Paul Zalai, Director Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Secretariat of the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) explains to MHD why Australia’s supply chain performance needs improving and who can help.
According to the World Bank, Australia’s trading across border ranking plunged in the decade to 2020 from twenty-fifth in the world to one-hundred-and-sixth.
In response, the federal government in its most recent budget committed an additional $23.8 million in 2023-24 to continue initiatives to modernise and improve Australia’s international trade s*stem. Supporting this outcome, the Simplified Trade S*stem (STS) Taskforce released a consultation paper last month for industry feedback.
“We do not attribute the (World Bank) ranking solely to inefficiencies in legacy government s*stems, processes, and regulation,” says Paul.
“Of greater significance, the Productivity Commission review of Australia’s Maritime Logistics S*stem highlighted the need for urgent reform in shipping competition and specific landside commercial practices.”
The FTA notes the federal government is yet to respond to the Productivity Commission report that was released in January this year.
“We have provided extensive evidence to the federal government that specific supply chain practices referenced by the Productivity Commission are unfairly directly costing the trade sector $1 billion per annum,” he adds.
“The lack of response by the federal government makes you question whether the STS is being used as a smokescreen to be seen to be doing something without addressing the root cause of problems that exist in our international supply chains.
“While reform under the STS banner is welcomed, it is essential that the federal government takes a genuine and holistic approach to supply chain reform to stimulate an economic recovery and support significant growth opportunities for Australian exporters and importers.”
He says while the peak industry alliance provided a detailed submission to the STS (including 28 key recommendations), the federal government must do much more to turn around a further decline in supply chain performance.
For more information on the Freight & Trade Alliance, click here.