Events, News

Four questions to the Australian Logistics Council’s CEO

Michael Kilgariff, a speaker at the marcus evans Chief Logistics Officer Summit 2014, talks about the dynamic nature of the logistics industry.

“Chief logistics officers (CLO) must be aware of the broad range of influences on the logistics industry. Many aspects of the supply chain are beyond their control, so they need to have a good understanding of all pressure points and be alert to the dynamic nature of the industry,” advised Australian Logistics Council chief executive officer Michael Kilgariff.

Mr Kilgariff will speak at the marcus evans Chief Logistics Officer Summit 2014, on the Gold Coast, 24 – 26 February.

Mr Kilgariff will focus on the changing freight tasking landscape in Australia and discuss efficiency in supply chain management.

Q1. What is challenging CLO in Australia today?

The nature of the logistics task is changing globally, driven by internet purchasing, changing how freight moves through ports and distribution centres. Freight tasking in Australia is expected to double over the next 15 – 20 years and triple by 2050. This is already posing significant pressures on roads, railway, air and, in particular, port infrastructure.

As an advocacy group, we try to give the industry a voice in government on the national, state and local levels. In our view, there is a greater focus on investment in passenger infrastructure, which often takes precedent over freight infrastructure. This is because ‘freight doesn’t vote. The role of ALC therefore is to give logistics that national voice.

Q2. From the ALC’s efforts in strengthening the national transport infrastructure, what lessons could you share that would help CLO accelerate supply chain efficiency?

In Australia, they need to be aware of government involvement in how supply chains are structured, from a regulatory, infrastructure and safety perspective. They must understand the dynamics of the supply chain to add real value to their customers. They need to know how various stakeholders can actually change the dynamics and structure of the supply chain, the policy influences, and how technology is changing the industry. For example, the diminished manufacturing industry in Australia and a growing import task in many goods is driving shorter supply chains that all CLO have to come to grips with.

Q3. How could they cut costs from the supply chain?

Many businesses are trying to drive efficiencies through their supply chains, and they see logistics as one way of achieving cost-cutting. They are also increasingly focusing on automation, at all levels, which I believe will continue.

From my perspective, efficiencies can be achieved through good infrastructure that is priced appropriately, and by making sure CLO do not have to deal with different regulatory regimes.

Q4. What innovative technologies should CLO in Australia make better use of?

In Australia, the logistics industry is viewed as one of the late up-takers of innovative technologies. That is an issue we need to address. Part of the reason is that supply chains in Australia are very fragmented due to the number of players, and to a great degree, take-up of new technologies relies on first movers, such as large companies, to introduce technologies that everyone then has to follow.


The Chief Logistics Officer Summit 2014

This unique forum will take place at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Australia, 24 – 26 February 2014. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on streamlining upstream and downstream efficiency, accelerating speed to market, sharpening inventory management and adding real value for the customer.

For more information please send an email to or read more here.

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