The logistics and transport industry is calling for more transparency from state Governments following the temporary closure of the NSW and Victorian border, with the Victorian Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight voicing concerns that delays in obtaining permits have the potential to disrupt the already fragile supply chain.
Schneider Electric has announced the successful completion of the digital transformation to its flagship, Pacific Smart Distribution Centre (DC) in Ingleburn, New South Wales.
The Smart DC comprises of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure technology, driving end-to-end efficiency for the industrial environment, and housing an industry leading Control Tower.
Schneider’s Smart DC is one of the largest in the Pacific, spreading more than 17,500 square meters, and operating 24 hours a day, five days a week. It dispatches more than 5000 lines over 70 routes (air and road) daily, servicing more than 3500 customers in Australia and New Zealand.
“The innovative approach brings together in a single site logistics, customer care, and personnel representing all our international and domestic transport carriers. This way information from global tracking dashboards can be openly and easily shared and discussed to quickly resolve queries and issues,” said Gareth O’Reilly, zone president of Schneider Electric.
“The Control Tower approach has demonstrated a strong return on investment with a 65 per cent reduction in time taken to resolve complaints.”
“We support our clients through the digitisation journey with our EcoStruxure IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. The Ingleburn Distribution Centre is an important player in our global network of Smart sites that showcases the EcoStruxure offerings to customers,” Gareth said.
NTP Forklifts Australia has officially launched its new facility in Huntingwood, New South Wales.
Customers, suppliers and equipment manufacturers attended the opening of the 14,590sqm site, which is almost double the size of NTP’s previous facility in Granville.
The site features a 7,900sqm under-cover warehouse, a 1,000m parts warehouse, eight-metre high racking and an indoor wash bay.
“A lot of hard work by our staff was required to ensure our new facility would cater to all out customers,” said Greg Sharp, General Manager – Sydney Branch, NTP Forklifts Australia. “The Open Day was a great opportunity for customers, suppliers and our equipment manufacturers to tour our new facility, view our extensive range of equipment and engage in product demonstrations.”
Damien Garvey, Managing Director, NTP Forklifts Australia, added: “We are very proud to officially open our new Sydney premise and to present our extensive range of world-leading material handling equipment to a larger audience.
“This investment demonstrates our company’s future commitment to our staff, the New South Wales market and more importantly to our growing customer base.”
China Merchants Port (CMPort) has entered into an agreement to purchase a 50 per cent interest in the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, from China Merchants Union and Gold Newcastle Property .
The remaining 50 per cent interest in Port of Newcastle is held by TIF Investment Trust, an independent third party.
The deal went through for over $600 million.
The acquisition of Port of Newcastle is CMPort’s first step in its bid to invest in Oceania.
“Given the unique position of the Port of Newcastle with precincts containing land resources, the acquisition will bring opportunities for the Company to further achieve its ‘Port and Park’ development under ‘Port-Park-City’ model,” the company said in a statement. Through this, the company seeks to operate its core port businesses alongside park development and infrastructure support, “thereby achieving a port-centred ecosystem with port operations as its core.”
In its statement, CMPort noted that it believes the price of the acquisition was fair and reasonable.
The Port of Newcastle is the largest port on Australia’s east coast, and a significant coal-export port.
In 2016, it handled bulk cargo volume of 167 million tonnes, of which coal export made up 161 million tonnes, approximately 40 per cent of Australia’s coal export
The Port of Newcastle has a total land area of 792 hectares, including approximately 200 hectares of vacant port land available for further development. In September 2016, the New South Wales Government committed $12.7 million towards a permanent multi-purpose cruise terminal facility at the Port of Newcastle, which will begin construction in 2018.
The Hon. Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, New South Wales, has attended the official opening for Toll Group’s new distribution centre in Western Sydney, a facility the Australian logistics company claims is specially designed to support online retailing.
Pavey performed the ribbon cutting, alongside John Mullen, Chairman of Toll Group, and Alex Linton, General Manger – Logistics of Specialty Fashion Group, the new DC’s inaugural anchor tenant.
The $160 million “retail and e-commerce centre” is set across 32,000sqm, and incorporates 15,600sqm of automation equipment.
According to Toll, the facility is capable of picking, processing and packing 375,000 items per day, shortening delivery times “from days to hours.”
“Staying competitive in a rapidly changing global market requires vision, determination and an appetite for change, and that’s what Toll’s new facility will provide,” said Pavey.
Chris Pearce, Divisional Director – Toll Global Logistics, noted that today’s market is placing aggressive demands on retailers to provide fast fulfilment and delivery, while keeping costs down.
“Toll’s investment in the new facility is helping our customers adapt to the new retail environment,” he said. “The facility is equipped with $50 million in advanced automation technology so retails can deliver their e-commerce orders faster and in a much more economical way.
“This advanced technology will increase our productivity fivefold – capable of picking, processing and packing 70 million items per year.”
Specialty Fashion Group worked with Toll in the design of the facility, with scalability and future growth in mind.
“At Specialty Fashion Group, we’re constantly looking to improve the omni-channel experience for our customers,” said General Manager – Logistics, Linton. “We have a highly specialised supply chain, so we needed a customised solution that would meet our ongoing needs as a retailer.”
Automation of the facility will reportedly reduce manual handling by 70 per cent, expected to lead to a reduction in safety incidents.
Australian fashion retailer Cue has introduced a three-hour delivery option for online shoppers and its ‘store-to-door’ customers.
“We are so excited to be the first Australian bricks-and-mortar fashion retailer in the country to offer free three-hour delivery!” the company said in a statement.
Shane Lenton, Chief Information Officer, Cue, said that the retailer is proud to embrace delivery innovations that enhance the customer’s experience.
Online retailer The Iconic already offers three hour delivery, though Australian Financial Review’s Yolanda Redrup notes that Cue’s delivery reach is broader, excluding only the New South Wales central coast, Wollongong, the Northern Territory and the Queensland regional town of Toowoomba.
Melbourne based start-up Passel is also working with retailers to help them offer three-hour delivery through a crowdsourced courier model.
In December, DB Schenker opened its doors to its new Hoxton Park, New South Wales, logistics facility – details about which were revealed in October.
The grand opening was officiated by Matthias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. DB Schenker also hosted Liverpool City Council Mayor Wendy Waller, as well as customers and partners.
“The investment into this facility is for our customers, our staff and our environment,” said Ron Koehler, CEO of DB Schenker Australia and New Zealand. “We expect over the next few years to operate significantly more sustainably, but also continue to develop our processes within our new facility, to operate in the most efficient and cost-effective manner into the near future. Together with our customers and staff members, it is a great occasion to set this milestone in the company’s history.”
The Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project is anticipated to transform the movement of freight around the country and significantly impact industrial property, its users and providers across regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, as found by research carried out by commercial real estate company, Colliers International.
According to the findings of the Colliers Radar: The Melbourne – Brisbane Inland Rail report, the 1,700km Inland Rail project – planned for completion in 2024/25 – is expected to result in potential creation of new intermodal facilities and transport and logistic hubs in key strategic locations; the relocation and/or emergence of inter-capital freight users to key strategic locations; potential uplift in industrial land values for precincts in proximity to the rail route (occupier-led demand); and higher importance placed around the existing Ports of Brisbane and Melbourne.
“From commercial property perspective, the regions which are most likely to benefit from the completion of the Inland Rail are Darling Downs, Acacia Ridge and Bromelton in Queensland, Tottenham in Victoria and Parkes in New South Wales,” said Malcom Tyson, Managing Director – Industrial, Colliers International.
“We are likely to see increased activity along the Inland Rail route from the inter-capital freight users such as Linfox, CEVA Logistics, Toll Holdings, DB Schenker, DHL, Woolworths, Coles, GrainCorp, Bluescope and Visy.”
Tyson noted that the benefits for these users would range from operating cost savings, time savings, improved reliability, improved availability and resilience to incidents.
“In line with this, providers of the intermodal transport and logistic hubs and industrial estates may also emerge to cater for the increased demand and relocation requirements from these users,” he added.
“These providers might fall into service industry sectors such as cold-store warehousing, grain and commodities storage, rail maintenance, container park, food processing facilities, freight handling facilities, distribution centres and inland container storage facilities.”
Matthew Frazer-Ryan, National Director – Industrial, Colliers International, added, “There is compelling evidence pointing towards the positive correlation between new infrastructure projects (i.e. when committed and under construction) and associated uplift in industrial land value in a region.
“The importance of these projects to improve accessibility of freight to the area is also likely to positively impact on the potential rental value of the industrial property in the region.”
Frazer-Ryan added that this has been evidenced Melbourne during the CityLink Tulla Widening project and the beginning of the West Gate Tunnel project – directly impacting transport and logistic operators in the region and leading to an uplift in values.
In Brisbane, he added, this was evident with the completion of the Gateway Upgrade, which saw land values in the Australia TradeCoast rise upon announcement of the project.
In Sydney, the Westlink M7 Motorway construction saw average annual land value growth in the M7 catchment area of around 22 per cent over the three-year period.
“As a result, we would anticipate that as firms begin to look to these middle suburban ring and outer regional areas supported by the completion of the Inland Rail, stronger demand should lead to increasing land values and overall industrial property performance over the long-term,” added Frazer-Ryan.
DP World Logistics Australia has opened its Botany Intermodal site, with the official launch ceremony led by the Hon. Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight – New South Wales.
Paul Scurrah, Managing Director and CEO; and Mark Hulme, Chief Operating Officer – Logistics, customers, industry stakeholders and employees joined Minister Pavey in opening the site in Port Botany.
Scurrah dedicated the opening of the event to Anil Wats, DP World Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, who recently passed away.
Minister Pavey spoke about the important role of New South Wales’ intermodal facilities and rail networks facilitating the movement of export goods through our ports from regional areas.
Hulme thanked the DP World Logistics Australia team for their work in launching the new site.
Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) will become an independent organisation from 1 January 2018 “to better serve its New South Wales membership base.”
The organisation began as ATA NSW in 2007 and changed its name to Road Freight NSW in 2015.
It is currently a subsidiary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), and from January will continue to be a member of the organisation.
RFNSW will now work independently to campaign on policies affecting the New South Wales transport sector, primarily heavy-vehicle safety, the regulatory regimes stifling business growth and the unwarranted surcharges, like stevedores’ port taxes, being imposed on carriers.
Road Freight NSW Chairman Jon Luff said that while the organisation is committed to policy development nationally, there is a need for an independent body in New South Wales to allow strong advocacy at a state level.
“We will be the local voice for local truck carriers, providing support and advocacy on behalf of our members, who now include some of the country’s largest transport companies,” he said.
“We have enjoyed our collaboration with the ATA and its board, directors and General Council. It’s an exciting time for Road Freight NSW and our membership. It will prove to be a game changer for the sector.”
ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said the name Road Freight NSW reflects the organisation’s independent and authoritative viewpoint.
“The move underscores the strength of Road Freight NSW and the vital advocacy role it plays across the state,” he said. “It will enable the ATA to better support member-based organisations throughout Australia, and to represent members across all tiers of government.
“We operate in a complex regulatory environment and the issues vary across states. Having a member-owned and -operated organisation to represent local members is a big achievement, and critical so all voices can be heard.
“Strong advocacy is critical to our members, right across Australia.”