-590 standard (Association of American Railroads). The controller unit is the first member of a robust family in parallel to the existing menTCS (Train Control System) family, which is based on the same components and functionality.
The freely configurable and modular MA50C can be used for all kinds of critical train control functions such as Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Automatic Train Protection (ATP), which have to meet requirements up to safety level SIL 4.
The housing conforms to the AAR S-9401 standard and is protected against dust and water jets according to IP65/NEMA-4. All boards inside the system are embedded in a conduction cooling frame, eliminating the need for fans and therefore maintenance. In addition, it helps to protect the boards from dust and gives them mechanical stability.
Its design makes the control unit fit for use in regions with extreme environmental conditions or for applications that require the American AAR standard.
The MA50C is the first member of a new, AAR-compliant sub-family of the MEN Train Control System menTCS, whose components will be delivered in a project context. Functionally the MA50C is identical with the available standard MH50C.
The safe components of the menTCS will be delivered with different SIL 4 certification packages.
Other features include:

  • Certified, safe CPU board with 3 CPUs
  • Certified, safe I/O boards
  • Safe operating system from QNX (other RT BSPs on request)
  • Different certification packages available

Port of Melbourne sold for $9.7 billion

The Port of Melbourne has been sold to a consortium including Queensland Infrastructure Corporation, Global Infrastructure Partners and Canada’s Borealis for $9.7 billion, a price the Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas called a “pleasant surprise”.
The ABC reports that state legislation enabling the 50-year lease to the Lonsdale consortium passed parliament in March. A price of $6 billion was initially predicted.
According to AAP, Treasurer Tim Pallas said “”I think we’ve been very lucky in terms of timing … couldn’t have picked a better time to go to the market.”
Premier Daniel Andrews called it a vote of confidence in the state’s economy, and said over $970 million of the sale would be spent on rural and regional projects.
Final bids were due in last Friday, with Lonsdale beating a rival consortium including IFM and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, notes The Australian.

Up to 30 percent savings costs on maintenance

Genie Australia has introduced a raft of consolidated maintenance protocols as part of its Genie 360 Support program, which is claimed to potentially reduce the maintenance costs of a Genie scissor or boom lift by up to 30 percent.
“Genie 360 Support takes care of every aspect of our customer’s AWP needs from initial sales and service through to technical support, operator training, and maintenance,” said Mitch Ely, Genie National Operations Manager, Terex AWP. “By carefully scrutinising the maintenance criteria on Genie machines, analysing their operating histories, warranty data, customer feedback, design criteria and overall performance of a particular machine class, we have reduced some of our maintenance requirements. These schedule amendments will save money for our customers, slash down time in the workshop and generate more productivity, which is what Genie 360 Support is all about.
“For example, 250 hours was a standard trigger for an engine service for all Genie elevated work platforms.  After reviewing engine performance data, we were comfortable with extending this service interval out to 500 hours.  For customers with large Genie fleets their return on investment will be increased due to less parts expenditure and improved utilisation.”
Similarly, the requirement for hydraulic oil replacement was every two years, a procedure, which can be costly for rental companies, according to Ely. Under the new schedule, Genie is recommending the replacement of hydraulic oil only as required.
“Likewise some of our products operate reduction hubs in the wheels. Previously, the reduction hub oil was changed annually. Now it’s changed every two years,” he said. “By extending certain parts of our maintenance schedules, we are reducing maintenance running costs by up to 30 percent and reducing  hours off the time the machines are out of action in workshops.”
As part of the ongoing AWP leader’s commitment to continuous improvement, Genie separated the maintenance requirements from the service manuals and consolidated these into one maintenance manual for boom and scissors respectively, said Ely.

Air-operated conveyors for cramped spaces

Exair’s new 303 Stainless Steel 3/8-inch and ½-inch Threaded Line Vac Air-Operated Conveyors convert ordinary pipe into a powerful conveying system for parts, scrap, trim and other bulk materials, claims the manufacturer.
Their small size makes them suitable for fitting in the cramped spaces and tight confines of many production lines. The Threaded Line Vac is designed to attach to plumbing pipe couplers, sanitary flanges and other pipe fittings, allowing users to build a complete system using ordinary pipe and fittings. These new sizes make it easy to sample gas streams, sample grains or other ingredients, move small parts, or transport scrap or product out of small spaces.
Threaded Line Vac Conveyors eject a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum on one end with high output flows on the other. Response is instantaneous. Regulating the compressed air pressure provides infinite control of the conveying rate. Applications include scrap trim removal, material conveying, part transfer, fibre tensioning, filling operations and sampling.
These devices are CE compliant and are suited to a wide variety of conveying applications. Larger threaded sizes in up to 3-inch and smooth end models for hose up to 5-inch are also available in aluminium, 303SS and 316SS.

Geodis and Asteelflash sign agreement

Geodis is extending its freight forwarding services for the high-tech operator Asteelflash to Asia, Africa and Europe. The agreement encompasses transport management services including FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less Container Load) ocean freight shipments, as well as airfreight services and customs brokerage.
“Our markets are challenging both in the variety of product mix and in competitive pressure,” Veronique Danciu, Asteelflash’s Global Director of Transportation. “Our supply chain management must therefore be resilient to change and innovative in the solutions it delivers. We find that strong personal relationships at all levels between partners are the key to successfully achieving these goals.”
Asteelflash says it provides high quality and complex electronic products to a variety of industrial markets, including energy management, data processing, defense, aerospace, transportation and medical equipment.
“The fast-moving dynamics of such markets demand supply chain management that is capable of being both nimble and robust,” says Vincent Duconge, Trade Lane Manager for USA and France at Geodis. “This is what Geodis has been providing to Asteelflash in the US, and now also in Germany, France, the UK, China and Tunisia.”
In order to provide transparency and shipment control to Asteelflash, GEODIS connected the customer to IRIS (Intelligent Real-Time Information Service). It offers online booking to Asteelflash, as well as track and trace, reporting and alerts, invoicing functionalities and other features.

Why supply chains will be reshaped by 2025

Emerging advancements in technology such as autonomous trucks, 3D printing and warehouse automation will foster changes in how shippers, retailers and manufacturers configure their supply chains and distribution strategies, spurring a need for different formats and locations for industrial real estate, according to a new report from CBRE Group.
Taken together, these advancements will encourage industrial users to modernise their networks to adapt to the fast-evolving market rather than requiring them to add more or fewer warehouses and distribution centres. Each of these technology categories are on track to reach widespread use by 2025.
“Autonomous vehicles, 3D printing and warehouse automation stand to reshape supply chains on an unprecedented scale, but real estate won’t be innovated out of that equation,” said David Egan, CBRE’s Head of Industrial & Logistics Research in the Americas. “While use of autonomous vehicles in shipping likely will allow for a greater emphasis on a few massive distribution centers in far-flung, less expensive locations, 3D printing meanwhile will result in many users needing more industrial space closer to customers to facilitate on-demand, custom manufacturing.”
The CBRE report includes in-depth examinations of each of the three areas of technological advancement and their likely impact on the industrial and logistics markets.

  • Autonomous trucking: Labor represents roughly 75 percent of the cost of shipping a full truckload across the US, and drivers are limited to 70 hours of driving a week, equating to 3,000 miles. The advent of autonomous vehicles will allow cargo to travel greater distances in less time, saving costs. This, in turn, will allow some users to operate more extensively from large distribution centres in outlying locations, where land is less expensive.
  • 3D Printing: The ability to manufacture certain items on-demand will spur a horizontal shift in the supply chain. Whereas this advancement may lessen the need for centralised distribution space in some cases, it also increases the requirement for bulk, raw materials to be stored at printing sites close to the consumer in last-mile distribution facilities.
  • Automation in industrial facilities: A greater use of robots and other automated technology stands to reduce labor costs and increase efficiency. However, it also will stoke demand for modernized industrial buildings equipped to accommodate the design requirements and IT infrastructure of automation.

Floor scale offers manoeuvrability in tight spots

U.S. Toy Company operates a 750,000 square foot distribution center that ships to retail consumers, as well as commercial and wholesale accounts. When it facility space requirements changed this led to a reduction in truck shipment preparation space. So Fairbanks Scales suggested one of its Yellow Jacket U-Shaped floor scale as a solution.
U.S. Toy Company’s distribution center includes robotic and manual picking areas that ship using parcel, less than truckload (LTL), and full truckload modes. The company reduced the area devoted to shipping as part of an overall facility space reorganisation that allowed it to make better overall use of the distribution center. The reductions had a major impact on the LTL department, leaving the area with limited space dedicated to the preparation of truck shipments.
U.S. Toy had one older floor scale, along with about ten table scales for parcel-UPS type shipping.  The U-Shaped floor scale is an alternative to traditional floor scales in manufacturing and warehouse applications where floor space is at a premium. It claims to allow material handlers to capture the weight of standard and non-standard pallets and skids without removing the pallet jack.
Operators move the pallet into place over the scale, lower the pallet jack so the load is resting on the scale, capture the weight, and then raise the pallet jack to easily move the pallet or skid to its next location. This reduces weighing times by eliminating the step of pulling the pallet jack out from underneath the pallet.
The scale is 2.4-inches tall and does not require a ramp or pit. Accessories offered include a portable wheel kit and a quick-disconnect cable (between the scale and the readout). The built-in handles, used to move the scale, were designed for comfort and to avoid stress and injury.
At U.S. Toy, the new Yellow Jacket U-Shaped floor scale is used to weigh skids of product in preparation for shipping.
The large facility comprises three buildings and they sometimes need a scale in areas other than the shipping space. For example, they can bring the U-shaped scale to the receiving area for cross docking, a logistics procedure involving unloading imported containers from an incoming semi-trailer truck and loading them directly into outbound trucks with no storage and without skidding it (weighing for shipping out to a customer).
Another example is use of the scale for special projects, in which they might be preparing pallets for a future shipment. The new scale allows them to bring the scale to that area, versus bringing the pallet to the scale. In the past, products had to be skidded wherever the scale was permanently positioned. This involved using a forklift, bringing products to the scale, weighing them and bringing them back for shipping.

Mid-range printer integrates into most IT infrastructures

Honeywell’s PM42 mid-range industrial label printer is designed to help businesses address evolving operational needs for information technology, networking and automation, says the company.
With its intuitive user interface, the PM42 printer features enhanced processing capability and flexible open operating architecture to integrate into most IT infrastructures, deploying quickly into existing Honeywell or mixed-printer environments.
Designed as a cost-effective printing option, the PM42 is claimed to increase operational efficiencies in distribution center, manufacturing, transportation and retail environments.
Features include:

  • The all-metal housing enables longer operating times and can support heavy-duty printing in challenging industrial environments, such as distribution centres and warehouses.
  • With printing speeds of up to 300mm/s, the PM42 offers large volumes of continuous printing during peak times. The printer can also run apps using Honeywell Smart Printing technology
  • The PM42’s intuitive, full-color LCD display supports nine different languages. The user interface features shortcuts for one-key label setup. It is also said to reduce workforce training time and device support needs.
  • Users can set, monitor and configure the printer using a handheld computer, tablet or smartphone. The PM42’s integrated device management and diagnostic capabilities can reduce downtime and simplify deployment.


Global rebrand for IBS – now Iptor Supply Chain Systems

International Business Systems (IBS) has announced a global rebrand and will now be known as Iptor Supply Chain Systems.  The new name reflects the company’s strategic mission to help distribution-focused organisations solve their most complex order management and fulfilment challenges in a world where exceptions are the rule.
Recent research undertaken by Iptor Supply Chain Systems claims that for many distribution businesses, about 90 percent of processes and orders are routine. The other 10 percent — the exceptions, the one-offs, the special requirements — can wreak havoc on the business if not managed properly.
Iptor Supply Chain Systems calls this the ‘90/10 rule’ and it highlights the importance of being able to rule the exception in a distribution market that is ever-changing, increasingly complex, and highly competitive.
“This is more than just a rebrand – our name signals a fresh, refined approach to how we focus our experience and expertise to better serve our existing and future customers,” says Iptor CEO Jayne Archbold.
“The idea of ruling the exception was born out of customer research,” says Archbold. “Over 1,250 distribution businesses use our products and services to manage their operations. They operate in many sectors and in 40 countries yet they consistently tell us that a key challenge is handling the 10 percent of non-standard orders and added-value services that differentiate their offering.  Without good systems support, these exceptions can disrupt established workflows and eat into operating margins.  We partner with customers to help them not just manage, but rule the exceptions.  We help them reduce complexity, improve efficiency and accuracy and we give them real time visibility across all their operations.”

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