The introduction of the emissions trading scheme should not be about fuel prices, but about making “fundamental changes” to establish greener supply chains, CEO of Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Hal Morris said.
The CSIRO has projected the most likely scenario for fuel prices under the carbon regime would be a 25-cent-per-litre increase, half the increase that the transport industry experienced over the last 12 months.
Mr Morris said while the estimated price rise would not significantly affect the sector, that would not solve the real problem in Australia’s supply chains.
“The cost increase will be passed on to customers and wouldn’t have much effect on the industry. And that’s the problem,” he said.
“Because it’s about changing behaviours and changing how supply chains operate to get a better carbon outcome. We need to use the carrot as well as the stick. We need to invest in innovation and technology, and assist companies to make the changes needed to get greener supply chains.”
Mr Morris said that while the government is showing its commitment to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, the freight industry is faced with a dilemma.
“The Australian freight sector is experiencing this ongoing, compounding growth and that doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon,” he said.
“While freight demand is expected to double by 2020, the massive challenge is to figure out how to handle the demand using far less fuel, with fewer vehicle movements and less carbon produced.”
Mr Morris will chair the 8th Annual AusIntermodal Summit, which will be held on September 3 and 4 in Melbourne.
The summit will examine key agendas regarding Australian freight, bringing together government officials, CEOs of Australia’s major ports, freight operators, shipping lines, rail companies, stevedores and infrastructure companies.