Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) Board has made the decision to terminate Peter O’Sullivan’s tenure as CEO and will immediately start a merit-based search for GPC’s new leader. In a statement regarding the CEO, the GPC revealed that Peter O’Sullivan was suspended on 13 December last year, on full pay, and has had no involvement with the day to day operations of the port since that time. The substantiated complaint related to Mr O’Sullivan’s role in a staff disciplinary matter. Craig Walker continues to serve as the Acting Chief Executive Officer. The GPC stated that as an active and significant contributor to the QLD and Gladstone community and economy, the focus of its employees remain on the running of a safe and busy port to ensure we deliver sustainable economic growth and social prosperity for our region.
Mainfreight has announced its full year financial results to 31 March 2019 in what the company has referred to as its “best-ever” results. Highlights include:
Revenue $2.954 billion Up $337.39 million or 12.9 per cent
EBITDA $257.05 million Up $41.94 million or 19.5 per cent
Net profit (before abnormals) $141.08 million Up $29.08 million or 26.0 per cent
Adjusted for foreign exchange impact, revenue is up 10.8%, and EBITDA up 18.0 per cent
Specifically for Australia, the company reports a revenue of AU$710.17 million, up AU$86.90 million or 13.9 per cent. According to a statement released by the company the organisation has a relatively slow start to our financial year, but ends with satisfactory full year results. The statement reveals plans are underway for additional domestic freight facilities in Sydney and on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and construction of a new Adelaide facility is expected to commence late 2019. In the Logistics business, four new warehouses were opened with an additional AU$12 million of new business. Mainfreight’s standing in the premium beverage sector continues to grow. New warehouse business has in turn flowed into domestic freight tonnage. Additional warehousing capacity is planned in the coming year for Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, including purpose-designed capacity to aid warehousing of retail dangerous goods, which will be complemented by our specialist dangerous goods transport business, ChemCouriers. In addition, the Air & Ocean business improved both its sales growth and profitability over the prior year, with a strong emphasis on export related growth, particularly in the perishable airfreight sector. As with the balance of our Air & Ocean network globally, there is an emphasis on the development of LCL consolidation activity, the statement concludes.
Toyota has launched an all-new HiAce range of vans. According to Toyota Australia, the first new HiAce in 15 years offer improvements in driver comfort, performance, safety and functionality with the same expansive carrying capacity as its predecessor. As the first new HiAce in 15 years, it has been completely redesigned with a new semi-bonneted configuration to more than meet the needs of commercial, private, corporate and fleet buyers. Sitting on a substantially longer and wider all-new platform, the new HiAce combines efficient new turbodiesel and V6 petrol engines that deliver more power, refinement and driveability, the latest suite of Toyota Safety Sense features and a redesigned cabin with improved ergonomics for greater driver comfort and convenience. Toyota Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said every aspect of the all-new HiAce has been designed to appeal to owners who often spend long days behind the wheel. “Its impressive carrying capacity is even more flexible and user-friendly with increased internal width, and increased height on LWB versions, and dual sliding side doors on van models which, for the SLWB variants, can take a standard Australian pallet. We are also providing HiAce customers with the same high level of safety as found in our passenger cars and SUVs with a full suite of advanced Toyota Safety Sense technologies,” Sean said.
New research from Australia Post reveals that the total online spend in 2018 topped $27.5 billion, a 24 per cent increase for the year. Australia Post has released its annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report – an overview of Australia’s eCommerce market which provides key insights into who is shopping online, and what they’re buying. It shows that Australians are embracing online shopping at an accelerated rate – with the online goods spend for 2018 reaching 10 per cent of total retail – two years faster than expected. Australia Post General Manager for Parcels and Express Services, Ben Franzi, said the report also shows that 73 per cent of Australian households shopped online in 2018 – some 7.6 million Australian households. “Australians are getting online more and more, and changing the face of shopping. With it, they are also expecting faster service and delivery – with next day deliveries growing by 31.7 per cent, with more than 62 per cent of these fashion related purchases,” he said. Ben also said the way Australians are shopping online is also changing, with smartphones increasingly being the medium of choice. “Use of the smartphone to make online purchases increased 28 per cent for the year – to now make up more than 26 per cent of all purchases. It now sits comfortably alongside the laptop (32.8 per cent) and desktop (27.3 per cent), both of which fell for the year.” Fashion continues to be the leading category, accounting for more than a third (35 per cent) of all purchases, with more than 20 per cent growth year on year. Variety stores, health and beauty and homewares and appliances also attracted lots of online shoppers. Marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy, together with newcomers Amazon, Catch Group, Kogan and Myer, continue to be popular. “Australians appreciate the convenience that comes with being able to access goods from a variety of sellers in one place – it is quite literally a market, replicated online and providing an abundance of choice for consumers.” The convenience of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options such as AfterPay has also sparked joy for consumers, especially amongst millennials – those born after 1981 – who have become the fastest adopters. Unlike a credit card there is no service fee for customers who pay on time. “The five weeks from 11 November to 15 December accounted for almost 15 per cent of all online purchases. The peak for this period was the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales, which accounted for the biggest online shopping week in Australia’s history, recording growth of over 28 per cent, year-on-year,” Ben said. Cross Border eCommerce is also booming with New Zealand (29 per cent), China (15 per cent) and India (11 per cent) the leading purchasers of Australian goods online. Fashion is the leading category, followed by health & beauty and baby products which are in demand, due to Australia’s great reputation for producing clean safe and premium-quality products.
CMA CGM and MSC have announced they will join TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM. With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens, says CMA CGM. The addition of CMA CGM and MSC will provide a significant boost to the TradeLens vision of greater trust, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains to help promote global trade. The companies will promote TradeLens and create complementary services on top of the platform for their customers and partners. “Digitisation is a cornerstone of the CMA CGM Group’s strategy to provide an end-to-end offer tailored to our customers’ needs. We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation,” Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President, IT & Transformations, CMA CGM Group said. “Digital collaboration is a key to the evolution of the container shipping industry. The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards,” André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC said. TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secured, immutable record of transactions.
Abhy Maharaj has joined NewCold as global chief commercial officer & chief operating officer as the company eyes growth in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The appointment will be effective 1 July 2019. Read more
In recognition that people in industry learn from successful deployments, not white papers, three industry associations have banded together to organise a Supply Chain Climate Change Solutions Summit and Expo. This event will be held in Melbourne on Thursday 13 June 2019. Read more
An alliance of unions representing transport, farm and retail workers will work with one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, Coles, to address worker exploitation and risks to safety in the Australian fresh food industry. Coles has committed to work with the Transport Workers’ Union, the Australian Workers’ Union and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association to pursue safe and fair conditions for workers across its fresh produce and meat supply chains. The three unions will co-operate to organise transport, farm and retail workers to address worker exploitation and risks to health and safety. The move has been announced at TWU National Council in Cairns today. It follows two agreements with the TWU last year that cover the Coles transport supply chain and delivery work in the on-demand economy. The agreement promotes transparency and end-to-end compliance with the Coles supply chains. TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said: “Worker exploitation in any part of the Australian fresh food supply chain is not acceptable. Underpayment of wages and superannuation and unsafe working conditions must be addressed. Coles has been working with the TWU to ensure safety and fairness in road transport and it has shown its commitment to continue to work with its supply chains to ensure that all workers are treated in accordance with Australian workplace legislation.” Coles head of quality and responsible sourcing James Whittaker said: “Coles is committed to the safety and fair treatment of all the workers in our supply chains, as per our Ethical Sourcing Policy and Supplier Requirements. Our local Australian suppliers and workers are critical to the provision of fresh, quality produce and meat to our customers. We have made significant progress in the past 10 years on our Ethical Sourcing journey, and now look forward to working with these three unions.” AWU national secretary Daniel Walton said: “Workers in the fresh food industry can be vulnerable and we look forward to working with Coles and the TWU and SDA to protect the rights of these workers.” SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said: “Workers in retail stores and retail warehouses currently enjoy protections under union-negotiated Enterprise Agreements. We want to ensure all workers in the fresh food industry are aware of their rights and have the power to exercise those rights. This alliance will mean more workers can be reached in the supply chain to ensure their voices are heard and the exploitation stops.’ This work with Coles is part of an ongoing program of engagement with Australian retailers to pursue safe and fair conditions throughout the supply chain and the announcement last year by the TWU and SDA of an Online Retail and Delivery Alliance to organise workers in Amazon. A Fair Work Ombudsman inquiry last November highlighted the need for compliance and accountability throughout the fresh produce and meat processing supply chains. Inspectors recovered more than $1 million in unpaid wages for over 2,500 workers.
Sendle, Australia’s small business courier service, has announced plans to expand its parcel drop-off network.
In partnership with Hubbed, Sendle will offer more parcel drop off points than there are Post offices in Australia by 2020.
The announcement by Sendle follows strong uptake of its 24/7 parcel drop-off service, which has increased up to 204 per cent a month, in the six months since launch.
Together with Hubbed, the service has created 24/7 parcel drop-off and collection points across hundreds of BP service stations, newsagents and pharmacies within Australia.
The extended parcel drop off network will include locations that are more convenient than Post and operate 24/7. New research has revealed that the 10 suburbs with the greatest uptake of the dropoff service, also have between one and four existing Australia Post establishments in the very same suburb.
Toyota Australia together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management, will be introducing a fleet of autonomous Autopilot vehicles in to its Altona warehouse from its operation start in 2020. Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the fleet itself will consist of six Autopilot Tow Trucks (TAE500) and one Autopilot Reach Truck (RAE160), the flagship model when it comes to warehouse automation. They will apply Autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers. All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles allowing complete flexibility in operations. In addition to enhanced safety, Autopilot will also deliver energy efficiencies via Lithium-Ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs. Toyota Australia Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, said the mobility company has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of automation technology. “Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible. We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and Autopilot ticks every one of these boxes,” Sean said.