Government regulations requiring greater compliance, the increasing need for visibility into the status of shipping loads, and an increasing responsibility for driver safety continue to drive demand for mobility technology in transport. It remains a top technology investment, according to a recent Gartner supply chain survey. Read more
At the AusRAIL PLUS 2017, held this week in Brisbane, Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Danny Broad launched the Value of Rail Report, a report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics.
“It is my absolute pleasure today to launch the Value of Rail Report, which highlights the contribution of rail to Australia,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“We know that Australia’s population increases at a rate of 370,000 people every year. By 2060, both Sydney and Melbourne will have grown by approximately three million people each.”
He noted that improved transport solutions will be needed to deal with congestion experienced as Australia’s population increases.
“To manage these challenges, Australia will have to develop its multimodal transport solutions with light and heavy rail as its spine to provide the solutions that Australia needs in shaping our cities and our regions into the future.
“The story with growth in freight traffic is even greater – a potential 88 per cent increase in kilometres travelled by 2050, and an increase of some 2.5 million trucks and light commercial vehicles on our roads,” he added.
“This growth in freight underscores the need for an efficient supply chain and for a heavy vehicle pricing framework that accurately captures the cost of road infrastructure provision and the negative externalities of road usage, such as congestion, vehicle emission and accidents – a point which is reinforced in the report.”
He added that rail makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy, injecting around $26 billion into the national economy, contributing 1.6 per cent of GDP and acting as a key enabler of exports.
“We create over 140,000 jobs in our cities and our regions, provide safe, efficient, environmentally and socially beneficial modes of transport,” he said.
“We ask governments to get on board and implement our National Rail Industry Plan to provide the rail industry and the broader Australian community with long-term certainty of improved transport solutions for the benefit of all.”
Loscam’s executive and regional management team, together with over 100 valued guests, gathered at Erskine Park Sydney for the pallet pooling company’s latest depot opening.
Located at the arterial roads of the M4 and the M7, the facility is expected to enhance operating efficiency, including immediate improvement in truck loading/unloading turnaround, repair capabilities and flexibility.
Occupying a total area of 4.18 hectare, the 4,400m2 depot expands Loscam’s local repair capacity by more than 50 per cent and offers storage capacity exceeding 280,000 pallets.
The facility features a segregated plastics wash bay supported by a rainwater catchment system, an eco-friendly 600m2 office and LED lighting throughout.
Erskine Park is Loscam’s second new facility opened in Australia this year, after the Richland depot in Brisbane in July.
“This key investment further strengthens Loscam Australia’s capability to serve our growing customer base and product range,” said Daniel Bunnett, Executive Vice President of Australia & New Zealand, Loscam. “It also allows us to meet the quality expectations of the market as our customers embrace more automation within their warehouse operations.”
Sirin Limpaitoon, President of Loscam, added: “This new depot has two main objectives – first and foremost, to enhance Loscam’s support to our value customers with development and changes in the supply chain; and second, incorporate environmental friendly elements into each part of our operations. It’s also a solid proof our continuous investment in infrastructure to support the growth of our Australian business.”
Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its submission for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities – the Ten Point Plan to Creating Greater National Freight and Supply Chain Efficiencies.
“The ARA supports the development of a national freight and supply chain strategy to guide long-term decision-making and investments by both government and industry,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“With Australia’s freight task expected to grow by more than 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, combined with our national population expected to increase to 30.5 million by 2031, it is critical that we act now to ensure that we are able to meet the freight needs of tomorrow.
The ARA identified 10 areas in need of attention to enable greater efficiency and productivity for rail freight, including linking future infrastructure funding to the delivery of reform, committing to a competitively neutral policy approach to ensure domestic rail freight markets can operate as far as possible on a level footing with other modal choices, a national framework for corridor protection and equitable access pricing for road and rail.
“Other areas for improvement also include maximising efficiency on the existing network, addressing ‘externalities’ that impact upon the Australian community negatively, supporting technology developments, addressing jurisdictional inconsistencies and continuing to identify ways to address challenges associated with different track owners,” he said.
The submission can be viewed on the ARA’s website.
Following augmented reality pilots in several regions, DHL Supply Chain, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has expanded use of its ‘vision picking’ technology in warehouses around the world.
The smart glasses provide visual displays of order-picking instructions along with information on where items are located and where they need to be placed on a cart, freeing pickers from paper instructions, increasing efficiency and comfort.
In the international trials, DHL Supply Chain saw an average increase in productivity of 15 per cent, and higher accuracy rates, and the solution reportedly halved onboarding and training times.
“Digitalisation is not just a vision or program for us at DHL Supply Chain, it’s a reality for us and our customers, and is adding value to our operations on the ground,” said Markus Voss, Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer, DHL Supply Chain.
“Customers have been very happy about the productivity gains and are equally excited about using innovative technology at their warehouses.”
Pilot programs took place across the US, mainland Europe and the UK over different industries including technology, retail and consumer.
DHL Supply Chain has reported that employees were found to be enthusiastic about using state-of-the-art technology and were pleased with how lightweight the smart glasses were, and how much more comfortable the process became with hands-free picking.
“We are very satisfied and happy that the pilot phase went so well and that we can now say augmented reality technology is one of our standard offerings at
DHL Supply Chain,” added Voss. “As one of the first logistics companies using the technology, we have truly established a new way of order picking in the industry.”
Following the success of its vision-picking program, DHL is looking into additional applications for augmented and virtual reality such as training and maintenance.
With the Federal Government having announced the composition of the expert panel that will advise on the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, the real work of shaping its content is now well and truly under way.
It’s not indulging in hyperbole to say that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get this right. Australia’s rapidly growing population coupled with changing patterns of consumer behaviour – especially with the growth of e-Commerce – will impose significant additional demands on the freight and logistics sector.
Indeed, the National Transport Commission (NTC) estimates that Australia’s freight task will grow by some 26 per cent in the next decade alone. When you think of the capacity constraints that are already evident in some of our major cities, particularly growing traffic congestion, such forecasts can appear daunting.
Although it will require a significant degree of hard work on the part of the freight and logistics industry, I am nonetheless confident that we can come up with solutions that will allow us to meet this burgeoning demand.
We know that industry is willing to play an active role, and we know that the Federal Government’s agreement to develop a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy shows decision-makers are willing to listen to industry’s advice.
Thus, our immediate challenge is to make certain the advice we provide is the right advice, which will help ensure the Strategy that emerges is the right one for our industry and the right one for the Australian economy.
I think there has been an encouraging start on this front.
At the beginning of March, the ALC held its annual Forum in Melbourne, and the entire focus of the event was discussing the content of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
Of course, we are not starting with a blank piece of paper. Many of the attendees at the Forum are leading figures within Australia’s freight and logistics industry, and throughout their many years of collective experience they have garnered insights and evidence that will prove invaluable in terms of getting policy settings right.
Although ALC Forum 2017 was the first industry-wide gathering since the Prime Minister’s announcement last November that the Government would develop the Strategy, the discussions revealed there is already a remarkable degree of consensus across the industry about what is required to make it effective. This is a strong basis from which to work.
To help synthesise the industry’s conversations to date, the ALC has produced a Working Paper that summarises the views of industry to date about the contents of the Strategy.
Some of the major themes addressed in that publication are as follows:
Urban encroachment issues
In the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election, the ALC prepared a document called Getting The Supply Chain Right, which highlighted the freight and logistics industry’s most pressing priorities for an incoming government.
One of those was urban encroachment, and the lack of buffer zones, land separation setbacks and design mitigation measures around sensitive use developments, which can significantly hamper the efficient operation of freight-related infrastructure.
At the time, the ALC noted that the national freight supply chain will be unable to support Australia’s growing demand if facilities and infrastructure continue to be prevented from realising their optimal capacity, due to restrictions imposed on their use or operating conditions.
This includes things like night curfews for airfreight and port facilities, restrictive speed limits and the banning of heavy vehicles from key routes that provide access to freight facilities.
These things are often pursued by governments in search of an electoral boost. However, their long-term impact is to simply build inefficiencies into the supply chain, which ultimately results in higher consumer prices.
As industry ‘insiders’, we understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between good outcomes for freight efficiency and good outcomes for the community.
The problem lies in the fact that this is vastly underappreciated by the public at large, and even at times by decision-makers within government.
This is how we end up with poor planning outcomes, such as the failure to preserve freight corridors, and insufficient consideration of freight operations when pursuing ‘urban infill’ objectives surrounding new residential developments.
The freight and logistics industry needs to better ‘sell’ the fact that corridor preservation equates to improved safety, liveability and efficiency outcomes.
There was a broad consensus among participants at the Forum that not enough is being done to make use of data, both in terms of improving safety and efficiency across the supply chain, and also when it comes to effectively planning the nation’s freight infrastructure.
Of course, the top priority must be safety in the supply chain. Regrettably, Australia’s approach to safety in the trucking industry is lagging significantly behind that of other comparable nations. In particular, several participants at the Forum noted that Australia’s trucking industry is making insufficient use of telematics when it comes to making business decisions.
The ALC will continue to pursue a national telematics law, permitting the use of data about vehicle performance, equipment and driver behaviour that can be used to enhance road safety, improve efficiency within the logistics industry and identify problems with driver behaviour.
Technology also offers a potential way to overcome the impact of ever-more restrictive planning and vehicular access policies when it comes to CBD freight delivery. One detailed presentation discussed using urban consolidation/distribution stations. These can provide for multi-modal routing systems using bicycles, walkers and electronic vans to facilitate freight delivery.
It is far more efficient than using large vehicles to deliver small loads – especially given that an increasing number of large-scale residential developments do not incorporate delivery zones or provide access facilities for freight vehicles.
There is very strong support within the industry for construction of the Inland Rail, at last providing a port-to-port rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane. This project has had a long gestation, but with the increasing demand for freight resulting from free trade agreements and the growth of e-Commerce, encouraging more freight onto rail is vital.
Constructing the Inland Rail will help to cut freight transport times, reduce road congestion and promote cheaper consumer prices. There are also considerable economic benefits for regional communities along the route.
However, there are also opportunities elsewhere in the sector to make greater use of short-haul rail. This includes pursing projects like the duplication of the rail line at Port Botany, which will help achieve NSW Ports’ target of moving three million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) by rail by the year 2045.
Pursuing a rail connection between the Port of Melbourne and three of Victoria’s inland ports will also be important in promoting supply greater supply chain efficiency and addressing road congestion.
This issue is especially important in the context of Asia’s rapidly expanding middle class, whose appetite for the type of high-quality agricultural goods Australia produces will be a source of growing demand on our freight and export infrastructure. We must be mindful not to cede our competitive edge in this area by failing to have a supply chain that operates safely and efficiently from paddock to port.
The next steps
The ALC believes that a dynamic Strategy requires a dynamic consultation process to guide its development, and accordingly the ALC will be continuing to engage closely with industry over the coming weeks and months to make sure we get the right outcomes.
However, from the conversation thus far, it’s already apparent that there are some clear expectations from industry.
Existing freight infrastructure needs to be made to operate efficiently, through making sure planning instruments not only identify and preserve the industrial lands to provide the jobs and logistics facilities of the future, but also ensure new residential developments do not encroach on infrastructure and prevent its effective utilisation.
It will also be necessary to establish some form of mandatory system of data collection that will allow better decision making and improved outcomes in safety, planning and investment decisions, all of which will help boost productivity.
We will need to move towards hypothecation of levies, fees, taxes and charges raised for the purpose of developing an identified piece of infrastructure – so that money raised is invested properly and not put back into consolidated revenue.
The construction of Inland Rail must continue to be treated as a priority, ensuring rail as a modality has a clear place in moving freight in the Australian supply chain.
Great Commonwealth leadership needs to promote supply chain safety and efficiency – this includes helping the public at large understand the importance of supply chain efficiency, as well as incentivising state jurisdictions to consider freight needs in their planning instruments by making Commonwealth funding support subject to conditions such as having corridor preservation strategies in place.
Finally, the establishment of a specific Federal Department of Planning and Infrastructure will allow the Commonwealth’s expertise in these areas (including the development of funding mechanisms) to be concentrated and properly able to be used as resource, by industry and by other jurisdictions.
Linfox has completed the construction of a new intermodal facility in Darwin.
The logistics provider partnered with Vaughan Constructions to design and construct the facility.
Situated next to the Darwin railhead, the 3,000m2 purpose-built site will create up to 15 ongoing local jobs, the company said.
The site features a chilled storage area to ensure temperature-controlled products can be be safely stored during transit.
“Each year, [our] intermodal team shifts more than 15 million pallets for Australia’s retailers using its multi-modal freight network,” said Linfox CEO, Annette Carey.
“Linfox has an extensive footprint in the Northern Territory, with sites in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. This new investment increases our capacity and makes it easier for our customers to move inbound and outbound goods throughout the region.”
Carey said the Darwin facility would complement the capabilities of Linfox’s long distance road, rail and coastal shipping distribution services and followed the recent expansion of its Healthcare and Defence logistics capabilities.
The facility will also deliver on Linfox’s environmental commitment with a 100kW battery ready solar system to reduce the site’s carbon emissions. It also features rain water harvesting and high-efficiency LED lighting.
7-Eleven has recognised Swire Cold Storage is in its 2016 Supply Chain Excellence Awards, held in Melbourne in May 2017.
Each year, 7-Eleven recognises its key supply chain and merchandise partners and other suppliers and recognises outstanding partners with Supplier Awards.
At this year’s event, Swire Cold Storage received the honour based on performance criteria for supplier support and collaboration in achieving logistics efficiencies to support key initiatives and/or marketing strategies, service levels and safety performance.
Stephanie Cutinelli, General Manager – Transport and Convenience, Swire Cold Storage, said the award was recognition for Swire Cold Storage’s achievements in availability, simplicity and collaboration, and an efficient and effective supply chain.
“Specifically, we were commended for our service levels during the sandwich promotion last year during which there were significant peaks in volumes to stores.”
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Data61 has delivered a comprehensive review of how blockchain technology could be adopted across government and industry in Australia to deliver productivity benefits and drive local innovation.
In 2008, blockchain emerged as a technology to support digital currencies and it has quickly generated interest for its broad application offering secure transactions across various domains such as provenance of data, health records, banking, voting and government services.
Over the past year, CSIRO’s Data61 Australia’s data innovation group has engaged with industry and government to deliver two reports on the regulatory, technical and societal implications of using blockchain-based systems across various industries.
“The pace of change we are experiencing as a nation is exponential and we can’t afford to be followers in the adoption of emerging technology like blockchain,” said Adrian Turner, CEO of CSIRO’s Data61.
“It has potential to reframe existing industries like financial services and seed new ones like food provenance and personalised health.”
The Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, said the reports would help Australia build on its existing position as a leader in developing blockchain technology.
“It will give decision-makers in business and government guidance on matters they need to consider in developing a system that uses blockchain technology,” he said.
“The reports demonstrate the benefits of this technology could be profound – delivering productivity, security and efficiency gains.
“We should all be interested in blockchain developments and its potential application, right across our economy.”
The first report developed by Rob Hanson and Dr Stefan Hajkowicz in Data61’s Strategic Insight Team explores four plausible adoption scenarios of blockchain technology in Australia in 2030 including: aspirational, transformative, new equilibrium and collapse.
“Scenarios allow decision-makers to consider, if similar possibilities were to occur, what should they do to prepare for the future ahead of time,” Hanson said.
“Most importantly, each scenario examines the aspects of critical uncertainty for the use of blockchain technologies: human behaviour, technology and development, regulation and user adoption.”
The second report takes a technical approach by exploring design alternatives for blockchain systems in three illustrative use cases: remittance payments, open data registries and agricultural supply chains.
“Looking at the range of critical requirements in these specific context helps us understand how blockchain-based systems can support new markets and business models,” said Dr Mark Staples, Group Leader, CSIRO’s Data61.
The study highlighted that the path towards widespread adoption is still not clear.
It was recommended that further trials of blockchain systems should demonstrate responses to ‘rainy day’ scenarios when problems arise like disputed transactions, incorrect addresses, exposure or loss of private keys.