Livinia Nixon to host 2018 Mercury Awards

The votes are coming in, the judges are preparing to deliberate and it’s time to secure your tickets for the 2018 Mercury Awards.

Australian television presenter and actress Livinia Nixon will lead the proceedings, presiding over a night celebrating the very best people, companies, and initiatives Australia’s supply chain industry has to offer.

Theres still time left to submit your nominations – put forward the name of an exceptional individual, company or solution here until voting closes on 12 April.

Livinia Nixon.
Livinia Nixon.

The Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne, Sick Australia and SEW Eurodrive, will take place on Saturday, 12 May, at Peninsula, on Central Pier in Melbourne’s Docklands.

The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, the business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain, which takes place 10–12 May at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Head to the Mercury Awards website to purchase tickets for individuals and tables.

Melbourne container users slugged, again

Shipping lines in Melbourne have begun demanding that importers return empty containers direct to stevedore terminals rather than empty container parks.
The additional costs associated with the return of empty containers direct to stevedore terminals are being scrutinised by container transport operators in Melbourne with a view implementing measures to recover these costs in the marketplace.
The policies of many major shipping lines dictating direct empty container de-hire to stevedore terminals in Australia rather than to designated empty container parks (ECP), and some stevedore empty container truck receival and processing practices, are causing these additional logistics costs.
Major foreign container shipping lines are now regularly dictating direct empty return to terminals across Australia include OOCL, ANL (CMA-CGM), Hamburg Süd and COSCO. The largest container Shipping Line serving Australia, Maersk Line, has also commenced its container terminal return policy.
Maersk has even had its traditional empty container park providers issue statements to transport operators that de-hire instructions will be “strictly enforced” and that trucks will be “rejected” if operators attempt to de-hire at alternative locations.
“These strict instructions remove operational flexibility in the landside logistics sector and trigger a range of additional operational costs. It’s yet another example of foreign-owned shipping lines improving their bottom line at the expense of the Australian container supply chain,” observed CTAA director Neil Chambers.
“In comparison with other Australian ports, in the Port of Melbourne some stevedore practices involved in receiving direct empty de-hires are not efficient from the point of view of the landside operators.”
In the Port of Melbourne, the additional costs are caused when there is:

  • A lack of available container slots for the return of the empties to the designated stevedore terminal (day shift & night shift).
  • The need to stage empty containers through transport yards due to the lack of available terminal slots, including the costs of additional container lifts and yard storage.
  • Additional truck kilometres travelled.
  • No ability to backload full import containers (i.e. not being able to achieve two-way truck running by returning empties in conjunction with import container pick-ups) due to the operational practices and vehicle booking system restrictions of the stevedore.
  • Longer Truck Turnaround Times (TTT) at the stevedore terminal in comparison to ECP.
  • No-show & wrong time zone penalties imposed by the stevedore on transport operators for empty returns when no such penalty regime applies at traditional ECP.
  • Additional administration costs, including in some instances the costs of administering the production of a Pre-Receival Advice (PRA) message for container receipt into the terminal.
  • The greater chance of container detention charges being levied by shipping lines for the late return of the empty containers due to the operational delays.

“Consequently, container transport operators in Melbourne can no longer commercially absorb the additional costs. CTAA strongly believes that there is a need for genuine cost recovery to ensure business viability through the adoption of a transparent “Direct De-hire to Terminal” surcharge levied on cargo interests (transport customers),” Mr Chambers said.
“We would stress that not all of these inefficiencies apply to all stevedore terminals in Melbourne, and we thank those terminals that do work closely with transport operators to ensure timely empty container de-hire slot availability, the ability to backload (i.e. take in empties when the truck is manifested to pick up import containers), and have acceptable truck turnaround times.”
Mr Chambers also noted: “CTAA Alliance companies have not identified the same level of inefficiencies in Port Botany or Brisbane.
“Transport operators need to ensure that the true additional costs of the direct wharf de-hire policies of the shipping lines, and the operational practices of their stevedore providers that can exacerbate the additional costs, are transparent to shippers (importers / freight forwarders).
“Ultimately, shippers will need to have commercial conversations with shipping lines and choose shipping line services that minimise these additional landside logistics costs.”

ALC announces 2018 Forum speakers

Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, is among a number of prominent individuals who will speak at the Australian Logistics Council’s (ALC) national freight and supply chain event, ALC Forum 2018.
Following the successful 2017 event, which was held in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, in 2018,  the Forum returns to Sydney’s Royal Randwick, taking place 6-8 March.
Other speakers for ALC Forum 2018 include:
• Brendan Bourke, CEO, Port of Melbourne;
• Chris Bresnahan, Operations Director – E-commerce Delivery, Australia Post;
• Royce Christie, General Manager – Government Relations, Toll Group;
• Paul Graham, Supply Chain – Chief Supply Chain Officer, Woolworths Group;
• Maurice James, Managing Director, Qube Holdings;
• Anthony Jones, CEO, LINX Cargo Care Group;
• Sal Petroccitto, CEO, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator;
• Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight (New South Wales);
• Paul Retter, CEO and Commissioner, National Transport Commission; and,
• Richard Sellers, Director General, Department of Transport (Western Australia).
The ALC said that ALC Forum 2018 will progress the issues put forward by ALC members in the final submission, focusing on the freight logistics industry’s priorities and expectations for the types of infrastructure investment and policy reform required to enhance national supply chain efficiency and safety.

Australian Government to support MEGATRANS2018

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has confirmed the Australian Government’s support of inaugural supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018.
In a letter confirming the Government’s support, Chester cited the event’s relevance for the national freight sector and supply chain.
“This inaugural conference will bring together participants from the logistics, materials handling and freight industries to consider key issues for the freight section,” said Chester.
“This conference complements the Government develop of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy for Australia’s future.
“The Government looks forward to working with the freight and supply chain industry to deliver future prosperity and competitiveness. This conference will be an important component toward shaping that outcome.”
The Australian Government joins the growing list of MEGATRANS0218 sponsors, which include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and Isuzu Trucks, to name a few.
Connecting the Australian and international supply chain, the three-day expo will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption.
MEGATRANS2018 will take place over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s30,000 square metres of space, 10-12 May 2018.

West Gate Tunnel construction to begin in Q1 2018

A CPB/John Holland joint venture will commence construction on the West Gate Tunnel next month, now expected to cost $6.7 billion – about $1.2 billion above its original estimated cost, with the Victorian Government finalising contracts on the project this week.
The builders have begun moving into a construction compound in Footscray where they’ll begin work on the northern tunnel portal.
A statement from the state government said the six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.
The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, which the Victorian Government said in the statement is due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to “improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years”.
Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed.
According to the government, this partnership has been assessed as high value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous Liberal government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.
Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.
In addition to the business case released in 2015, the government this week released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.
The project is anticipated to be finished in 2022.

Port of Melbourne industrial action "sovereign risk": VTA

The Port of Melbourne risks becoming an “international laughing stock” if industrial action that has disrupted stevedore Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) is permitted to continue, according to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The VTA’s warning is in response to VICT’s revelation that the person the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is pressuring the stevedore to employ is ineligible to work on docks under Australian law because he failed to obtain a Maritime Security Identification Card.
“It is an affront to every Port of Melbourne stevedore and freight operator working in and around the port that the Victorian economy is continuing to be held to ransom by the MUA over what we now understand is a legal reason for this individual being ineligible for employment at the docks,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“The effects of this ongoing action at our busiest time of the year are being felt right throughout the economy when you consider that the more than 1000 containers and their contents sitting idle at Webb Dock cannot be brought to market and sold to consumers during our peak retail trading period.
“Not only are VICT and the hundreds of freight operators that cannot move containers in and out of the terminal being impacted by this recalcitrant industrial action, so too are hundreds of small business operators and their families that are being denied access to goods demanded by Victorian consumers.”
Anderson said it was a potential sovereign risk to the broader Victorian economy and the Port of Melbourne’s position as the nation’s largest port if the action is allowed to continue.
“VICT is already losing business to other Port of Melbourne stevedores through this action, but if foreign exporters determine Melbourne is an unreliable destination for freight forwarders they will send their business to ports in other states, at a massive cost to our economy,” said Anderson.
“So, while this action may be confined to VICT for now, the real risk as we see it is the long-term reputational and economic damage the action will create for Victoria as a place to do business.”
Anderson implored all stakeholders involved in the action to put the interests of the Victorian economy first and work constructively to bring an end to industrial action that is undermining the state’s hard-fought reputation as a reliable place to do business.
“This is not the time for our leaders to run and hide but rather confront the real issue of adverse union action that is brutal and selfish, and has a negative effect on the livelihoods all Victorians,” he said.

Port of Melbourne potentially limited by containership growth

A report produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the country’s stevedores has suggested that Port Botany has overtaken the Port of Melbourne for container trade due to constraints at the Victorian port, as first reported by The Age.
In 2016/17, Port Botany handled 34 per cent of Australia’s container movements, with 33 per cent going through the Port of Melbourne – down from 36 per cent in 2015/16.
While the report did not directly link the Port of Melbourne’s reduced volume to the increasing size of container ships, it noted that it is the most likely port to put limits on the size of ships visiting the country.
The Age noted that the biggest ship to visit Australia, the 347-metre Susan Maersk that docked at the Port of Brisbane in October, would have been unable to travel up the mouth of the Yarra River to Swanson Dock, and its 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) load may or may not have managed to fit underneath the West Gate Bridge.
In a recent newsletter, industry body Shipping Australia wrote that with only one terminal able to take the larger ships – Webb Dock, with Swanson Dock out of reach – “Melbourne is already the limiting factor for the size of ships coming to Australia’s east coast ports and is preventing Australians benefiting from the efficiencies of larger ship operations.”
“The risk is that shipping lines may consider by-passing Melbourne for Adelaide or Sydney and use rail, or a smaller ship feeder service (possibly from New Zealand) to make the connection,” it added.
“This would ultimately cost the Victorian consumer, the Port of Melbourne and the state economy.”

VTA calls for safety rethink on Port of Melbourne access

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has labelled plans to develop an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in a future Fishermans Bend precinct “irresponsible recipe for disaster.”
A draft of the Fishermans Bend Framework released late last month by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley contains recommendations for cycling and other infrastructure to support the 80,000 people and jobs the Victorian Government hopes to attract to the new precinct.
The draft contains a map of existing and proposed cycling infrastructure, including a north-south strategic cycling corridor connecting to a new Lorimer Street on-road cycling path between the Bolte and West Gate Bridge.
“Lorimer Street is a gazetted freight route for heavy vehicles and is intensively used by trucks of up to 70 tonnes travelling between Webb Dock and road and rail freight infrastructure closer to town,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, Victorian Transport Association.
“It is also home to numerous concrete suppliers that are visited by hundreds of trucks every day that deliver to building sites throughout Melbourne.”
He added that while the VTA fully supports infrastructure that encourages commuters onto bikes and away from cars, the only gazetted freight route servicing the south side of the Port of Melbourne is “the last place we should be putting a shared path.”
“It’s an irresponsible recipe for disaster to encourage cycling on a road so intensively used by heavy vehicles, and is the precise opposite of what we recommended in early consultations,” he added. “For planners to have included an on-road cycling path on Lorimer Street in the draft framework defies logic.”
The VTA has previously advised the government in its precinct planning to encourage cycling and pedestrian traffic to Williamstown Road, and to actively separate heavy vehicles from cyclists where possible, as is happening in Melbourne’s west.
“Regardless of who is at fault, the cyclist will always be worse off in a collision with a truck, so why on earth would you encourage their close interaction on a shared roadway?” Anderson said. “Elsewhere in Melbourne, we are actively separating bicycles from trucks on freight routes so it stands to reason we should be doing this in Fishermans Bend precinct planning.”
Anderson welcomed objectives in the draft to safeguard port access by preserving a direct road and rail corridor between Webb, Swanson and Appleton Docks and the Dynon Road freight terminal.

2018 Mercury Awards to recognise supply chain excellence

After a brief hiatus, the Logistics & Materials Handling Mercury Awards will be relaunched in 2018 for the ninth annual instalment, in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The Awards, featuring a new design, will recognise the outstanding achievements and successes of companies across the logistics, supply chain and materials handling sectors.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, a business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain. MEGATRANS2018 incorporates all forms of freight transport, logistics and materials handling, infrastructure and storage and warehousing, providing perfect alignment with the Mercury Awards.
Twelve awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations across the supply chain:

  • Supply Chain Innovator of the Year
  • Safety Advocate of the Year
  • Best Technology Application
  • Sustainability Initiative Award
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Road
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Rail
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Air
  • Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Sea
  • Outstanding Graduate Program
  • Best Storage Solution
  • Best Infrastructure Innovation
  • Victorian Government ‘Contribution to Industry’ Award

The 2018 Mercury Awards sponsors include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and SICK. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information please contact Simon Coburn on 03 9690 8766 or simon.coburn@primecreative.com.au.
Nominations details will be announced soon.

DPWA announces senior appointments

Container port operator DP World Australia has announced changes in leadership for its Fremantle operations and Continuous Improvement business unit.
Replacing Luke Westlake as Fremantle General Manager Operations will be Stefan Reynolds, effective 11 December 2017.
For the past nine months, Reynolds has led process improvement projects in Melbourne and nationally as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations.
“With over 10 years’ operational experience in the container transport and logistics field, Stefan brings a high calibre of operational and change leadership experience to Fremantle,” said Max Kruse, Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, DP World Australia. “In his recent position as Manager of Capacity, Planning, Gate and Operations Projects with Ports of Auckland, Stefan worked closely with a large team as well as other departments, to continuously focus and strive for exceptional levels of performance and customer service.”
In Melbourne, Troy Sparkman will join the DPWA team as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations, effective 30 October 2017.
According to Kruse, Sparkman has 28 years’ experience in the rail transport and logistics industry, and worked in most states and regional areas of Australia during that time.
“Troy has a significant understanding of supply chain and operational management,” Kruse added. “Having held general manager roles with Aurizon, most recently as the General Manager service delivery for the interstate intermodal business, and Regional Integration Manager responsible for operational optimisation and transformation of the Hunter Valley and West Moreton supply chains.”

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