Government regulations requiring greater compliance, the increasing need for visibility into the status of shipping loads, and an increasing responsibility for driver safety continue to drive demand for mobility technology in transport. It remains a top technology investment, according to a recent Gartner supply chain survey. Read more
Makers and suppliers of diesel engines, equipment and fuels embrace the global challenge of a cleaner environment by taking positive actions to use less energy and reduce emissions whilst also enabling the prosperity of peoples and countries around the world. Read more
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has congratulated Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his decision to incorporate freight transport as a specific responsibility in his revamped ministerial line-up.
“The Prime Minister is sending an important message to our industry and to the wider community with this announcement,” Kirk Coningham, CEO at ALC said.
“ALC especially welcomes the appointment of Hon. Scott Buchholz as Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport. It is significant that freight transport is now a specific portfolio title within the ministry, and highlights that enhanced supply chain performance will be a priority for the re-elected Coalition Government.”
“ALC also congratulates Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Michael McCormack MP on his re-appointment as Minster for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, and Hon. Alan Tudge MP on his elevation to Cabinet as Minster for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.”
“We also welcome Hon. Sussan Ley MP as Minister for the Environment, and congratulate Senator Hon. Matt Canavan on again being appointed Minster for Resources and Northern Australia.”
“During the election campaign, ALC released Freight: Delivering Opportunity For Australia which sets out 39 priority actions for the incoming Federal Government that address challenges and opportunities relevant to all modes of freight transport.”
“ALC will be pursuing the matters contained in this publication with the re-elected Coalition Government, and ensuring that supply chain efficiency and safety is appropriately prioritised in government policy making.”
“The most urgent priorities are the finalisation the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, establishing the National Freight Data Hub, making certain that electric freight vehicles form part of the National Electric Vehicle Strategy the Government has committed to develop, and doing more to enhance freight infrastructure in Northern Australia, so we can take advantage of the region’s proximity to growing export markets.”
“ALC also congratulates Hon. Anthony Albanese on his appointment as Leader of the Opposition. Given his vast experience in dealing with infrastructure related matters, there is now a genuine opportunity to build a long-term approach to infrastructure planning and investment that is truly bipartisan in nature. ALC hopes to work closely with both the Government and the Opposition in furtherance of that objective.”
Australia has the opportunity to be a leader in the global shift to clean, safe, efficient transport using low and zero-emission vehicles (LEV), connected autonomous vehicles (CAV), high-frequency mass transit and intelligent transport systems.
That’s the conclusion of the report Shifting Gears: Preparing for a Transport Revolution, by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. A four-page summary can be accessed here and a video here.
The report, which identifies three key challenges for the transport sector – lower emissions, health, and efficient movement of people and freight – provides a blueprint for transport planning to 2030 for an incoming Federal Government.
Recommendations include the need to encourage rapid and widespread uptake of LEV, including electric cars.
To make the shift, the report recommends:
- A national target to drive the uptake of LEV in Australia.
- Incentives to use LEV as fleet vehicles.
- Industry to lead the way in the uptake of LEV by ensuring that vehicles imported into Australia meet stringent standards for emissions, set by government.
The report also highlights the value of CAV, which can range from cars with partial automation through to fully automated vehicles that communicate with each other through the mobile network, and recommends the expansion of mobile coverage across the entire road network.
The investigation into the transport industry’s technology readiness was chaired by two Academy Fellows, Kathryn Fagg FTSE and Drew Clarke AO PSM FTSE.
Ms Fagg said: “The rapid advance of digital technologies across all sectors of the global economy has resulted in an extraordinary period of change.
“With Australia’s geographic isolation and long distances between urban centres, the transport sector will be both significantly disrupted and revolutionised by this technological transformation.
“Failure to be prepared will risk a decline in many aspects of our Australian way of life and society, including increased congestion and vehicle-related emissions, a deterioration in health, safety and security, and a negative impact on the cost of living, productivity and the ease of mobility.
“Australia is performing well on a number of readiness indicators and is well place to capitalise on the coming technology revolution, but we need to make smart, strategic decisions to keep pace with the technological frontier.”
Mr Clarke said: “The Academy has identified sustainability and climate change, productivity, and health as the three key challenges that will need to be addressed within the transport sector over the next decade.
“Specifically, the transport sector will need to lower emissions, improve the efficient movement of people and freight, and reduce transport-related deaths and serious injuries.
“The deployment of connected autonomous vehicles, low and zero-emission vehicles, high-frequency mass transport and intelligent transport systems are potential solutions to these challenges.”
Other recommendations in the report include:
- Governments to set nationally consistent standards to support. productivity-enhancing technology, including for charging infrastructure and connections, data sharing and data privacy.
- Competitive grants programs that encourage the trial of transport technologies that can be adapted to Australia’s unique geographical or climatic conditions.
- Integrated land use and transportation planning to take into account likely network use changes from new technologies.
- Strengthened teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools, to support the workforce of the future.
- University and VET courses to be developed in collaboration with industry, to ensure the relevant skills are available.
- The report also provides a roadmap for future research to address the challenges the transport sector will face in the decade to come. Research priorities include:
- Impact of LEVs on the grid and emissions
- What technologies should Australia adopt early, and why?
- What are the skills requirements of the future workforce?
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is undertaking a major three-year (2018-2020) Australian Research Council Learned Academies Special Projects-funded research project to examine the readiness of different Australian industry sectors to develop, adapt and adopt new and emerging technologies, with a horizon out to 2030. The transport sector is the first industry sector to be examined by the project.
The Toll Group (Toll) has signed a three-year, seven-figure software contract with Kontainers, the UK-based enterprise software company, to power its global digital client-facing platforms.
The new agreement will see Toll introduce Kontainers’ flagship product, Enterprise, to its global forwarding operations from Q4 2019.
The online portal will enable Toll to better service and support the needs of its customers – particularly small-to-medium enterprises – by facilitating online pricing and quotes, bookings, shipment management and real-time analytics.
“The addition of Kontainers Enterprise to our digital capabilities will allow our clients to instantly obtain quotes for and book shipments with Toll at the click of the mouse. We are excited to be collaborating with Kontainers on this digital solution as part of our commitment to investing in best-in-class systems to simplify and enhance our customer experience,” said Toll Global Forwarding president Thomas Knudsen.
The product’s rapid deployment time and track record with other large shipping brands were highlighted as important elements of the partnership.
“Kontainers is delighted to earn the trust of a top 20 global freight forwarder and provide what has now become a critical software layer. We’re delighted to be working with Toll Group and look forward to being a part of their impressive digital acceleration plans in the years ahead that will help serve their customers even better than they are today,” said Kontainers CEO, Graham Parker.
The Australian Government announced a biosecurity levy in the 2018 budget due to be implemented this July that is significantly flawed, according to a statement by fourteen transport and logistics industry associations.
In a collaborative statement, the associations urged the Government to remove it from the 2019 Budget.
The statement declared that the industry welcomes the Government’s recognition on the need for an Industry Steering Committee to better inform Government on improving the proposed Biosecurity levy scheme design.
This announcement is acknowledgement the current proposal is flawed and fails to recognise the damage the levy would do to the competitiveness of the freight supply chain, key export industries and the cruise sector, as well as the higher costs for consumers.
The statement continued to express the protection of our natural and agricultural assets is vital to this country from both an environmental and financial perspective. The industries represented in this statement are part of Australia’s biosecurity system and take their roles seriously. Which is why we believe in impactful and informed solutions to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity system.
The associations expressed their main concerns as:
- The rushed nature of a tax designed without fully understanding the potential for far-reaching economic consequences;
- Additional and unnecessary costs – particularly to Australia’s tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, energy and construction industries;
- Flow-on costs to consumers;
- Confusion as to why a new biosecurity tax is required over and above the Australian Government’s biosecurity charges that are currently in place for sea-freight (extensively reviewed in 2015-16) and the passenger movement charge for the cruise sector;
- That a biosecurity risk assessment and regulation impact statement has not been undertaken by the Australian Government to inform the development of the proposed biosecurity tax;
- A lack of clarity on how the Australian Government would collect the proposed tax; and
- No guarantee that all revenue raised by the proposed new tax would be used to support Australian biosecurity measures.
We urge the Government to remove the proposed levy from the 2019 Budget and provide a genuine opportunity to industry to help design a fair and equitable model that improves Australia’s biosecurity ability, concluded the statement.
The announcement was signed by Ai Group, Australasian Rail Association, Australian Aluminium Council Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Logistics Council, Cement Industry Federation, Cruise Lines International Association, Fertilizer Australia, Freight Trade Alliance, Gas Energy Australia, Manufacturing Australia, Minerals Council of Australia, Ports Australia and Shipping Australia Limited.
RMIT Associate Dean of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Aviation, Professor Pier Marzocca; ATSB Commissioner Chris Manning; RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE; and ATSB Program Advisor Linda Spurr at the Strategic Partnership Agreement signing.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has formed a strategic partnership with RMIT University that will see one of Australia’s leading tertiary institutions offer Transport Safety Investigator qualifications.
Until now the ATSB has conducted its own nationally accredited Diploma of Transport Safety Investigation training in-house.
But under a new partnership, RMIT will soon be offering a Graduate Certificate in Transport Safety Investigation, which encompasses the aviation, marine and rail transport modes.
Longer term, the Graduate Certificate qualification will create a pathway to further higher education programs leading to Graduate Diploma and Masters-level qualifications.
The partnership will provide industry in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region with access to high quality, ATSB-sponsored training in transport accident investigation, as well providing a framework to facilitate important transport safety-related research through a credible university-based methodology,
RMIT Vice Chancellor and president Martin Bean CBE said the partnership with the ATSB was an historic one.
“Together we will work to improve transport safety throughout the Asia Pacific region, across aviation, maritime, and rail industries.”
“To achieve this, we will co-create and deliver tertiary level transport accident investigation qualifications to both the ATSB staff and the broader transport safety sector,” Mr Bean said.
“The relationship will also involve a range of collaborative research projects that will bring together RMIT’s deep expertise in delivering world-leading research with the ATSB’s considerable industry knowledge, intelligence and data access. Through this relationship we hope to facilitate an industry-wide capability improvement program throughout the Asia Pacific region.”
ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said the new partnership was another key enabler that would support the bureau to achieve its primary objective of improving transport safety through greater collaboration with a strong and highly credible research-led teaching and learning institution.
“This is a truly strategic partnership. Creating a course where personnel can obtain and apply these qualifications within their respective industries will complement and enhance the ATSB’s primary objective of improving transport safety for all Australians,” Mr Hood said.
“RMIT has offered a long-term vision to support the partnership and proposes to create a centre of excellence in the field of accident investigation and transport safety in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“One behalf of the ATSB, I look forward to a long and productive partnership with RMIT and I look forward to seeing the Master’s program mature over the next couple of years.”
Further information on the Graduate Certificate in Transport Safety Investigation can be found on the RMIT website.
Airbnb has announced that it will create a new business to focus on building an end-to-end platform that combines where you stay, what you do and how you get there. To lead this department the company has appointed aviation professional Fred Reid as Global Head of Transportation. Fred was formerly founding CEO of Virgin America.
The company says it is focused on reimagining travel by building an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place. To achieve this goal, Airbnb is investing in creating new businesses that will power our growth over the long-term.
“There was a time when getting on a plane was a magical trip of its own, but over the years, how you get to where you’re going has become an experience we endure, not enjoy. We believe that needs to change. We couldn’t ask for anyone better to take on this monumental task than Fred, and I’m honored that he’s agreed to work with us,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community said.
A global aviation expert with more than three decades of experience, Fred has a proven track record of innovating and building products that have been loved by consumers around the world. He joins Airbnb from his role as President of Cora Aircraft Program, a division of Kitty Hawk, where he oversaw the development of one of the most advanced autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft in the world. Prior to that, he was President of Flexjet, an independent operating unit of Bombardier, the world’s largest business aviation manufacturer.
“Airbnb and its incredible global community have revolutionised where you stay and what you can do when you travel. I’m excited to work with them to tackle the third part of the travel experience: how you get there. Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun. Realizing those opportunities will take years and require constant experimentation, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to take on such an audacious challenge with this team,” Fred Reid, Airbnb Global Head of Transportation said.
Fred was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America, shaping America’s “next generation airline” from the ground up, including its unique and beloved inflight service and entertainment, catering quality, and interior design. He served as President of Delta Airlines and led the formation of SkyTeam, regarded as the most integrated global airline alliance. He was the first U.S. national to ever lead a major international airline when he was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Lufthansa German Airlines in 1996 and was the co-architect of the Star Alliance, the first ever multi-airline, independently branded alliance.
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.
- 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.
Especially during the holidays, customer satisfaction revolves around one thing: did my gift or Christmas food hamper arrive on time? It’s estimated that Australians spent $25 billion collectively last Christmas. And behind every dollar spent were people in the transport and logistics industry working frantically to ensure each step of the supply chain runs smoothly. Fortunately, there are solutions that can help with ensuring the smooth flow of goods in peak periods that all businesses must consider.
But first, let’s address the notion of peak periods. One of the biggest challenges transport and logistics companies face is the evolving retail cycle. Traditionally, we could expect peaks with Christmas and then Boxing Day. Now, things are busy all year with the addition of Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy and countless other sales events to the Australian retail calendar.
From a transport perspective, the peak is smoothing out and many organisations aren’t coping well with the requirement for a constant level of scalability. What options do these businesses have? Do they scramble to find extra drivers? Use a gig-economy model for unexpected peak periods? Invest in establishing an overrun service (such as what Fastway Couriers has with Blu Couriers)? Or simply work longer hours in attempt to cope with the increasing demand?
There are two areas that will greatly increase operational efficiency and put businesses in a good position to deal with peak periods.
The first area in which there’s a long way to go is visibility. Transport and logistics companies need visibility of what’s happening with their fleet and drivers to manage expectations for customers, operations and management, especially during peak periods (expected, or not).
Closing the gap in visibility starts with determining your goals and assessing your ability to meet those goals. Businesses should be asking themselves: does an existing system meet your current and future needs for all necessary modes of transportation? Does it interface well with other systems and can you easily add future interfaces? And most importantly, does the system accommodate your business process? If a business can get this foundation right, it will be starting in a good place for all of the other details.
Most supply chains use a variety of logistics service providers, transport service providers and others. As soon as the chain of custody of a particular order or shipment transfers to another party, the degree of visibility changes. This has resulted in many companies exploring establishing a multi-party supply chain ‘control tower’ through which all activities are coordinated and controlled. But, while this is where technology is headed, there remains a lot of operational and cultural challenges before it is widely adopted.
The second key piece is to optimise — and then optimise again. Many in the industry continue to take an ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ attitude toward supply chain management. Particularly at peak times, there is a clear opportunity to be constantly reviewing and refining processes and procedures that are not optimal.
This starts with having quality data — and putting it to work. For example, if a vehicle breaks down on route to make a delivery, often companies would call on the nearest driver to step in. While that driver might be closest, adding an additional drop off could impact a number of deliveries down the line. Instead, the use of data and analytics in this situation can identify the best available driver to step in, with minimal impact on other orders.
It’s never too early to plan ahead. Businesses should not be planning for peak to start in October this year — with the market flattening out, this needs to be happening now. To be forewarned is to be forearmed!
Paul Soong is the regional director, ANZ, of BluJay Solutions.