Grain Harvest Management Scheme boon for VIC freight operators

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed the establishment of the state’s first Grain Harvest Management Scheme, which is expected to provide a productivity and safety boon for farmers and grain transport workers.
The scheme will allow heavy vehicles to increase their load by five per cent during the grain harvest season from 1 October to 30 April 2018, when delivering grain to receivers who are also participating in the scheme.
Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA, said the extra five per cent tolerance during the grain harvest season would give operators flexibility to be able to safely transport more grain.
“As an industry group, we welcome the scheme and the positive outcomes it will inevitably create for operator safety and productivity,” said Anderson.
“Provisions made for bigger loads mean fewer trips for operators, which will improve their profit and safety margins.”
VicRoads Director of Heavy Vehicle Services Eric Henderson said that the focus of the scheme was twofold – supporting farmers to be more productive during the grain harvest and boosting heavy-vehicle safety.
“This is the busiest time of year for farmers and this scheme will ensure they spend less time on the road and can get back to business sooner. Time savings also increase the focus on safe driving,” said Henderson.
To participate in the scheme, vehicles must comply with the uniform national standards for vehicles built after 1 January, 2002. Vehicles must also not exceed their manufacturer ratings.
VicRoads will evaluate the Grain Harvest Management Scheme after the first year.

A passion for supply-chain knowledge sharing

It’s great to have a passion for your work, and Rob O’Byrne, CEO of management consultancy Logistics Bureau, certainly has that in spades – particularly in the supply-chain education area.
One way O’Byrne chooses to support the industry is through providing free education programs to the industry.
After 20 years at the helm of Logistics Bureau, O’Byrne’s passion in recent years has turned to helping others, he told Logistics & Materials Handling. His businesses, for example, all share some of their income with charitable organisations around the world and, in 2012, he established a social enterprise in the southern Philippines that provides outsourced administration services.
O’Byrne explained that his interest in promoting education has grown over the years. “I think it’s an age thing!” he said. “Once I got into my fifties, I found I was getting much more interested in helping to educate our next crop of supply chain leaders, and so I established a ‘members only’ academy to do just that, the focus being on personal development as well as technical and management topics.
“It then seemed a natural next step to bring our passion for education to a much broader audience and so we established ‘Supply Chain Leaders Insights’ in 2016. It’s a public event that brings 200 delegates together with 20 industry experts and leaders to share knowledge in a small-group coaching environment. It’s proved immensely popular.”
O’Byrne added that the event is intentionally low cost – tickets cost just $87 – and all proceeds go to charity on the day. “In this way, it feeds our other passion for helping those in need too,” said O’Byrne.
He said that for 2017, the Supply Chain Leaders Insights event will provide participant with an added, continuous-learning module. “In trying to add more value to our delegates this year, I thought it would be fun to provide them all delegates with a 12-month online education program as another useful resource and a thank you for attending,” he said. “Why not, I thought – it will really help them in their roles and careers.”
In talking to O’Byrne, the passion really shines through and it’s obvious where he gets his greatest satisfaction these days – like many Australian business leaders, it’s through giving others a helping hand.
Supply Chain Leaders Insights 2017 will be held on 17 October in Melbourne, and 19 October in Sydney. Find out more here.

Isuzu signs on with MEGATRANS2018

Truck manufacturer Isuzu has announced its support of multi-modal supply chain event MEGATRANS2018, joining the show as a Platinum Sponsor.
Isuzu, a market leader in the Australian transport industry for 28 consecutive years, joins key partners including the Victorian Government and the Port of Melbourne in supporting this inaugural trade show event, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May, 2018.
With a focus on connected vehicles and a technology-driven display in the works for MEGATRANS2018, Isuzu is aiming to set a new benchmark in the wider supply-chain industry.
“The discussion and hype surrounding autonomous, or driverless, vehicles and technologies continue to build both overseas and here in Australia,” said Phil Taylor, Director and COO, Isuzu.
“Disruptive technologies appear to be becoming more prevalent with each new year, fundamentally changing the way the market will look at the road transport industry over the next few decades.
“There is one thing that I know for certain, whatever the technology, or the timeframe – Isuzu will ensure that Australian truck operators have access to the latest innovations in truck technology that are suitable for Australian operating conditions, driving better safety outcomes for all road users and improving air quality, productivity and the bottom line for the operator.”
Logistics & Materials Handling is an official Media Partner of MEGATRANS2018.

eStore Logistics opens Melbourne warehouse

eStore Logistics has announced the opening of a new 13,000m2 e-commerce warehousing and order fulfilment facility located in Melbourne’s West.
The new facility features 12,500 pallet positions, 18,000 pick bin locations, state-of-the-art security and more than 45 high-resolution video surveillance cameras with 24/7 recording.
This new warehousing facility has been designed specifically for storage, dispatch of goods for e-commerce and omni-channel retail clients.
E-commerce order profiles will be serviced from the facility as well as full case and split case picks for wholesale and direct to store requirements.
The company explained in a statement that the facility had been designed to provide a flexible operation that could be scaled up based on seasonality, business growth and new clients.

Rio Tinto completes Australia's first fully autonomous rail journey

Mining group Rio Tinto is a step closer to its goal of having a network of driverless trains in the Pilbara after undertaking the first fully autonomous rail journey at its Western Australian iron ore operations.
The nearly 100km pilot run was completed without a driver on board, according to Rio, making it the first fully autonomous heavy-haul train journey ever completed in Australia.
The company is aiming to fully commission the AutoHaul driverless train project by late next year.
Rio Tinto, with representatives from the National Rail Safety Regulator, monitored the journey in real time from the company’s operations centre in Perth.
The company said that it regards the pilot run from Wombat Junction to Paraburdoo as a significant step forward toward full commissioning of AutoHaul, which will depend on it meeting safety and acceptance criteria and obtaining regulatory approvals.
Chris Salisbury, CEO – Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, said the pilot run put the company firmly on track to meet its goal of operating the world’s first fully autonomous heavy-haul, long-distance rail network.
“Gains from AutoHaul are already being realised, including reduced variability and increased speed across the network, helping to reduce average cycle times,” he said.
“Rio Tinto is proud to be a leader in innovation and autonomous technology in the global mining industry, which is delivering long-term competitive advantages as we build the mines of the future. New roles are being created to manage our future operations and we are preparing our current workforce for new ways of working to ensure they remain part of our industry.”
Rio Tinto originally launched the driverless trains project in 2012, and had plans to have the program fully installed by 2015.

Ceva Logistics celebrates milestones

Ceva Logistics is celebrating two anniversaries in Australia this month, marking ten years of operations as Ceva Logistics, and the first anniversary of its new Australasian headquarters in Truganina, Victoria.
Ceva was born in Australia from the merger of Australian transport company, Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT), and Eagle Global Logistics in August 2007.
Ceva is celebrating the milestone achievements with customers and staff across the country, starting with a staff event at Truganina hosted by Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Carlos Velez Rodriguez.
“We are delighted to be able to celebrate two landmark achievements at the same time with our colleagues and customers,” said Velez Rodriguez.
“I’d particularly like to pay tribute to our staff, be they working at this site or others in the Australia & New Zealand cluster, for their dedication and hard work in making this company the success it is today. A number of them have been with us for many more than the ten years we are marking today and we salute them all.”

DHL granted Australian Trusted Trader accreditation

DHL Global Forwarding (Australia) has been granted full accreditation by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) under the Australian Trusted Trader Program, with the signing of a formal agreement on 5 September, 2017.
DHL has been involved with the government program since the initial pilot commenced in 2015 and is the largest service provider to be granted entry into the scheme.
Australian Trusted Trader is a voluntary trade facilitation initiative recognising businesses with a secure supply chain and compliant trade practices that rewards accredited businesses with a range of trade facilitation benefits. Australian Trusted Trader further supports and facilitates the handling of clients’ international supply chains by service providers.
Within Australia’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme, Trusted Traders work to secure the international supply chain, while facilitating the movement of legitimate trade. Australia is the only AEO programme to grant accreditation to service providers.
“The Australian Border Force is pleased to welcome globally recognised service providers like DHL Global Forwarding to the Australian Trusted Trader program,” said Sneha Chatterjee, Chief Superintendent, Australian Border Force.
“Trusted Traders receive a range of benefits, one of which is a seat at the table with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This is a forum to discuss issues and initiatives that directly affect trade communities, and provides an opportunity to shape the future direction of policy and programmes.”
Tony Boll, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding South Pacific, added: “This accreditation is recognition of the commitment DHL has made to supply chain security, high compliance standards and display of best industry practices as set by the DIBP.
“Government-led programs such as this are incredibly important for our industry and we are proud to be awarded Trusted Trader status.”

CCTV 2.0

This interview first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Logistics & Materials Handling. 
For many years now, images captured by closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, whether on public or private property, have been used to secure convictions, establish timelines, and identify suspects after crimes have been committed.
The technology’s main limitation until now has been the quality of the video and images produced: these have often been inferior to the point they cannot clearly establish a chain of events, or positively identify a suspect to the standards required in courts of law. The cameras themselves have essentially been ‘dumb’ recorders of events, unable to identify or signal a security breach or incident in real time.
CCTV technology has now evolved to an almost unrecognisable state, says Chris Pearson, Managing Director of security consultant and design firm Quorum Security.
“Most people have no idea how smart and powerful CCTV camera systems can be, especially when connected to access control/alarm systems,” he adds.
“Cameras nowadays come with video analytics (VA) software that can identify if people or vehicles are moving in the wrong direction, if a truck has exceeded the site’s speed limit or if persons have entered a restricted area, or breached a perimeter when the facility is closed. There’s software coming out now that can recognise if workers aren’t wearing their full PPE (personal protective equipment), or have products or items in their hands when leaving the production area, to deter pilfering and theft.”
Ross Head, Managing Director at security technology company nXient, says, “A human security guard can be in the wrong place when an incident occurs, or make errors of judgement – they might even be bribed to ‘look the other way’. Once you’ve installed modern cameras, they work 24/7, and don’t take coffee breaks or make mistakes.”
Chris adds, “Corporates have long seen security as a grudge purchase, but there really are good business cases now for investing in quality, well-designed systems – benefits include higher efficiency, increased safety and proof of due diligence. Although we’re a security company, we’re also about risk management and proving due diligence for our clients.”
A cut above
Although both nXient and Quorum Security are consulting, design and installation companies that offer a range of security products, Mobotix is the brand of choice for intelligent digital cameras (called IP, for ‘Internet Protocol’) for both men.
“Mobotix cameras are tougher than a Russian tank,” says Chris. “They operate on Antarctic bases, in deserts in the Middle East, are strapped to the under-wing of fighter jets – they’re incredibly resilient, and can easily cope in the harshest cold-storage or logistics environments.”
Ross notes that the Mobotix cameras also boast protection from the elements.
“All Mobotix cameras have no moving parts, and Mobotix outdoor cameras are completely sealed against water and dust,” he says, adding that they also offer a great feature set – the latest IP technology and an “incredibly high” resolution for a CCTV camera, six megapixels.
When implementing security systems, companies often think that any camera system will do, Ross adds.
“People understand brands and their relative value in fashion, cars and so on, but they are brand blind in a business like ours – they don’t know the difference between Mobotix and anything else on the market,” he says. “All they see is the price, but the truth is that the capability and quality differences in CCTV systems can be astounding.”
It was thanks to a request from a Quorum client that Chris and Ross now offer a unique combined CCTV and access management system.
“Martin Brower, global logistics provider for restaurant chain McDonalds, wanted its Mobotix CCTV cameras to be able to communicate with the Hirsch access control system,” says Ross.
“nXient’s engineers wrote an integration between Mobotix’s in-built video management system (VMS) and the Hirsch Velocity software,” he adds. “This allows the system to act as an intelligent outlier, sending alerts to a monitoring team when it senses unauthorised presence or motion.
“Mobotix and Hirsch each have their own language, so we created a middle language, or ‘middleware’, to allow them to interacttogether.”
This integrated system has enabled deliveries and pickups at Martin Brower to be organised much like an airport runway – if a truck tries to gain entry too early or too late for its pre-designated time slot, entry can be delayed or denied – and the driver may need to negotiate a new time slot, enabling greater dock turnaround efficiencies for the logistics firm.
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The importance of homework
Chris believes that the first thing any company should do when considering a CCTV and/or access control solution is work out its true wants, needs, and pain points.
“It’s important to establish why you need a new system: whether it’s for safety compliance reasons; standard security concerns such as break-ins, theft and pilfering; or the need to restrict and control access for staff, visitors, contractors and drivers around a site – there could be dozens of different reasons” he says. “Next, you need to get a licensed security consultant in to help you design a fit-for-purpose solution.”
Ross adds that many security firms with licensed security consultants will undertake a comprehensive site security audit and write a detailed report at no cost, or a minimal cost for large sites, which can then be credited back if the consultant wins the project to install the recommended systems.
“Get somebody in who knows the environment and issues in your industry well, and who’s installed a lot of systems for similar companies to yours. They’ll be better able to understand your current and future needs,” he notes. “Both Chris’ company and my own regularly provide telephone advice to enquirers free of charge.”
After handing over its list of issues and requirements, as well as ‘pain points’ to the consultant, Ross advises that companies start asking hard questions.
“What’s the warranty, and what back-up resources are provided?” Chris suggests. “Will the system be compatible with future models? Are replacement parts stocked locally? Can you give me a list of reference sites I can talk to?”
Ross adds, “When choosing, it’s vital to go for something adaptable, as your needs today may change in the future. A flexible, expandable, feature-rich solution will service you better when the threat level changes and your needs expand. Sometimes our clients want to scale up their existing security system, but the product they are using is inferior, perhaps it’s not IP66 (all-weather) or safety compliant, or it simply cannot connect to modern systems.”
Chris says, “The vast majority of our clients will double the size of their camera systems within four years of the initial installation. They originally only want surveillance in the distribution centre, for example, but after seeing the value and the capability of Mobotix cameras, they want it in the loading dock, the office, production areas, entry/exit points – everywhere.”
The differences between low-cost camera systems and reputable models can be significant, Chris believes. “For example, low-light functionality (lux rating) is often all-important for clients, as it reduces the need for lighting large areas at night. A low-cost product may offer a certain lux rating, with a 23° field of view and an effective visible range of 20m, whereas a high-quality product may have a lux rating that’s ten times more effective than the cheap option, along with a high-resolution, 360° view and a clear visual range up to 40m. Price-based decisions are often a false economy, as a client may need up to three or four times the number of cheaper cameras to do the same job.”
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Technology in camera systems has now made them intelligent enough to require less storage than their predecessors, Ross adds. “Memory used to be expensive, and cameras quickly filled hard drives. Now, memory is cheaper – we recommend saving a minimum of 30 days’ storage of images, for which companies with quite large CCTV systems will only need a few terabytes.
“Also, modern cameras are smart enough to only send images to the server/storage device when it’s necessary, so the required bandwidth on a client’s network is much lower – yet they’re sentient enough, for example, to instantly capture images of the driver and the number plate if a truck comes into the camera’s field of view. As a result of that, searching the database for a specific incident is now faster and simpler.
Once you’ve found a reputable system that offers the functionality you require and obtained a quote, it’s time to get more, Chris advises. “You must get competitive quotes, as with any business expenditure,” he says. “There’s no need to rush into an agreement, but it’s critical to ensure that you’re being quoted on a like-for-like system. Don’t only look at price – check out the experience, skills and reputation of the bidding company, and take this information on board as well when you make a decision.”
When the new security system is installed and up and running, companies should nominate an appropriate staff member to take ownership of, and champion, the system, Chris says. “With training, he or she can have a good understanding of how the system works,” he adds. “If that employee moves, a new employee should be nominated and trained, so that the site always has skills to operate the system when a security breach or WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) incident occurs – and these events often come with a requirement to move quickly to secure the images for analysis and review.
“We’re only really now beginning to see security camera technology show its potential,” says Ross. “Fifteen or 20 years ago, the public was largely against CCTV, due to concerns about privacy intrusion. That perception has changed – people now view it as technology that helps solve crimes and keeps everyone safe. Today, more than 80 per cent of major crimes are solved with the aid of CCTV images.”
Chris adds, “Just like the computer industry, CCTV system prices will continue to decrease, while their power and efficiency increase. I think the next big technology change for this industry will be video analytics integrating with AI (artificial intelligence).
“Cameras will be more useful in a preventative sense, alerting us to potential danger before it happens.”
As an example, Chris says that ‘thermographic’ cameras – which can instantaneously detect minute temperature changes – are already being used as preventative tools. “They monitor the temperature of generators and other heat-generating machines in factories, and send an alert if a change is detected, signalling the need for maintenance and reducing costly breakdowns,” he says. “Also, they’re being used in cold stores, to tell whether incoming or outgoing product is even a fraction of a degree outside of the mandated temperature range.”
Ross concludes, “In the future, we’re going to see cameras used as a multi-purpose tool in almost every area of life – public safety, commerce and industry, healthcare, transport, retail environments and in homes or apartments – and these systems will not just record events, but also monitor situations and signal necessary changes or problems in real time. Exciting times lie ahead.”

Global industrial automation market to reach $80.6 billion

Analysts from Research and Markets have announced in their latest report on industrial automation that the global industrial automation services market was worth US$35.2 billion ($44.5 billion) in 2016 and is estimated to reach US$64.5 billion ($80.6 billion) by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 per cent for the forecasted period.
Industrial automation involves automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes, with control systems, information technologies and robots used to handle different processes in an industry. Various types of industrial automation include fixed or hard automation, programmable automation and flexible or soft automation. Project engineering and installation holds major share in this market. Advantages of industrial automation include increased productivity, improved product quality, reduced routine checks and improved operational efficiency.
According to the report, the US is currently at the head of the industrial automation market, followed by Europe. Asia Pacific (which includes Australia) is expected to be the fastest growing region in this industry. The reports says during 2015–16, US companies exported nearly US$10.5 billion worth of products to foreign markets.
Some of the key growth factors of this industry are the need for operational efficiency, rapidly growing SMEs, a growing inclination towards Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based automation, the growing demand for smart factories, mass customisation, supply chain synchronisation, integration of systems and increasing R&D and innovation in artificial intelligence and advancement in the M2M communication technology. High installation and maintenance costs and lack of trained professions are some of the constraints in this industry.
Major companies in this industry include Honeywell International, General Electric Company, Mitsubishi Electric, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, ABB, Samsung Electronics, Siemens AG and Schneider Electric. The report also pointed out that most of the regional and local vendors are vertically integrated. International players can grow by acquiring regional or local players.

CouriersPlease opens two new depots

Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease has opened two new relocated logistics facilities in major Australian cities, investment in its infrastructure ahead of a forecast growth in parcel deliveries in tandem with the growth in e-commerce.
The two new Perth and Melbourne locations will be key logistics facilities as the company expands its reach in Australia and overseas, as CouriersPlease explained in a media statement.
Located in the new $440 million logistics hub Drystone Industrial Estate, CouriersPlease’s relocated state-of-the-art logistics facility in Truganina, Victoria, replaces the company’s Port Melbourne, Victoria, depot. Along with CouriersPlease’s existing Mulgrave facility, it will provide the business with east-to-west coverage of Melbourne. The site is 29,000m2 in total, with 12,500m2 under the roof, and will accommodate over 160 courier vehicles. Additional bay spaces have also been allocated to accommodate future growth.
Drystone Industrial Estate is home to other distribution centres for major Australian companies, including Kmart, The Reject Shop and Rand.
The second recently opened logistics facility is located in Welshpool, an inner south-eastern suburb of Perth. The new 4,043m2 site will be the delivery hub for Perth and Western Australia. It comprises a 3,443m2 warehouse, with a 600m2 office space, and room to expand a further 2,000m2 in the future.
The logistics facility will provide improves access to the CBD and the north and south of the city and is close to main arterial routes such as Orrong Road, Welshpool Road, Leach Highway and Tonkin Highway.
In September last year, CouriersPlease opened a relocated Brisbane depot in Salisbury, and a new Adelaide depot is set to open in Marleston later this year.
“CouriersPlease has relocated our logistics facilities in major capital cities in order to accommodate the significant growth in the volume of parcels moving throughout our network,” Mark McGinley, CEO, CouriersPlease. “Our commitment in moving to the west of Melbourne has stemmed from it being a massive growth corridor with some of the highest rates of online shopping in the country. Our new Welshpool depot gives us greater coverage of the city and a larger warehouse space for logistics operations, allowing us to bring a better service to our customers. With room for future expansion, we hope to bring more jobs and opportunities to the local community.”

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