Qube acquires freight forwarder Austrans

Qube’s port logistics division, Qube Logistics, has acquired national rail freight forwarder Austrans, along with its facilities in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
John Digney, Logistics Director, Qube said the acquisition is significant as it provides Qube Logistics the ability to deliver additional services to its customer base.
“Austrans is a market leader in the national rail freight forwarding market; it has built a substantial business by focusing on an excellent customer service culture combined with delivering efficient services for its customers,” added Digney.
“Austrans provides a great platform for Qube in the domestic freight logistics market that will provide significant paths for growth.”
Austrans was founded in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1986 by Peter O’Shea. The logistics company now employs over 60 staff members, numerous subcontractors and has a comprehensive local transport fleet supported by a national container fleet of approximately 300 units.
O’Shea, Owner and Director of Austrans, will remain in the business to assist with the transition.
“I am very excited for the staff and customers of Austrans,” said O’Shea. “Qube Logistics offers a great opportunity for all parties to be part of a growing national logistics business.”
Peter Vertkas, CEO, Austrans will continue to lead the business.
“I am delighted with the opportunity to continue to lead the business within a major national logistics provider which will provide greater opportunity for our management and staff and a greater offering to our valued customers,” Vertkas said.

Construction begins at Moorebank Logistics Park

Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann and Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, the Hon. Darren Chester MP marked the official commencement of construction at the Moorebank Logistics Park on 6 April, following months of pre-construction and remedial works.
Moorebank Intermodal Company and the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Qube Holdings, reached financial close on the agreement to develop and operate the site in late January.
Moorebank Intermodal Company Chair Dr Kerry Schott AO and Qube Holdings Chairman Chris Corrigan joined the ministers in recognising the significant milestone.
“The site has a direct rail link to Port Botany and the interstate freight network which, along with its proximity to major motorways, makes it ideal for an intermodal facility,” said Corrigan. “Moorebank Logistics Park will transform the freight and logistics supply chain along the East Coast.”
Corrigan noted that Moorebank was identified as a priority location for a freight terminal in 2004 and in October 2016 was included on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list for national infrastructure projects.
Dr Schott noted that both Qube and the Government share a long-term strategy to improve the logistics chain between the port, Moorebank and the rest of the freight network. This arrangement has the potential to become a model for future projects involving government and the private sector.
“Moorebank Intermodal Company was established to facilitate the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and oversee the achievement of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and freight policy objectives.”
“The commencement of construction is a significant milestone that recognises our success and brings us a step closer to realising the substantial benefits this development will deliver for the people of southwest Sydney, and NSW more broadly.”
“Moorebank Logistics Park is a nationally significant infrastructure project that will be a major economic contributor to local and regional communities for years to come.”
Chester commented, “Today marks the first sod turn of the Moorebank Logistics Park, one of Australia’s most important freight infrastructure projects to address urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity.
Assessed as a priority project by Infrastructure Australia, the Moorebank Logistics Park is expected to deliver over $11 billion in economic benefits over the coming 30 years, including $120 million a year for the economy of south-western Sydney.
Over 1,300 jobs are expected to be created during construction of the Moorebank Logistics Park and a Deloitte Employment Forecast Report found that, once operations are at full capacity, the site will employ approximately 6,800 people.

Flinders University ‘Kookaburra’ discovery may boost logistics productivity

Flinders University researchers believe they have cracked a long-running quest for an optimal solution to the classic algorithm question in computer science known as the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP).
The TSP focuses on finding the most efficient and cheapest way for a travelling salesman to visit all of his cities and return to a starting point.
An optimal answer could lead to lucrative productivity gains in a range of industries and complex tasks, from logistics and transport to more cost-efficient manufacturing, gene sequencing and even drone mission planning.
The solution was achieved by the Flinders Mathematical Sciences Laboratory Hamiltonian Cycle Project over the past three years and has already broken more than 20 records, solving open TSP problems listed on the international register maintained by the University of Waterloo in Canada.
It is shaping up as a powerful new tool to develop better software systems for a range of industries, said Associate Professor Vladimir Ejov, director of the Flinders Mathematical Sciences Laboratory.
“In a resource-restrained world, optimal solutions are increasingly necessary in ever-more-complex processes,” Ejov said. “We hope this TSP solver could become a world leader in highly competitive market of solving difficult logistics and many other industrial problems by the virtue of its highest quality outcome.”
The history of the TSP dates back to Sir William Hamilton’s early investigations of the dodecahedral graph in 1857 and his Hamiltonian Cycle Problem has puzzled math minds ever since. It is summarised as: given a graph containing N vertices, determine whether it contains a simple cycle of length N.
Ahead of seeking out possible industrial and research partners, PhD students Alex Newcombe and Pouya Baniasadi are putting the software to work in a range of applications while lecturer Dr Michael Haythorpe is looking to upgrade computer cluster facilities Colossus.

Aussie logistics sector demanding SAP knowledge, leveraging brand

According to Hays’ latest Quarterly Report, covering April to June 2017, a continued availability of operational logistics roles continues to show that the manufacturing sector has improved – though these jobs include warehouse and transport roles rather than supply chain roles.
With organisations continuing to outsource logistics, the Report found that vacancy activity in 3PL companies remains strong.
Large logistics businesses are keeping salaries steady; instead leveraging their brand and the opportunity to join their team attract candidates.
While employers in the industry were found to be looking for candidates with relevant systems knowledge, SAP was found to be one of the most in demand systems.
Tertiary education, found to be in high demand in the previous Quarterly Report, is still highly valued by employers.
“The trend to employ tertiary educated candidates continues,” Hays said in a statement. “These candidates are viewed favourably by employers for white-collar roles managing teams – they’re perceived to be more adaptable to changing market conditions and more aware of new and ever-changing technology. They are preferred to those with a blue-collar background who have worked their way up.”
The demand for supply chain/inventory managers remains high for candidates with tertiary qualifications and FMCG experience, the company noted, adding that import roles remain a focus, but export roles have increased in response to Australia’s weak dollar.
Inventory controllers with operational experience and relevant licences, such as a forklift licence, are required too, as organisations are attempting to streamline processes and some are therefore combining warehouse supervisor and inventory roles.
The FMCG industry is in need of supply chain coordinators, the Report also found. “The planning area in FMCG organisations is always buoyant, however demand planner salaries have increased to an extent that employers prefer to recruit a coordinator to support the planning function,” the statement said.
Production managers are another ongoing area of demand. “We’ve seen a slight increase in the number of businesses of various sizes looking to employ tertiary qualified professionals at management level,” the company said. “Applicants with exposure to FMCG are in shorter supply than they once were.”

Linfox to contest CityLink toll amid new truck ban

Linfox founder Lindsay Fox is reportedly planning legal action against road operator Transurban over CityLink’s recent toll fee increases.
Fox told the Herald Sun that he is currently exploring his legal options against the road operator, describing the new fees as “extortion”.
“Let the judge decide. It’s very much like extortion. You’re paying for something you’re not getting,” he told the newspaper. “I think it’s a disgrace. If the government allows it to happen, it will completely throw the whole system out of control. Where in the world do you pay the fee for going on a freeway system that won’t be built for another 12 months?
“The freeways are inadequate…they’re taking for granted that people in the trucking business are stupid. The roads were designed for traffic. Streets are no different to the veins that run in your body. When the blood stops, you die.”
Linfox has already sought alternative routes since the announcement, with the company’s truck drivers now using suburban streets as a viable way to move around Melbourne.
On 1 April, Transurban’s increased tolls on heavy vehicles will see CityLink fees raised from about $12 to more than $26.
According to the Victorian State Government, the charge is to help recover costs for its share of the CityLink-Tulla widening project, which will not be completed until next year.
In another hurdle for Linfox and other transport operators, the Victorian Government announced over the weekend that a 24/7 truck ban from roads in Melbourne’s inner west will commence from 2022. The truck ban will encompass Francis Street, Somerville Road, Buckley Street and Moore Street.
The truck ban will cater to the construction of the new multi-billion-dollar, four-kilometre West Gate Tunnel to improve traffic flow in Melbourne’s west, which will slash travel times from the western suburbs, Geelong and Ballarat.
Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson said the bans and new toll would put more pressure on an industry “already under financial attack.”
“While we absolutely understand the need to strike a balance between amenity for residents and economic fairness for operators, a permanent ban is not the right way to go about it and sends a message to operators that their contribution to society isn’t valued or appreciated,” he said.
Anderson, who has also been critical of the new Toll fee hikes, suggested that alternative methods of reducing truck movements, such as travel restrictions, had been ignored by the Government. “Trucks are also workplaces for normal family people who suffer the same frustrations as others with the vagaries of chaos, confusion and congestions on the roads. We need to harmonise the creation on of new roads, the use of existing roads, integrate rail systems and ports and convince the community that transport is vital to our economy and way of life. Imposing a ban sends an entirely wrong message.”

Shadow Minister for Women to address VTA Women’s Lunch

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has confirmed that the Victorian Shadow Minister for Women, Georgie Crozier, will deliver the keynote address at its Annual Women’s Lunch.
“We are really pleased that Georgie Crozier has accepted our invitation to address the Annual Women’s Lunch and I know attendees will benefit from hearing her personal story of achievement and success, together with reflections on her various shadow portfolio responsibilities,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“Prior to her election to Parliament, Ms Crozier worked in public health as a qualified midwife and nurse, and later ran a successful human resources and business consultancy.
“She has certainly had a diverse and interesting career, and will no doubt deliver a fascinating and informative address.”
Crozier was elected to Parliament in 2010 as the Upper House member for Southern Metropolitan. She has a range of shadow portfolio responsibilities including Families and Children, and Prevention of Family Violence, and is also Shadow Cabinet Secretary.
She was Parliamentary Secretary for Health in the previous Coalition Government and was involved in a number of high-profile committees, including Chairing the Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse.
Confirmed speakers for VTA’s Annual Women’s include Victorian Ports Corporation CEO, Rachel Johnson; Deakin University Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics Director, Dr Hermione Parsons; and Viva Energy Australia HR General Manager, Jodie Haydon.

New growth strategy for Toll Group

In his first big move as Managing Director of Toll Group, Michael Byrne has announced a major restructure of the company’s workforce, to make Toll ‘leaner’ and more competitive – the result of a strategic review Toll undertook looking at the company’s readiness for growth.
“The business is simplifying the number of operational divisions from five to three aligning with core segments in Global Express, Global Forwarding and Contract Logistics, which will form the executive team,” the company said in a statement.
Byrne said, “This is a great company, with a proud history and tremendous potential.
“However, our industry is rapidly changing and faces significant challenges; Toll must adapt, quickly.
“Our 100-day review of the business has highlighted clear markets and opportunities to deliver on our priority to drive organic growth, as well as the need to make some tough calls to reduce complexity and overhead costs.
“As a result of the changes, Toll expects that approximately 1,700 roles will be impacted globally, including back office and operational roles,” he added.
“This is a tough decision that has not been taken lightly.”
Byrne added that Toll will fully support employees impacted by these changes, including offering redundancy entitlements, redeployment opportunities where available and career transition support.
“The restructure I am announcing today will transform Toll into an organisation that is leaner, more competitive and more customer-focussed,” he said.
The Financial Times shared a comment from Japan Post on the move: “We are confident that the implementation of the reforms that have been decided by the new management team will contribute to Toll’s future growth.”

Toyota Industries acquires Vanderlande

Toyota Industries Corporation has acquired logistic process automation manufacturer Vanderlande Industries Holding
Founded in 1949, Vanderlande develops material handling systems for the retail and parcel handling industries, passenger baggage handling systems for airports. Vanderlande and a line-up of sorters, conveyors, and other materials handling equipment and software and automated equipment for warehouses.
Vanderlande has 50 sites around the world and approximately 4,500 employees.
Toyota paid approximately 140 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to obtain 100 per cent of the company’s shares and the transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2018.
Toyota said in a statement, “Today’s announcement of the acquisition of Vanderlande enables Toyota Industries to expand its range of materials handling equipment and systems globally beyond lift trucks, which will serve as an important first step for expansion of the materials handling solutions business and make a significant contribution to raising the Toyota Industries Group’s presence over the world.”

New warehouse facilities for Isuzu, Anmar to be built in Melbourne

Property group Dexus has announced that truck company Isuzu and manufacturer Anmar Group have signed onto long-term leases for in-construction facilities at Dexus’ Laverton North industrial estate.
Dexus will develop purpose-built facilities across 21,685sqm for Isuzu Trucks and 15,720sqm for Anmar.
“Anmar and Isuzu Trucks are a perfect fit for our industrial precinct,” said Chris Mackenzie, Head of Industrial Development. “Anmar, a manufacturing company, complements other customers in the precinct like Unipod and Best Bar, while Isuzu Trucks will focus its facility on their Isuzu Care Program, Isuzu spare parts and a technical training centre.”
Construction will soon commence on Isuzu Trucks’ facility. It will include they company’s national head office, showroom, training and spare parts warehouse facility, and Isuzu aims to occupy the premises in December 2017.
Anmar’s facility, currently under construction, will comprise the company’s national head office, showroom, manufacturing and warehouse. The building will house the latest technology including automated manufacturing systems and Anmar intends to move in in October 2017.
“We have applied passive design strategies to each building, with careful consideration of the operations to be undertaken and building orientation,” said Mackenzie. “The basis of each design was to minimise the need for costly inclusions, such as artificial lighting, mechanical systems and automated shading.”

Toowoomba airport flies out first airfreight cargo

The first successful domestic freight operation out of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport has opened the skies for new business opportunities in the region, according to the airport’s commercial manager Sara Hales.
Hales says the airport’s cargo and passenger capabilities ensure local businesses have improved connectivity and the opportunity to meet urgent client deadlines using local infrastructure.
“Toowoomba and the surrounding regions provide services and supply materials for major national and international companies and for many of these entities the advantage of having airport nearby streamlines logistical operations,” said Hales.
Toowoomba-based civil construction, quarrying and mining industries supply company Trackspares commissioned the first domestic freight flight from Toowoomba late last week, the company was dispatching an urgent shipment to Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine at Weipa.
Trackspares managing director Brad Oats says the 10-tonne shipment included heavy-duty undercarriage, including track chains and rollers, for a material handling machine known as an apron feeder.
He says it has been fantastic to be part of another major milestone for the region’s airport.
“It opens up opportunities, not only for us but for companies like Rio Tinto to access our services,” he said, adding that without the local airport the order would have been trucked to Brisbane and companies such as Trackspares would have been faced with a “logistical nightmare.”
“The Rio Tinto mine was dealing with a time-critical breakdown situation and the flight from Wellcamp helped expedite the whole process in an industry where time is money,” said Oats.
EastAir, who usually conducts urgent air transport for Rio Tinto, arranged dedicated charter airline Pionair Australia (via Aviation Cairns) to freight the Trackspares equipment to Weipa on a BAE 146-200QT ‘Whisper Jet’.
“Once the freight order grew from 3.4 tonne to 10 tonnes we needed a bigger aircraft for the service,” said EastAir chief executive Dean Mooney.
“We were thrilled to be able to help Trackspares meet their client’s urgent request and also facilitate the supplies for our client Rio Tinto who we have been working with for the past six years.”
“Our aircraft can carry up to 11.5 tons of cargo into and out of difficult to reach locations, worldwide, so we were thrilled to be able to assist Trackspares with the urgent client request,” said Pionair General Manager Michael Lee.
The cargo door is a massive 3.33 metres wide and 1.93 metres tall, allowing large oversized cargo to be loaded.

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