Infrastructure Priority List welcomed by the freight sector

The Infrastructure Priority List recently released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) has won widespread approval in the freight sector, including the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railways Association and the Australian Trucking Association.
ALC: The priority list highlights freight infrastructure opportunities
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said the Infrastructure Priority List released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) highlights continued need for targeted investment in freight infrastructure projects that will enhance supply chain efficiency and safety, and make Australia more internationally competitive.
“It is essential that Australia makes infrastructure investment decisions that are based on sound principles and evidence-based assessments regarding a project’s capacity to contribute to our economic strength, and liveability of our communities,” said ALC chairman Philip Davies.
“In the past, the Infrastructure Priority List has helped to build support for investment in critical freight infrastructure projects which are now being undertaken, including Western Sydney Airport, Inland Rail, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and more recently the Port Botany freight rail duplication, which was supported in the 2018 Federal Budget.”
“It is especially pleasing to note this year’s list again includes the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy as a high priority initiative.”
“To further boost the effectiveness of that Strategy when it is released later this year, ALC urges governments to prioritise investment in key freight-related initiatives IA has included in this year’s list, including:

  • Upgrading Chullora Junction to enhance Sydney’s freight rail network;
  • Constructing the North East Link in Melbourne to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance freight efficiency;
  • Pursuing a dedicated freight rail connection from Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane;
  • Enhancing capacity and traffic flows on the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways in Perth;
  • Completing the upgrade of the Adelaide North-South road corridor to enhance capacity and efficiency of freight movement to the airport and port precincts;
  • Investing in road and rail improvements on the Burnie to Hobart freight corridor;
  • Implementation of the Advanced Train Management System on the ARTC network; and
  • Establishing a national electric vehicle fast-charging network to overcome ‘range anxiety’ among freight logistics operators.

“Australia must do everything possible to eliminate capacity constraints in our freight networks if we wish to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market. Securing investment in these priority projects will help to deliver that outcome.”
ARA backs IA’s strong rail focus in Infrastructure Priority List
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has also welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) 2019 Infrastructure Priority List.
“IA plays an important role in identifying key infrastructure problems and opportunities to ensure investment is appropriately targeted to areas of greatest need,” said ARA CEO Danny Broad.
“The rail projects included in IA’s 2019 Infrastructure Priority List are important nation-building initiatives and are endorsed by the rail sector,” he continued.
“Pleasingly, there are more rail projects and initiatives in the report compared to the 2018 Infrastructure Priority List, with 54 of the 125 projects and initiatives rail-related.
“As Australia’s population grows, rail infrastructure will increasingly become the backbone to meet Australia’s growing passenger and freight needs. To manage the challenges posed in our cities and regions in the long-term, Australia will need to ensure that it continuously invests in rail infrastructure.
“We know that rail is an efficient, environmentally and socially beneficial mode of transport. We also know that rail has lower emissions than road transport, is safer and can help reduce congestion in our cities.
“The significance of these rail projects identified by IA warrants investment from governments at all levels. Our networks of infrastructure and services connect people and communities, support freight transport across the country, help deliver our resources to overseas markets and continue to generate economic growth and employment,” he said.
ATA welcomes updated Infrastructure Priority List
Infrastructure Australia’s updated Infrastructure Priority List illustrates the importance of evidence-based investment decisions, chairman of the Australian Trucking Association Geoff Crouch said.
“The Infrastructure Priority List provides critical focus on the need to invest in safer regional roads and fixing urban congestion,” Mr Crouch said.
“The new project calling for regional road network safety improvements to invest in fixing high-risk sections of regional roads and deliver safer road infrastructure is a critical priority.
“Infrastructure Australia reports that relative to population size, the number of fatalities in regional areas is over four times higher than for major cities.
“This project now requires government support across Australia, and the ATA strongly welcomes the inclusion of a similar new project by the NSW Government to make regional road safety improvements in NSW.
“Governments should also support the call for a roads network optimisation program to address urban congestion.
“First added to the priority list in 2016 but still without a government proponent, Infrastructure Australia has again reconfirmed the need for governments to make multiple, co-ordinated, productivity enhancements to the road network to reduce congestion.
“These investments should be based on data and seek to optimise traffic flows through investments such as intersection treatments, traffic light sequencing, clearways and incident management.”
The ATA also welcomes the continued inclusion and expansion of projects to address major road investment priorities.
“There’s a long list of proposed road, highway and motorway projects which would make a significant investment to improving safety, connectivity and productivity on the road network,” Mr Crouch said.
Future updates to the Infrastructure Priority List should expand the network-based focus on improving roads to include regional and outback highways and corridors.
“The need to make better use and enable more productive connectivity extends beyond our major cities and their rural hinterlands, and Infrastructure Australia should include network optimisation and access for investing in better regional and outback highways in future priority list updates,” Mr Crouch said.
 

Import containers: the costs just keep mounting

A reduction in empty container park capacity, larger numbers of containers being handled, and a high level of import empty container ‘re-directions’ by shipping lines, are causing significant additional empty container handling costs in Sydney.
CTAA director Neil Chambers said: “The empty container management situation in Sydney has been getting progressively worse over a number of months now.
“For many container transport operators, it has reached the stage where they cannot fully absorb the additional costs.
“A conservative estimate is that the additional costs being borne by transport operators in managing empty containers in Sydney are between $90 to $200 per container, depending on the level of delay and additional handling necessary.”
Staging of empty containers via transport yards: added costs
Gate capacity and available truck arrival slots are at a premium at some key Sydney empty container parks (ECP) given the numbers being directed to those facilities by shipping lines. This is amplified when the ECP do not operate regularly after hours or on weekends.
Therefore the vast majority of empty containers must be staged through transport yards to manage the task.
This results in additional costs:

  • Container lift-on / lift off – container staging.
  • Additional administration and yard planning.
  • Additional truck kilometres and one-way truck travel with reduced opportunities to backload.

In many instances, transport operators are unable to book sufficient truck arrival slots at designated ECP in a timely manner, leading to de-hire delays and significant risks that empty containers might attract container detention fees from shipping lines for late return.
Empty container re-directions with little notice
“A significant contributor to the higher costs of empty container management in Sydney are the number and frequency of empty container ‘re-directions’ that are ordered at the discretion of the shipping lines with little notice.” observed Neil Chambers.
Port Botany is Australia’s empty container ‘re-direction capital’, with over 30 re-direction notices current every day, equating to hundreds of re-directions per month. By contrast, this is more than double the number of re-directions in Melbourne.
“Empty containers destined for one ECP, or for direct wharf de-hire, are suddenly re-directed to another location, causing significant planning difficulties for transport operators who must adjust their fleet and job allocations at the last minute.
“These re-directions are occurring solely to suit the shipping lines that want the empty containers sent to a specific location for their next use, including to meet regional rail export empty demands or for international empty repatriation, rather than the shipping line being responsible for the costs of repositioning the empty at a later date.
“That’s all well and good, but the lack of sufficient notice penalises others in the container logistics chain through higher import empty container handling and transport costs. To make matters worse, the lack of sufficient operational notice of these re-directions means that trucks with a valid ECP arrival notification, based on the original de-hire location specified by the shipping line, are being turned away because a re-direction has been put in place last minute.”
“This results in futile truck trips, added truck kilometres travelled, more one-way under-utilisation of trucks, the need to constantly rearrange empty containers stacked in transport yards, and de-hire time delays.”
Mr Chambers noted: “The lack of sufficient notice of re-directions, and the practice of not honouring original legitimate truck bookings at ECP because a re-direction has been ordered, is unacceptable to container transport operators.
“We are calling on all shipping lines and their ECP providers to give at least 24 hours’ notice of any empty container re-directions as well as a clear end-date for the re-direction.”
The administration of these re-direction notices is made more difficult where shipping lines do not provide electronic data to their ECP providers and through the Containerchain notification system, meaning that fleet allocators must manage and monitor re-direction notices manually.
This can result in futile truck trips to the wrong ECP if emailed re-direction notices are missed.
Unrealistic container detention timeframes & claims
Despite the increased delays in managing import empty container de-hires effectively, there is no incentive for shipping lines to extend container detention-free time to importers.
Container detention time restrictions are more likely to be exceeded as a result of the current delays and inefficiencies in Sydney.
“Shipping lines would be making an absolute killing at present with container detention revenue, some of which will have been incurred because of the strict policies of the shipping lines themselves leading to a lack of de-hire flexibility, last minute de-hire re-directions, and little cooperation with shippers on the extension of detention-free time.
“That is particularly perverse,” Mr Chambers noted. “Many transport operators apply business rules with their importer / forwarder customers requiring adequate business-day notification that import containers are ready for empty de-hire.
“In addition, however, transport companies are increasingly unwilling to accept container detention claims liability passed to them by their customers when the delays in de-hire are outside of their control. This is a matter for negotiation between transport operators and their direct customers.
“Transport operators aren’t a direct party to the Bill of Lading contract between the importer and shipping line on empty container detention terms and conditions.”
“So, it’s not up to the transport company to seek relief from container detention fees. And nor should it be up to the transport company to pay any container detention bills post the event when the delays in de-hire were beyond their control or not realistic in the timeframes imposed.”
“In the current circumstances in Sydney, made worse also by the fumigation delays caused by the widespread measures to address the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) biosecurity threat, it is not unrealistic for import containers to be taking more than 15 to 20 days from the date of discharge to be able to be returned empty.”
“Container detention claims prior to that are equally unrealistic.” concluded Neil Chambers.
“It is even more imperative that when delays threaten a breach of the shipping lines’ imposed container detention policies, importers and forwarders – the customers of the shipping lines – should be proactive in:

  • Seeking an extension of the ‘free time’ from the shipping line for the return of the empty container; and/or
  • Requesting that the shipping line allow the container to be de-hired into an ECP or wharf facility with more flexible de-hire arrangements and longer opening hours.

“There are several ECP in Sydney that open longer hours. Importers, forwarders and their transport providers should be more proactive in convincing shipping lines that they will direct the empty de-hires there, instead of suffering delays in trying to de-hire to nominated facilities that are congested or have limited opening hours.”
CTAA Alliance companies are discussing the current delays and inefficiencies with the ECP in Sydney, shipping lines, NSW Ports, Transport for NSW and the NSW Government.

Online freight matching must include CoR: NatRoad

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has provided a submission to the Victorian Inquiry into the On-Demand Workforce.
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said: “The nature of the freight task is changing. We told the inquiry that this change in part comes from changing community preferences and demographics linked with technology developments. Members have informed us that there is a large number of digital platforms that ‘match’ freight tasks with transport companies. They essentially offer a limited form of freight forwarding, often without assuming any of the liabilities which accompany the traditional manner in which freight forwarding tasks occur. They want members to operate on demand.
“The experience of members with these platforms has been negative,” he said.
“NatRoad surveyed our members and the qualitative feedback was that currently digital platforms are only used to fill occasional loads. But there are no checks and balances in place to ask if the members have the capacity to complete the job, the right insurance or safety measures in place. These platforms do not meet the chain of responsibility requirements at all.
“NatRoad’s answer to the regulatory issues that arise in relation to digital platforms is to extend the chain of responsibility laws to these platforms under certain circumstances. It is clear from the feedback from the member survey that regulation through the chain of responsibility would be welcomed by members.
“Although NatRoad has welcomed the changes that enhance the chain of responsibility provisions from 1 October 2018, they are still limited to specific parties. The definition in the Heavy Vehicle National Law of who is a party in the chain needs to be amended to include all parties who influence or control transport activities. This will then capture persons who promote ‘platforms’ for the undertaking of work but who currently protect themselves from any legal responsibilities related to the transport task.
“NatRoad’s main recommendation to the inquiry, therefore, is an expansion in COR obligations.
“We also argued against the re-introduction of ‘safe rates’ into the transport industry. But we proposed that there should not be freight contract rate that was below the modern award minimum wage rate unless it was filling a backload or part-load and there was informed consent to this condition. Paying below the modern award rate would be plainly unconscionable” Mr Clark concluded.
 
 

Blockchain Bill of Lading: from one week to just one second

An electronic Bill of Lading pilot has reduced the time to transfer shipment documents from seven days to one second, enabling 28 tonnes of fresh mandarin oranges, a symbol of prosperity, to arrive early for Lunar New Year
Pacific International Lines (“PIL”) has used an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) built on the IBM Blockchain Platform in a successful real-time pilot tracking shipment of mandarin oranges from China for the Lunar New Year celebrations.
With the use of IBM Blockchain powered e-BL, the trial has produced a significant reduction in the administrative process of transferring the title deed from five to seven days to just one second.
This is significant because the Bill of Lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment.
Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo. Document handling is automated, and goods delivered more quickly and efficiently. Hupco Pte Ltd (“Hupco”), a major importer in Singapore of mandarin oranges for the upcoming Lunar New Year, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of mandarin oranges (approximately 108,000 mandarin oranges).
Chairman and CEO of Hupco (Mr) Tay Khiam Back said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the trial. By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings.
“Our customers can expect their orders in a more timely manner, and, importantly, with freshness assured.”
As a symbol of prosperity, mandarin oranges are a common – and welcome – sight during the Lunar New Year in Asia, with people exchanging them as greeting gifts and eating them during the festive celebrations. Companies shipping perishable items like these mandarin oranges require faster document processing and expedited cargo clearing for delivery. This shortens the overall shipping time – reducing potential risks for retailers and providing fresher options to consumers.
For this trial, the consignee (Hupco) benefited from collecting their goods faster with the immediate receipt of the electronic Bill of Lading.
They also benefited from:

  • Lower operating costs such as electricity costs (charging for refrigerated cargo containers at the port while waiting for collection), storage costs (at port) and cost savings from enhanced equipment utilisation.
  • Stronger provenance and real-time visibility of documents that is both traceable and tamper-proof.
  • Greater security by helping prevent document fraud, which comprises 40% of all maritime fraud.

The live trial follows the e-BL Proof of Concept which was announced in October 2018.* PIL and IBM collaborated to digitize the lifecycle of negotiable and non-negotiable Bills of Lading on top of distributed ledger technology. The live trial is an important milestone because it validates how the system works in real-time conditions.
Executive director of PIL Lisa Teo said: “We are pleased with the steady progress of our blockchain collaboration with IBM. To-date, we have received very positive feedback from the industry and authorities, and we are enthused by the possibilities of how our blockchain developments can transform and inject a much-needed boost in efficiency and innovation into the industry.”
CEO and chairman of IBM Asia Pacific Harriet Green said: “A blockchain-based trade network will be a game-changer, and we have a great opportunity here with our partner PIL to revolutionise the documentation processes in a way that benefits the entire industry. Powered by blockchain, the e-BL developed by the IBM Research Singapore will be critical in helping to establish an extensible ecosystem for trade, thus expectedly enhancing trade efficiency and building trusted trade relationships among the industry players.”
The e-BL platform gives various ecosystem players the convenience to manage a Bill of Lading digitally with accuracy and speed, including banks. A similar trial from Singapore to Brunei has taken place for negotiable e-BL with key stakeholders participating including Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC). The negotiable e-BL network establishes an extensible ecosystem which facilitates trade transactions and settlements, as the process of issuing Letter of Credit and Guarantee is enhanced.

Electric trucks are the way to go: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is disappointed that the final report of the Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles has missed clear opportunities to boost the uptake of EV in the freight logistics sector.
“There is clearly a willingness within this industry to move towards greater use of EV in freight delivery. It is disappointing that the committee has not supported that positive attitude by explicitly addressing freight vehicles in its recommendations to the government,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
“It is especially perplexing that the committee recommends establishing national EV targets for light passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and metropolitan buses – but is silent on establishing a similar target for heavy vehicles.
“It is similarly disappointing that the report did not take the opportunity to recommend a review of the Australian Design Rules, to that they can better accommodate the unique size and shape of some electric freight vehicles.
“ALC is pleased that the report does make recommendations on some of the issues raised in our submission, including the need to facilitate the rollout of charging infrastructure and ensure the energy network is able to sustain a reliable supply of energy to power EV.
“However on the whole, these recommendations fall well short of the type of action that is needed to hasten the uptake of EV in the freight logistics sector.
“One opportunity that was clearly missed was a recommendation to establish a Low Emission Vehicle Contestable Fund, similar to one already operating in New Zealand.
“Indeed, the report specifically refers to the New Zealand fund in its commentary and notes its benefits – but does not follow through by recommending a similar initiative for Australia.
“Just last week, the New Zealand Government announced a further round of projects to be supported though its fund, including projects specifically focused on the freight sector designed to showcase the capabilities of long-haul heavy electric vehicles.
“Similar initiatives will need to be adopted in an Australian context if freight logistics operators are to be encouraged to incorporate EVs into their own operations. This is something ALC will be pursing in its pre-Budget submission and in ongoing discussions with the Federal Government.
“The ALC’s Electric Vehicles Working Group will continue to pursue these matters with all political parties in the lead up to this year’s federal election,” Mr Coningham said.

CEVA rejects CMA CGM buy-out offer valuing it at $2.3bn

Shipping company CMA CGM has launched a cash offer to buy out other shareholders of CEVA Logistics. CMA CGM already owns just over 50% of CEVA, made up of shares and derivatives. The company’s current offer of CHF 30 (AUD 42) per share values the Swiss forwarder at AUD 2.33 billion, a tie-up aimed at boosting growth through economies of scale and cooperation.
CEVA began developing a business plan to boost commercial cooperation and complementary services last year. At the time and following a rejected takeover bid in October by Danish freight company DSV, CMA CGM offered CHF 30 per share for the rest of the Swiss company,.
CEVA Logistics’ board of directors said on Monday that while CMA CGM’s offer was “reasonable from a financial perspective” and “provides a fair exit opportunity”, they board did not recommend shareholders accept the offer as they expect CEVA will eventually be worth more as the two companies work together.
The CEVA Board said the company’s true takeover value was at least CHF 40, due to an intensified business collaboration with CMA CGM potentially resulting in strong sales and revenue growth.
CEVA Logistics shares rose 0.5 per cent to CHF 30 following the announcement.

Coles signs on the dotted line for $950m automation project

Coles Group Limited has executed definitive contracts with WITRON Australia Pty Ltd to develop two new automated ambient distribution centres, one each in Queensland and New South Wales.
WITRON Australia is a subsidiary of WITRON Logistik + Informatik GmbH, the German-based builder of automated distribution centres that deliver improved product availability for customers and cost efficiencies.
Concurrently, Coles has also entered into agreements for lease catering for the development of the distribution centres at Redbank in south-west Brisbane with Goodman Group, and Kemps Creek in western Sydney, with a joint venture of Goodman and Brickworks Limited.
The term of each lease will be 20 years.
The agreements with WITRON, Goodman and Brickworks are subject to the satisfaction of certain property related conditions precedent including development approvals.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said: “With the signing of these important contracts, Coles is one step closer to implementing a key element of its supply chain modernisation strategy. This will provide a safer working environment for our team members, lower supply chain costs, enhance our overall business competitiveness and make life easier for our customers by having the right offer in the right location.”
The total capital expenditure relating to Coles’ supply chain modernisation project for the two automated distribution centres is approximately $950 million over six years.
Coles also said it will recognise a pre-tax provision of $146 million in its 2019 interim result as a significant item, relating to lease exit costs and redundancies for existing distribution centres that will be closed over a five year period.
 
 

Transport industry troubled by workers’ money troubles

AMP’s Financial Wellness report has found the transport and logistics industry is the hardest hit by financial stress, impacting one-in-four workers.
According to the report, there are currently 2.44 million Australians suffering from financial stress and this is having a significant impact on the economy, costing Australian businesses an estimated $31.1 billion per year in lost revenue.
Financial stress impacts one-in-four of Australia’s transport, postal and warehousing employees (25%). This is both a rise from 2016 levels (23%) and above the national average among employees across all industries (19%).
Employees troubled by their financial circumstances take an extra 2.4 sick days per year and spend almost an hour per week dealing with money problems at work.
AMP director of workplace super Ilaine Anderson said the transport and logistics industry’s rising financial stress levels are a particular cause for concern.
“Workforces in most industries across Australia have become less financially stressed since 2016. The fact that Transport, Postal and Warehousing is one of the few areas that has become more stressed indicates a need for more support from employers,” said Ms Anderson.
“While many people think money worries are a personal issue, our research shows being financially stressed spills into your working life, increasing absenteeism and impacting productivity,” she said.
Ms Anderson believes January and February can be the worst months for financial stress and this is something employers should look out for.
“As the holiday season comes to an end, and credit card bills start to roll in, many Australians will be starting the new year under significant financial pressure.
The value of goal setting
Ms Anderson added: “The research shows if people have well-defined goals and a plan in place to achieve them, they have greater peace of mind. Goals help lift people above the day-to-day expense cycle, allowing a more ‘in-control’, longer-term view.
“People don’t wake up and think ‘I’m going to get a home loan’ – it starts with the desire, or a goal, to buy a house. Connecting finances with goals help us engage with our finances, and then having a plan to achieve these goals can significantly ease stress.”
How employers can help
Ms Anderson commented employers can play an important role in promoting financial wellness.
“The research found flexible working hours and the ability to work from home improved employee performance, engagement and financial wellness. Reducing the stigma around financial stress is also important, as many of those surveyed cited embarrassment and guilt as a major reason for not tackling their financial woes.
“We need to make sure talking money isn’t seen as taboo and implement financial literacy campaigns within our businesses to help employees achieve their financial goals,” said Ms Anderson.
Additional findings

  • The Financial Wellness Index, which measures how employees perceive their current and future financial situation, found 5% of Australian workers are severely financially stressed, 14% are moderately financially stressed, 35% are mildly financially stressed, 46% are financially secure.
  • Of Australia’s five largest capital cities, Brisbane is the most financially stressed, with 25% of workers in this region experiencing financial stress. This is followed by Adelaide (22%), Melbourne (20%), Perth (17%) and Sydney (16%).
  • Financial stress is more prevalent in certain industries. Transport, postal and warehousing workers were most financially stressed with 25% of workers experiencing money problems, closely followed by both administrative services and hospitality (24%), financial and insurance workers (21%) and both retail and healthcare and social assistance workers (20%) stressed.
  • The demographics showing the highest incidence of financial stress include single parents (35%), those living in shared accommodation (31%), people living in regional Queensland (28%) and women (24%).
  • The research showed no income group is immune from financial stress. Those earning between $50,000 – $74,999 reported the highest level of financial stress (26%), followed by $25,000 – $49,999 (24%), $75,000 – $99,999 (16%), $100,000 – $149,99 (12%) and $150,000 and above (11%).

Download a full copy of the Financial Wellness report.
 

Hays-jobs-employment-skills-in-demand

Where the jobs are in T&L

Demand for multi-skilled candidates remains high across transport, warehousing and supply chain, according to the latest Hays Jobs Report. This is the result of a focus on efficiency improvements and positive productivity, with employers looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of systems and processes and a history of reducing costs, achieving demanding KPI and diverse experience. Employers also want candidates with a wide technical skill set whom they can utilise to their full potential.
Within the transport industry, strained transport networks in Sydney and Melbourne will continue to fuel demand for Transport Allocators. With a busier transport sector in Brisbane, there is a need for Transport Allocators and experienced Transport Supervisors and Managers to lead operations. Employers require candidates with experience in a similar role.
Lateral-thinking Transport Coordinators and Managers who cope well under pressure and find the best route at the cheapest rate are also in demand.
Casual HR Drivers as well as MC Drivers with a MSIC card are needed. So are HR and HC Drivers who are open to a multi-skilled role such as driving and labouring.
Freight Forwarders remain in demand but require relevant experience. Import/Export professionals are sought, with a particular focus from employers on sea freight and Mandarin speaking candidates. CargoWise experience is a new trend that employers more commonly request.
Within warehouse and distribution, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors are required. Candidates must be analytically sound with a proactive approach to KPI. As companies continue to appreciate the benefit of improving logistical efficiencies, candidates who can track, monitor and manage KPI performance are highly sought after.
In a localised trend, New South Wales’ growing 3PL footprint is leading to demand for Warehouse Managers, Logistics Coordinators and Analysts. Employers want to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved and KPI and contracts are being met. Expectations from 3PL employers are growing and they therefore look for candidates who can ensure service delivery levels are being met, if not exceeded.
Import and Export Coordinators are another area of demand. With many companies moving their manufacturing overseas, candidates with international shipping experience and cargo software knowledge are in high demand.
Dispatch Coordinators are needed, too.
Wharf Fleet Controllers are also sought in response to turnover due to the high pressure work environment. Employers look for candidates with wharf experience and a secure, stable and successful career within this space.
In the SME sector, inventory control professionals who can develop procedures to improve inventory accuracy and transparency are required.
Inventory Controllers are another area of demand. The duties of this role were once the responsibility of Warehouse Supervisors, however, employers now have stricter tolerances on stock levels and are recruiting these professionals in response.
Storepersons with inventory management software experience are needed, too. Companies seek candidates who can multi-skill, manage inventory needs and possess strong computer skills, a forklift licence and the ability to load and unload deliveries, pick and pack orders and tidy a store.
Forklift Operators skilled in operating different attachments and High Reach Forklift Operators are also sought. While Forklift Operators are available, those with attachment and high reach expertise are rare, as are those who have worked in busy warehouses and have strong navigation skills.
Casual Skilled Labourers are needed for one- to two-day assignments. With most people looking for longer-term roles, reliable candidates for short-term roles are rare.
Another interesting trend is the recovery of the senior level supply chain market. Today, multiple Supply Chain Manager vacancies are available in global organisations. This has also led to an increase in the number of mid-tier supply and demand planner vacancies. As a result, demand exists for quality Supply and Demand Planners and S&OP Managers who have worked with complex manual-based systems, have exposure to and assisted with the development of S&OP processes and implementations, possess an analytical and commercial focus and can influence and educate internal stakeholders across an organisation.

40 million parcels for Christmas

For the first time ever, Australia Post delivered more than 40 million parcels during December, making it the biggest-ever month for parcel volumes for  the organisation.
The growing popularity of online shopping and online sales events, as well as strong Christmas Eve and Boxing Day sales, contributed to an 11.7 percent increase from the previous December.
Australia Post chief operating officer Bob Black said it was all hands on deck over the Christmas period with more than 3,000 extra staff employed across the network to handle the huge volumes.
“We made more than 40 million parcel deliveries in December, and our hardworking posties delivered more than 40 per cent of these, as well as more than 210 million letters,” Mr Black said.
“Our busiest day was Monday 17 December, when we delivered a record three million parcels across the country – by far the biggest day in our history.
“What we didn’t expect was to have a lot of shoppers race to the finish line to post their festive parcels, with our people delivering a whopping 2.7 million items on Christmas Eve – our next busiest day of the month and equal second busiest day in history.”
Mr Black said Australians were embracing online shopping like never before, with Australia Post revealing last year that online purchases had grown by almost 20 per cent in 12 months.
“Our research found that people were buying up to 19.2 per cent more items online. By 2020, we expect one in 10 items will be bought online.
“Online shopping is building momentum as a channel of choice, where customers can make the most of online deals and choose customisable delivery options with Australia Post. This means online shoppers can buy the brands they love no matter where they live,” said Mr Black.

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