logistics growth illustrated with airliner with a globe and autoloader with boxes in a container

Logistics growth losing steam

Key logistics market growth rates fell in 2018 according to Transport Intelligence’s (Ti) global market size & growth forecast data.

  • The Global Freight Forwarding market grew 3.9% in 2018, a marked decline from an expansion of 8.0% in 2017
  • The Global Contract Logistics market was 4.9% bigger in 2018.
  • At 8.5%, the Global Express & Small Parcels market had the quickest rate of expansion amongst the logistics markets.
  • Slowing volume growth in the European Road Freight Transport market saw the growth rate slow to 2.9% in 2018.

Global Freight Forwarding

In a market heavily reliant on global trading conditions, growth in the global freight forwarding market fell from 8.0% in 2017 to 3.9% in 2018. The slowdown is not altogether surprising given the exceptional performance in 2017 when demand for air transport services surged as shippers rushed to re-stock inventories and move goods to market. As the restocking cycle drew to a close in early 2018, market expansion reduced substantially. Trade tensions between the US and China have had far-reaching implications for regional and global supply chains, which has affected forwarding growth across different countries.

Global Contract Logistics

While global contract logistics growth slowed in 2018, the change was very slight – the market grew by 4.9% in real terms, down from 5.0% in 2017. The US market performed relatively well, whilst China’s market is continuing show remarkable vigour. Manufacturing has previously been (and continues to be) a strong base for China’s contract logistics growth, but a growing consumer market led by internal investment, growing wages and a boom in e-commerce has created a vibrant opportunity in Chinese retail contract logistics.

Global Express & Small Parcels

An 8.5% expansion saw the global express & small parcels market grow rapidly in 2018, although the growth rate is a slowdown on the 9.7% seen in 2017. e-commerce is continuing to drive rapid growth in China’s express and parcels market, which is expanding much faster than the global growth rate. Although there are significant bright spots in areas such as healthcare and cross-border e-commerce, weaker macroeconomic conditions have played their part in slowing market growth, affecting major players, including FedEx.

European Road Freight Transport

Europe’s road freight market expanded 2.9% in 2018. Macroeconomic performance has been relatively limp compared against the rest of the world. The region’s major markets are facing significant headwinds – Germany sits close to recessionary territory as a result of softer external demand and disruption in its automotive sector, Italy is feeling the effects of mounting public debt, while Brexit uncertainty continues to harm investment into the UK economy.
“Ti’s new figures show robust growth across major global logistics markets. Growth rates are not flattering when compared against the previous year, where global GDP growth was the fastest it had been since 2011. Nonetheless, there have been significant opportunities for LSPs to grow top-line figures through the course of the year,” said Andy Ralls, analyst at Ti.
Note: All growth rates mentioned are in real terms (holding prices and exchange rates constant at 2018 levels) unless stated otherwise.

Electric-Kalmar-container-truck

Kalmar aims to go 100% electric by 2021

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has introduced a fully electric version of the Kalmar Empty Container Handler. The launch represents another step on the company’s journey towards offering an electric version of every product in its portfolio by 2021.
The all-electric machine is the latest addition to Kalmar’s Eco Range, which already includes the Kalmar Eco Reachstacker with a fuel-saving guarantee. In addition, Kalmar has already launched fully electric versions of its light and medium forklift trucks, Kalmar Ottawa terminal tractors, shuttle and straddle carriers, automated guided vehicles (AGV) and yard cranes.
Based on the Kalmar ECG90-180 medium electric forklift, the new machine is designed to help customers reduce overall fuel costs and comply with increasingly strict airborne and noise emissions standards without compromising on performance. It can stack containers up to four high and is available with a choice of battery technologies to ensure a clean, efficient lift every time. With fewer moving parts and lower rates of wear and tear than a diesel-powered machine, the Kalmar Electric Empty Container Handler is also simpler and more cost-effective to maintain.

Immediate torque

The electric driveline provides full torque immediately and is smoother to operate than a diesel driveline, making operating cycles shorter and increasing the potential number of container moves per hour. Fully charged, the battery has enough power to last a whole shift.
Vice president of forklifts at Kalmar Stefan Hultqvist said: “We firmly believe that electricity is the power source of the future and have committed to make our full portfolio available as electrically powered by 2021. We have been developing electrically powered machine technology since the 1980s, and the Kalmar Electric Empty Container Handler is the latest in what will be a long line of eco-efficient solutions. We know that operational cycles differ from customer to customer, so we’re pleased to be able to offer a choice between lead-acid and lithium-ion battery technologies to allow customers to specify the option that best fits their requirements.

New leader for industrial property L&SC division

Colliers International has appointed industry professional Monica Velez to head up the company’s inhouse logistics and supply chain consulting service.
Ms Velez is based in the Sydney CBD office and joins Colliers International from Asahi, where she was the company’s supply change transformation manager for just over two years. She spent the previous five years working at CEVA Logistics in a variety of roles.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms Velez to Colliers International to lead our logistics and supply chain consulting specialisation, building on our extensive expertise for industrial occupiers,” said Doug Henry, managing director of occupier services at Colliers International.
“Over the past 18 months, the Australian industrial landscape has changed significantly, with increased real estate prices, upward pressure on rent and the entry of global players, such as Amazon, into the local market.  Now more than ever, organisations must look at their supply chain network and identify where the gaps and opportunities lie.”
“I am excited to join Colliers International and work with industrial clients to ensure they continue to achieve elevated portfolio optimisation and maximised efficiencies,” said Monica Velez.
“As the industrial landscape becomes increasingly dynamic, a strong logistics capability is essential for occupiers to increase optimisation, productivity and speed to market,” Ms Velez said.
 
 

SSI SCHAEFER announces 2018 Distributor of the Year

Better Storage Systems has won SSI SCHAEFER’s 2018 Distributor of the Year Award. The award was announced and presented to Darren Bykersma, Better Storage Systems managing director by Brian Miles, regional managing director of SSI SCHAEFER, at the annual distributor meeting held in Sydney recently.
Darren Bykersma said: “We are so pleased to win this year, particularly in our 10th year of operation. The whole team at Better Storage has worked so hard and deserves to share the award and celebrate. I want to thank my team – together we conquer,” he said.
Winning in 2018 is the third time for Better Storage Systems. The annual award recognises the distributor’s excellent sales performance, its promotion of SSI SCHAEFER products and its willingness to work in partnership with SSI SCHAEFER. It follows a very successful year where Better Storage delivered a large number of substantial installations.
“We congratulate the whole Better Storage team on winning this award in 2018. Better Storage has excelled this year by delivering some great customer installations and growing their business,” said Brett Thirup, general manager, sales and engineering for SSI SCHAEFER.
 
 

Toyota, Bridgestone combine to develop space vehicle

Bridgestone Corporation will take part in an international space exploration mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota). Announced by JAXA and Toyota, the goals of this mission include expanding the domain of human activity and developing intellectual property on space exploration. Bridgestone’s involvement in this mission will include researching the performance needs of tyres for use on manned, pressurised lunar rovers to help these vehicles make better contact with the surface of the moon.
Bridgestone partnered with the two organisations to research this next phase of human exploration, building on a joint research partnership with JAXA in the 2000s to examine the contact patch between rovers and the lunar surface, and serve as a technical partner for the Toyota rover project.
Bridgestone’s expertise and knowledge of tyre contact patch will help explore the mobility challenges faced on the lunar surface, with the development of an Elastic Wheel to support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimise shock absorbance, and improve manoeuvrability, enabling the rover to cruise more than 10,000km on the lunar surface, required to accomplish the mission.
 
 
 

Record forklift apprentice intake for Toyota

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has inducted a record 14 apprentice forklift technicians in its annual intake, ensuring a solid skills support base for the future.
The national forklift company this year received a staggering 826 applications for apprenticeships from around the country.
The 14 new apprentices, accompanied by mentors from their respective TMHA branches, were inducted and received their tools of trade at TMHA’s Sydney headquarters at the end of March.
TMHA president and CEO Steve Takacs – who began his career as a forklift technician – was on hand to welcome the inductees.
They also received presentations on Toyota values, company policies and expectations, safety procedures and Toyota history, and a tour of TMHA’s extensive national headquarters.
TMHA national technical advisor and trainer Gerry Larney said 14 apprentices was a record annual intake and continues Toyota’s commitment to industry leading skills training.
“We currently have 35 apprentices completing their four-year courses across our 18 branches and a total of 450 staff in product support roles,” he said.
“TMHA views the apprentice program as a cornerstone in providing the highest levels of product support.
“It is a real investment in our future, as today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s technicians.”
TMHA also conducts an annual national skills contest, open to all technicians and apprentices, with the aim of keeping service staff at the cutting edge of industry standards.
Steve Takacs said Toyota has been at the forefront of forklift technician training for much of the 50 years the company has been selling forklifts in Australia, this is further supported by specialist TAFE and inhouse training programs for Australia’s forklift technicians.
“The annual apprentice intake was initiated more than a decade ago to help ensure we have a strong skills base to support our business,” he said.
 

National Freight Data Hub to ease the freight pain

The iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre has released its report recommending establishment of a National Freight Data Hub to track freight use and identify choke-points and congestion across Australia.
Federal Transport Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed iMOVE’s Freight Data Hub recommendation has been accepted and will be established with more than $8m in funding.
The hub will act as the nation’s central collector and disseminator of freight data, in the same way that the Australian Bureau of Statistics provides a vital information for managing the economy.
“The expanding population and the growing popularity of online shopping are dramatically increasing the national freight task,” iMOVE managing director Ian Christensen said.
“iMOVE expects this to increase by 75% in 20 years (2011-2031) and that means, more trucks, more freight trains, and vehicles operating more hours every day.
“That growth in truck movements is ringing alarm bells. It brings with it the unenviable prospect of more congestion, more air pollution, more noise and more truck accidents; unless we do something about it,” Mr Christensen said.
The new hub will harness cutting-edge technology, to monitor freight use of the country’s transport system. It means, for the first time, there will be central, neutral collection point for data of all freight transport system users – private companies, regulators, state transport departments and other government agencies.
“In a country as large, and yet as intensely urbanised as Australia, freight supply chains play a key role,”  Mr Christensen said.
“They connect our mining and agricultural resource basins to our cities and ports and, in the reverse case, receive and distribute containerised merchandise and vehicles sourced from overseas. The efficiency of these freight supply chains materially impacts on our productivity performance and, ultimately, living standards.
“These new datasets will provide valuable information about current and future congestion choke-points and where scarce public investment should be best directed,” he said.
Mr Christensen said the economic gains from making better use of freight date were significant.
“The contribution of Australia’s freight supply chain industry to GDP is well over $100 billion annually. Our study found that a 0.1% (that is, a one-tenth of 1 percent) improvement in industry productivity would be substantial. iMOVE is pleased that the Federal Government has recognised of the importance of the freight sector to the national economy, and the importance of data flow to the efficiency of the transport system.”
Mr Christensen added:
“Going forward however, it is not just individual freight operators that have to perform well, but now all the parties in a supply chain must coordinate their actions to deliver end to end efficiency. That means, despite each organisation’s fierce independence, we are all parts of a system and have to work together. Australia’s success depends on the performance of that system.”
The reforms build on the 20-year National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which recommends benchmarking freight performance through identifying, collecting and sharing data.

Sea electric IKEA electric truck

Labor EV policy good for freight: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) believes the Federal Opposition’s commitment to work with industry on the development of cleaner transport modes must include a focus on the clear enthusiasm of many in the freight logistics sector to deliver improved environmental outcomes.
“This industry has been among the most enthusiastic proponents of the potential of electric vehicles (EV) to improve our environment, whilst also providing operational and cost advantages for freight logistics businesses,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
“The policy announced by the Federal Opposition contains a number of measures that can help make that potential a reality, provided that governments work closely with industry in helping deliver the right reforms.
“ALC is particularly encouraged by Labor’s plan to boost EV charging capacity in the national road network. Overcoming ‘range anxiety’ is an essential part of delivering swifter EV uptake by freight logistics operators, and the commitment to work with COAG to promote national consistency in charging infrastructure is most welcome.
“We also welcome the aspects of the policy designed to encourage investment in EV technology, especially the commitment to allow businesses to immediately deduct 20 per cent off any new EV valued at more than $20,000, and the intention to use the Australian Investment Guarantee to incentivise the upgrade of heavy vehicles to incorporate modern technology that can help reduce emissions.
“The commitment to develop a Low Emission Transport Strategy is a responsible one, and will help ensure that all modes of transport are making a contribution to emissions reduction. Industry must be a key partner in the development of that strategy.
“ALC further notes the Opposition’s commitment to introduce vehicle emissions standards, in line with those that currently operate in the United States. This is a significant proposal – and one that must be worked though carefully with industry if it is to succeed.
“Industry is willing to play its part in delivering better environmental outcomes for the community, and ALC would look to work with any future Labor government to ensure that such standards are introduced in an equitable fashion that does not impose an unsustainable financial burden on freight logistics operators.”

Dr-Gillian-Miles_NTC-CEO

NTC appoints new chief executive officer

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has announced the appointment of Dr Gillian Miles as its new chief executive officer  and commissioner.
Dr Miles, a former Victorian government senior executive, will commence in the role next week following an extensive recruitment process.
NTC chairwoman Carolyn Walsh said the appointment of Dr Miles has come at an important time with the NTC undertaking a number of significant reforms in land transport.
“Innovation, change management and a strategic mindset were front of mind for this appointment, particularly as the NTC continues to make major progress on several landmark transport reforms, including the regulation of automated vehicles and a review of the heavy vehicle national law.
“I’m confident that Gillian’s wealth of knowledge and experience is well suited to leading the NTC through a period of significant change across the land transport sector,” Ms Walsh said.
Ms Walsh also acknowledged the contribution of acting CEO Dr Geoff Allan following the departure of former CEO and commissioner Paul Retter AM in late 2018.
Dr Miles comes to the NTC with a long history of related senior appointments, including:

  • Head of Transport for Victoria, 2015–2018.
  • Chief executive officer, City of Greater Geelong, 2014–2015.
  • Head of strategy & performance, Transport Accident Commission, 2013–2014.
  • Deputy Secretary, Transport, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, 2009–2013.
  • Deputy Secretary, Community Development, Department of Planning and Community Development, 2007–2009.
  • Executive Director Regional Services, VicRoads, 2002–2007.
  • Board member Roads Australia.

Toyota plans Victoria's first hydrogen refuelling station

Toyota Australia, with funding assistance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has unveiled plans to build a $7.4 million Hydrogen Centre at the company’s former site of car manufacturing at Altona in Melbourne’s west.
The Hydrogen Centre is part of a larger plan to transform the former Altona site into a Centre of Excellence.

As part of the Hydrogen Centre project, existing manufacturing infrastructure will be repurposed into Victoria’s first integrated hydrogen site, complete with electrolyser, commercial grade hydrogen refuelling station and an education centre with live demonstrations.
ARENA will contribute $3.1 million towards the Hydrogen Centre development, with Toyota Australia investing the remaining $4.3 million.
Toyota Australia’s president and CEO Matt Callachor said the Hydrogen Centre announcement was a step towards the company meeting its target of zero CO2 emissions from sites and vehicles by 2050.
“This is a very exciting time for Toyota Australia. Today’s announcement with ARENA aligns with our global drive to promote sustainable mobility and to play a leading role in the transition to a decarbonised future,” Mr Callachor said.
“Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in the future because it can be used to store and transport energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources to power many things, including vehicles like the Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
“Right now, the biggest factor to the success of hydrogen being widely available is the lack of infrastructure. The sooner we move to a zero emissions society, the better, and Toyota is committed to making this a reality.”
ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller said Toyota’s Hydrogen Centre would demonstrate hydrogen as a viable fuel source for transport and as an energy storage medium.
“Toyota is helping to pave the way for more renewably powered vehicles in Australia, where the uptake of electric vehicles has been slower than other countries.
“The demonstration of low-cost hydrogen production and distribution is key to the uptake of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in areas such as truck, bus and government fleets.
“Australia holds a competitive advantage to play a global role in the emerging hydrogen export market due to our existing expertise and infrastructure. We’re excited to see Toyota add their skills to the mix and be a major player in increasing the reach of hydrogen applications in different sectors,” Mr Miller said.
Construction on the Hydrogen Centre will commence this year, with the education centre expected to be open by December 2019, and the electrolyser and hydrogen refuelling station fully operational by late 2020.
Once up and running, the hydrogen refuelling station will be able to fill a vehicle, like Toyota’s Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), in between three and five minutes.
As part of its ongoing hydrogen advocacy efforts, Toyota Australia has been providing Toyota Mirai FCEV vehicles to local governments and commercial organisations through its hydrogen loan program.

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