TWU warns DPWA fee hike will lead to injury

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) is warning that a huge increase in port access fees by DP World Australia and Hutchinson will result in higher injury and fatality rates in trucking and the loss of jobs.
The Union has called for ship owners to bear the costs, as clients at the top of the supply chain.
The fees at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ports will heap further financial stress on transport where margins are already tight. The price hike in Melbourne will go from $3.45 to $32.50 per container; in Sydney a new charge of $21.16 will apply for the first time; while in Brisbane fees will go up 30 per cent.
Drivers will come under even more pressure to work long hours, speed and skip mandatory rest breaks while vital maintenance on vehicles will get delayed, the Union wrote in a press statement.
“We are already seeing an increase in deaths and injuries at the moment – last year one out of every three workers killed was a transport worker while deaths from rigid and articulated trucks went up,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon. “We do not need more pressure on transport, we need accountability among the clients which are ultimately responsible for safety in the supply chain.”
The TWU also criticised the imbalance in payment terms for trucking companies – DP World insists on payment within seven days while trucking business can wait up to 120 days for payment. “The Federal Government abolished payment terms for truck drivers when it tore down the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal last year. Its silence is deafening on this burden which is now being placed on drivers at the ports,” said Sheldon.
The TWU fears the price hike will put thousands of owner-drivers out of business. “These small trucking businesses are already subsisting on tight margins and they have among the highest rates of bankruptcies for any businesses. This fee should not be passed on to those at the bottom of the supply chain,” Sheldon added.
The TWU supports industry calls for the ACCC to investigate the fees.
“The TWU will support any owner-drivers taking direct action against the ports over the coming weeks in a similar way to the port blockades of the 1980s and 1990s. We will support drivers standing up to this level of extortion,” Sheldon added.

Abolition of Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The Australian Logistics Council has supported a delay to the introduction of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order mandated by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
According to ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff, the abolition of the RSRT is the only real way to avoid the duplication, confusion and costs that this Order, and others like it, will inevitably create.
“An Order from the Tribunal covering contractor drivers’ minimum payments due to come into effect on 4 April 2016 is creating untold confusion and potential costs in the heavy vehicle industry, with many contracting companies now fearful they will be driven out of the industry.
“This concern has been highlighted by ALC since the legislation was first considered and passed by the previous government in March 2012. Since that time, ALC has consistently called for the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“ALC maintains that because the Road Safety Remuneration Act prevails over all other laws, including the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Work Health and Safety laws, inefficiency, confusion and increased costs would inevitably ensue when the first Order was handed down.
“The confusion with this first Order, which sets national minimum payments for contractor drivers in the road transport industry, underscores the practical difficulties associated with rate setting by an industrially focused tribunal,” he said.
“ALC is committed to improving safety for all road users and it is essential that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of a number of key facts in this important issue.
“First, improving safety in the heavy vehicle industry must be based on achieving greater compliance and awareness of Chain of Responsibility (part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law), rather than being distracted by emotive campaigns to support the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“In 2016, steps will be taken by Transport Ministers to amend Chain of Responsibility laws including the introduction of a ‘primary duty of care’ into the current Chain of Responsibility that will be similar in nature to those contained in workplace health and safety legislation (see editor’s notes below).
“Some of these obligations will extend to the executive officers of these duty holders.
“Also expected is the introduction of a new risk-based approach to heavy vehicle inspections and changes to how codes of practice are treated under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
“There needs to be greater effort by all stakeholders to promote understanding and compliance with Chain of Responsibility obligations, which is invariably ignored by proponents of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“Second, more can be done to support and drive the safety benefits associated with on board safety technologies, such as telematics.
“Telematics enables companies to monitor driver fatigue and speed, and has been shown to save lives.
“ALC believes that the use of monitoring systems using telematics for compliance purposes should be mandated for heavy line-haul vehicles as part of a company’s compliance with their Chain of Responsibility obligations.

4K Bridge Simulation System helps steer maritime centre into the future

Students and commercial clients now have access to the latest in state-of-the-art situation training technology thanks to $1.4 million upgrade at the Australian Maritime College, a specialist institute of the University of Tasmania.
The upgrade includes the world’s first installation of Panasonic’s ultra-high resolution 4K Full Mission Bridge Simulation Projection System, providing users with unparalleled realism.
“This upgrade provides a higher level of immersion in the simulator,” AMC Centre for Maritime Simulations Manager Damien Freeman said.
“This image is clearer, brighter and more colorful with less visible pixels, so the user experiences a more realistic perception of the simulated environment.”
AMC National Centre for Ports and Shipping Director Professor Thanasis Karlis said the $660,000 project system was part of a multi-stage upgrade which included the installation of two 360-degree tug simulators plus new desktop simulation software specialising in liquid cargo handling and engine room operations.
“These significant upgrades have allowed us to reconfigure the Centre for Maritime Simulations to meet the changing needs of our clients and students, and we’re pleased to be able to offer them the most advanced simulation training experience in the world,” Professor Karlis said.
“Our facilities are used for maritime human factors research and investigation into port development, ship manoeuvring, and improving ship and port safety. They also help bridge the gap between theory and practice in the training of ship masters and deck officers. The upgraded Panasonic projector system enhances that capability and ensure AMC continues to be a leader in maritime simulation.”
An interactive 60-inch electronic chart table has also been developed in-house to record training sessions in the ship simulator and provide clients with debriefing capabilities. The final stage of the upgrade will be the installation of a standalone touchscreen engine room simulator expected to come online mid-2016.
Mr Freeman said that touchscreen technology was a recent advancement for training simulators and would allow for a more tailored experience.
“The advantages of having touchscreeen and computer displays are that you can load a variety of different engines and bring them up to do type-specific training. So the students will be virtually trained using the engines they encounter in the real world,” he said.

New property lease accounting standards to be adopted in Australia

In February the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) announced that it will be adopting  the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) new requirements on dealing with property leases on company's accounts. 

The AASB have decided to adopt the standards following the release of the IFRS 16 Leases which set out to improve the financial reporting of company's leases.

The new standards will treat leases as one as opposed to the current arrangement of being either a finance or operating lease.

Therefore moving forward all companies will be required to recognize leased assets (as a right to use the property) and financial liabilities to pay rent on their balance sheets.

For all leases with a term greater than 1 year the leasee will need to recognize depreciation of lease assets separately from interests on lease liabilities in the income statement.

Bringing all leases onto balance sheets will give investors, banks and analyst a complete picture of a company including lease liabilities so a more accurate assessment can be made of company's liabilities.

The new standard will be an added administration burden for companies, especially companies who lease multiple properties (all existing leases at the time will need to be recorded as there are no grandfathering arrangements), in compiling and recording this information which will include all rental payments and rental escalation over the lease term.

With the requirement for all leases to be shown on balance sheets this may force some companies to review their leased portfolio requirements moving forward.

  • The changes may result in companies looking more closely at the ideal lease term for their business and the impacts of longer term leases on the company's balance sheet compared with shorter term leases. This will be particularly challenging in the Design and Construct pre commitment industrial markets where landlords demand longer lease commitments.
  • As opposed to long term leases companies may decide to purchase their next premises as opposed to lease. Once again this may be more of a consideration in the industrial market where long term leases are agreed and companies sometimes invest significant capital into the facility to meet their operational requirements. Companies may look to implement a strategy where larger facilities or strategic locations are owner occupied with smaller facilities and branches leased to maintain flexibility.
  • A more considered approach may be taken by companies to reduce their lease footprint and rent costs with consolidating more of their oeprations to save on rent costs.
  • What will be the best way to structure the next lease? Some matters that a company may need to consider are whether all leases should be negotiated on an effective lease basis, the rent review mechanisms and also whether an Option term should be negotiated or not. On the later under the new standard Option lease payments only have to be included when the lessee is reasonably certain to extend the period or when an event occurs within the lessee control which effects the exercise of Options. 

ALC Forum Communique

The logistics industry will have to attract broad community support if it is to achieve regulatory reform and approval for major infrastructure projects, according to speakers at the Australian Logistics Council Forum 2016, held last week in Sydney.

More than 250 people attended Australia's premier freight logistics and supply chain event, with senior figures from across industry and government emphasising the need for action across a range of fronts to improve the efficiency of Australia's supply chains.

ALC Forum 2016 had a particular focus on improving frieght efficiency in New South Wales, where the state's freight is expected to double by 2030.

During his opening of the Forum, new ALC Chairman, Ian Murray, stressed the need to ensure Australia has the right infrastructure in place, operating efficiently, to underpin the continued growth of the logistics sector and of the Australian economy.

Other major forum points included:

  • Industry and government need to step up their efforts to work together to progress heavy vehicle road reforms to achieve more efficient freight movements 
  • Work needs to be done to convince the public of the benefits of logistics investment and reform, particularly to ports’ landside infrastructure, to underpin continued economic growth and community wellbeing
  • Corridor preservation must feature more prominently in jurisdictions’ long-term planning documents, with a greater buy-in from all levels of government
  • Improving rail access to Australia’s major ports, as well as their linkages to key inland intermodal facilities, is critical to increasing port capacity and decreasing road congestion in our major cities 
  • Industry and government need to work closer together to improve the efficient delivery of parcels in CBD areas brought about by the growth in e-retailing 
  • The inland rail line has to be built, with efficient connections to the ports in Melbourne and Brisbane, to support Australia’s future freight effort and to move north-south freight out of the Sydney basin
  • Practical steps need to be taken to maximise the economic and environmental benefits of an efficient maritime freight sector 
  • ALC to take a leadership role to increase diversity and inclusion in the logistics industry 
  • ALC to consult with regulators on behalf of industry on proposed changes to Chain of Responsibility provisions contained within the Heavy Vehicle National Law 
  • Opportunities exist to increase the efficiency of air freight movements at Sydney Airport

Anticipation builds as program is released for ASMEX 2016

The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) has today released the Australian Superyacht and Marine Export Industry Conference (ASMEX) program outlining a high calibre of international and national speakers and covering a broad range of topics to be covered over the two day conference.

The ASMEX program is now available on the AIMEX, Superyacht Australia and ACMG

The ASMEX Conference is the only platform providing opportunities for industry to gain up to date information on the state of the marine export, superyacht and commercial marine industries and where it is believed future business will come from. The conference will be held at the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove, Queensland, running over 2 days, 17 – 18 May and includes a welcome function sponsored by Muir Winches Australia, the prestigious 2016 Australian Marine Industry Awards Gala Dinner, and conference closing drinks sponsored by MedAire.

The conference is conveniently organised to be held immediately prior to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and the Gold Coast Marine Expo ensuring maximum opportunity for all key industry exhibitors and stakeholders to attend.

Support of this key industry conference has again been outstanding with industry realising the opportunity for brand profile alongside this event.

Pantaenius Yacht Insurance has maintained their support and return as major sponsors of ASMEX 2016, alongside the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show who return as a key sponsor supporting the industry.

The Gold Coast City Council will again hold an Innovation Showcase for Gold Coast marine industry businesses to showcase their products over the period of the conference.

Supporting sponsors of the conference include Australian Made, Aqualuma LED Lighting, AwlGrip, Gold Coast City Marina, Line 7, MedAire, Muir Winches Australia, Negociants Australia, Palm Products, Penske Power Systems, Pyrotek Noise Control, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, VEEM and Vetus Maxwell. Media partners of ASMEX include Albatross PR, IBI, Ocean Magazine, The Superyacht Group and Shipmate Marine Directory.

The ASMEX social programme provides significant opportunities for delegates to network with like-minded industry players.

The pinnacle of the conference is the announcement of the 2016 Australian Marine Industry Awards which will occur during the conference Gala Dinner on Tuesday 17th May. This year additional networking opportunities have been added to the social program through conference closing drinks giving delegate’s ample opportunity to meet and greet with key industry stakeholders throughout the duration of the conference.

Launch of new transport and freight labelling standards embrace the rise of the automated supply chain

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and GS1 Australia have officially launched the new Australian Standards for Frieght Labelling and EDI developed by the ALC Supply Chain Standards Work Group for the Australian Transport & Logistics Industry. 

The standards were launched at the ALC Forum 2016 in Sydney and Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director and Bonnie Ryan, Industry Manager -Trade and Transport from GS1 Australia in front of approximately 250 senior industry and government leaders attending Australia's premier frieght logistics event.

The Australian Transport Standards include the ALC endorsed Australian Freight Labelling Guideline and Australian Transport EDI User Guides to provide one common label format to identify frieght and one common file format to exchange data throughout the freight transportation  process.

A new Australian Industry Glossary will also assist as an easy reference to common industry and GS1 standards terminologies.

Speaking at the ALC Forum 2016, Bonnie Ryan, Industry Manager -Trade and Transport from GS1 Australia said the Australian Transport Standards for Freight Labelling and EDI is an extensive body of work in consultation with the ALC Supply Chain Standards Work Group.

"The Australian transport industry's freight system is at the heart of our economy. The adoption of the Australian Transport Standards for Freight Labelling and EDI will give us the opportunity to improve freight efficiency and better connect all modes of transport in the Australian transport and logistics sector," said Ms Ryan.

Based on GS1 global supply chain standards and best practice, the Australian Freight Labelling Guideline provides guidance to industry on how to physically identify and label logistic and transport units to support efficient transport management processes from point of origin to destination.

To support the physical identification of freight, the accompanying Australian Transport EDI User Guides define the necessary data exchanges required to effectively execute the physical delivery.

Combined, the suite of standards outline a roadmap for industry to move from costly manual processes to full automation.

"This new roadmap will be a game changer in the efficiency, interoperability, visibility and productivity of freight movement across the supply chain," said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director. 

"With ALC research showing that a 1 per cent increase in supply chain efficiency would increase GDP by $2 billion, the implementation of the Australian Transport Standars for Frieght Labelling and EDI package will support industry's efforts to achieve that goal." Mr Kilgariff added.

David McNeil, Chair of the ALC Supply Chain Standards Work Group and eCommerce Manager for OneSteel says, "The labelling and EDI initiative provides an innovative and effective integration roadmap for the Australian Transport & Logistics Industry, now and into the future. It will be of benefit to all Australian businesses to work together seamlessly and efficiently to grow our economy." 

Logistics Industry Backs Compulsory Telematics

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has written to all Transport and Infrastructure Ministers urging them to accelerate reforms to introduce compulsory telematics in heavy vehicles. 

“The benefits of ‘black box’ technology are self-evident and its mandatory introduction is long overdue,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.

“ALC has long argued that it should be mandatory for heavy vehicles to carry telematics devices (‘black box’ technology) and ALC is urging Ministers to make 2016 a year of action to deliver on this important safety initiative. 

“It is time to bring to a head this matter, which has been long discussed, debated and examined by governments.  

“The data captured by these devices relating to speed and fatigue offences can be used by both businesses and enforcement agencies to improve safety and compliance on our roads, but to drive this reform across the supply chain, it needs to be made mandatory.

“Data captured by telematics devices can and should be used to manage obligations imposed under the Chain of Responsibility provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law,” he said. 

Mr Kilgariff said his letter encouraged Transport and Infrastructure Ministers to commit to two key actions. 

First, they should authorise the immediate development of an amendment to the Heavy Vehicle National  Law (HVNL), which would require a heavy vehicle to carry equipment meeting systems standards set out in HVNL regulations.

Second, they should establish a working group with appropriate expertise to identify the standards and system platforms necessary for the collection of data for regulatory and business management purposes.

An ALC submission (which was supported by Linfox, Toll and Asciano) to the National Transport Commission in 2010 highlighted studies in Europe and the US that showed introducing black boxes to monitor fatigue and speed had reduced heavy vehicle accidents by 20-30%; reduced the severity of the accidents; and in Europe, reduced single vehicle heavy vehicle accidents to around 15%, from around 50%. 

“Notwithstanding the safety and compliance benefits telematics will help deliver, it is also becoming increasingly apparent that telematics also have an important role to play in any new road funding mechanism that may be designed,” he said. 

“It is time for action on this initiative and ALC looks forward to working with government to turn this much discussed reform into a reality,” he said. 

The critical issues of heavy vehicle safety, compliance, and technology will be hot topics of discussion and debate at next month’s ALC Forum, 1-3 March 2016, Royal Randwick, Sydney.

Airfreight suffers in downturn

Australian air cargo statistics show a 5.7 per cent drop in international airfreight for the year to October 2008, with Sydney Sydney securing its position as the country’s top international freight hub, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figures reveal.
Sydney handled 31,473 tonnes of airfreight in the year to October 2008,with Melbourne a distant second, handling 17,295 tonnes. Brisbane and Perth followed, with 7,163 and 6,215 tonnes respectively.
Overall volumes for the country were 64,166 tonnes compared with 68,045 tonnes in the year to October 2007. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that Asia-Pacific airfreight volumes were down 11% in October.
The Sydney-Auckland route was the busiest with 4,964 tonnes, while the Melbourne-Singapore route recorded 4,484 tonnes (7%).
Qantas remains the country’s leading airfreight airline with 23.4% of the market, down 0.3% from the corresponding period in 2007. Singapore Airlines was up 1.1%, to 16%.
Fifty-two international scheduled airlines operated services to and from Australia during the month, which included six dedicated freight airlines, according to the BITRE report.

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