National transport reforms have led to some improvements in the rail regulatory regime, but much more needs to be done to achieve the full benefits of reform.

Rail reforms: two steps forward, one step back

“National transport reforms have led to some improvements in the rail regulatory regime, but much more needs to be done to achieve the full benefits of reform,” said ARA CEO Danny Broad, in summarising the ARA submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Transport Regulatory Reform. Read more

Container-vessel-entering-Port-of-Newcastle-freight-politics

Will Port Botany battle through the Newcastle storm?

The Port of Newcastle has developed the concept for a staged container terminal development at its Mayfield site, which the company says is the largest and best connected vacant port land site on the eastern seaboard of Australia.
Together with direct water frontage and potential for deep water berthing, the Newcastle Container Terminal represents a once in a generation opportunity within the Port of Newcastle, the company says.
The Mayfield site has the capacity for a 2 million TEU per annum container terminal, coupled with a shipping channel that can accommodate vessels up to 10,000 TEU, with the capability of even larger vessels with some ancillary channel modifications.
Newcastle is an efficient option for importers and exporters in northern, western, north western and far western NSW.
A Newcastle Container Terminal would deliver substantial cost savings for NSW exporters and importers, save the NSW government billions in infrastructure spending and help reduce Sydney road and rail congestion.
Report quantifies benefits at $6 billion
In a report released on 11 December 2018, economic consultants AlphaBeta quantified the potential economic benefits to the NSW economy of $6 billion by 2050 and 750,000 truck movements off Sydney roads.
The report examined the economic impact of opening a container terminal at Port of Newcastle. It found the NCT would increase NSW Gross State Product (GSP) by $6 billion by 2050. Over half of the $6 billion in new economic value for the state would come from lower freight costs. Customers would save $2.8 billion in land transport costs in Port of Newcastle’s potential market by 2050 through shorter journeys and more efficient operations.
The average land transport journey to port for northern NSW exporters (compared with Botany) would nearly halve. Meanwhile, customers served by Port Botany would save $1.2 billion in freight costs as competitive pressure leads to lower prices. Sydney would also benefit from less freight traffic on its roads. This would create $500 million in extra value from avoided infrastructure spending, and reduced congestion and pollution costs (see Exhibit 3.).

Opening a container terminal in Newcastle would also have broader economic and social benefits, including stimulating exports and jobs in the Hunter Region and Northern NSW. Key sectors, such as agriculture, food processing and advanced manufacturing, would see exports grow in value by an extra $800 million by 2050. More than 4,600 jobs would be created in the Hunter Region and Northern NSW by 2050, in industries as diverse as transport, construction, agriculture, manufacturing and local services.
Adding a container terminal to Port of Newcastle could generate $2.8 billion in freight savings to importers and exporters in the Newcastle, Hunter and Northern regions of NSW by 2050. Currently, importers and exporters are served by Port Botany in Sydney or Port of Brisbane.
Both ports are hundreds of kilometres from the origin or destination points of freight in the Hunter Region and Northern NSW, an area responsible for about a sixth of imports and exports in NSW.
Opening a container terminal in Newcastle would nearly halve the average overland freight journey in these areas, immediately reducing transportation costs for imports and exports.
As Port of Newcastle will be home to a new, fully automated container terminal with an integrated intermodal terminal facility, it would also introduce productivity improvements in freight handling, generating further savings for Hunter Region and Northern NSW customers. If all freight customers in the potential addressable market switched to being served from Newcastle, the cumulative savings would be equivalent to $2.8 billion in additional GSP in NPV terms by 2050.
Potential market for Port of Newcastle
This study defines the potential market as NSW regions that are more cost-effectively served from Port of Newcastle than from alternative ports such as Port Botany, Port of Brisbane, and Port of Melbourne.
Importantly, the report did not consider the potential benefits that could be gained by actively promoting the Newcastle container port to Sydney-based businesses.
 

NTP Forklifts unveils 15,000sqm NSW facility

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.”

Linx Cargo Care to operate Enfield Intermodal Terminal

Logistics infrastructure company Linx Cargo Care Group has successfully bid to operate the Enfield Intermodal Terminal in Western Sydney, which is currently operated by Aurizon.
Linx will lease and operate the NSW Ports–owned, 15.1-hectare intermodal terminal located 18km from Port Botany, west of Sydney.
Linx will operate a port shuttle service between Enfield and Port Botany to reduce traffic congestion in Sydney, ahead of a forecasted increase of 400 per cent in truck traffic in the Port Botany area by 2030.
“Given the forecast for such a significant increase in road and rail congestion across Sydney over the next decade or so, Linx is committed to working closely with the New South Wales state government to develop an effective and achievable solution that will reduce the impact of increased freight movements across the city,” said Anthony Jones, CEO, Linx Cargo Care Group. “Linx has been building its rail capabilities for the past year in readiness for an opportunity like this.”
He added that part of the solution could include the duplication of the freight rail line between Port Botany and the interstate corridor mainline.
The Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre includes the intermodal terminal, warehousing, and buildings with vacant land for the development of rail-related warehousing, freight forwarding, IMEX (Import and Export), transport and distribution facilities.
“Linx is currently working closely with NSW Ports to support the development of a freight hub on the land surrounding the Enfield Intermodal Terminal,” added Jones.
Marika Calfas, CEO, NSW Ports, said one of NSW Ports’ key objectives is increasing the number of containers moved by rail to and from Port Botany.
“Linx are well placed to expand the intermodal and rail services at the Enfield ILC and grow the rail mode share to and from Australia’s premier port,” she said.

Toll designs ‘next-gen’ DC around e-commerce

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.

DP World opens Botany Intermodal

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.

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Road Freight NSW to operate as independent body

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.”

Dinner drone delivery trials under way in ACT, NSW

Australian Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez and pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse have partnered with Project Wing, a team developing drone delivery technology in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.
Both retailers will be taking part in Project Wings’ trials, receiving orders from testers using the drone team’s smartphone applications. Project Wing will then dispatch drones to the retailer’s location and, once loaded with the goods, deliver the orders to the testers’ residences.
On the company’s blog, Project Wing Co-Lead James Ryan Burgess explained, “Our partners Guzman y Gomez and Chemist Warehouse will teach us what we need to do to ensure that orders are channelled to their staff smoothly and that they can easily load goods onto our delivery drones.
“In the case of Guzman y Gomez, who is our first delivery partner for this trial, we’ll need to make sure our technology fits in smoothly into their kitchen operations, as their staff have to juggle many orders at once to ensure that every customer is served fresh, hot food in a timely fashion. We want to learn how much notice to give them for a drone’s arrival so that they can cook, pack, and load it in one well-timed workflow.”
He noted that through the collaboration with Chemist Warehouse, Project Wing hopes to confirm its system is able to support merchants with a wide variety of products. “As part of this test, [Chemist Warehouse is] offering nearly 100 products across categories like vitamins, dental care, sun care, and over-the-counter medicines,” Burgess said. “By practicing how we pack items of very different shapes and sizes into our fixed-sized package, we’ll learn how to optimize how many items we’re able to deliver per flight.
“The information we gather from both of these test partners will help us build a system so that merchants of all kinds can focus on what they’re good at  – like making food or helping people feel healthier  –  rather than being distracted by complex delivery logistics.”

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