CEVA Logistics opens Australasian HQ in Victoria

CEVA Logistics has officially opened its transport, distribution and logistics hub in Truganina. The facility is the largest in the southern hemisphere and will service clients including General Motors Holden, Continental Tyres, NBN Co, Michelin, Caltex, Accent Group and Mazda.
The $80 million, 166,000 square metre supersite – equivalent to eight MCG playing fields – will employ 250 workers in Melbourne’s west and create around 40 new positions.
CEVA will also operate Nissan Australia’s new state-of-the-art National Distribution Centre.
CEVA joins other major companies such as NewCold Logistics, Border Express, Toll, Linfox, DB Schenker, Silk Logistics and Australia Post who’ve chosen Melbourne as the location for their corporate headquarters.
In a press statement, Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan, welcomed the news. “Transport, distribution and logistics are some of Victoria’s most important industry sectors, contributing $21 billion annually to the state economy and employing around 260,000 people across Melbourne and regional Victoria,” he said. “The Andrews Labor Government will continue to support the logistics industry in Victoria – a huge contributor of jobs and economic opportunity state-wide.”
“With Australia’s largest container port and a 24-hour, curfew free airport – it’s little wonder Melbourne has become the logistics capital of Australia” said Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan. “Transport, distribution and logistics are big sectors for our state, contributing billions to the Victorian economy and creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
Member for Tarneit, Telmo Languiller added, “This is an exciting investment for the Truganina area, supporting local jobs and strengthening the state’s logistics industry.”
CEVA employs more than 42,000 people in more than 160 different countries, including around 1,800 in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Andrew Jenkinson, CEVA’s Vice President of contract logistics, announced that the group handles ‘reverse logistics’, transporting and dealing with defective items returned from stores or car dealerships and warranty issues or replacements of goods.
“We’re very involved in their supply chain. We have assessors in every state who go and inspect and say it’s a genuine warranty claim or not. It’s all processed online.”
Eight B-doubles will be able to unload at once at the new CEVA structures, on continuous loading docks with levellers.
The structures feature 4,000sqm of rooftop solar panels, rainwater storage, smart movement-sensing lights that switch on and off automatically and technology including advanced racking, traffic management and material handling systems. The facility is also trialling forklifts motion sensors that detect the specially tagged safety vests one people walking nearby. This equipment can shut the forklifts down in case of accidents, and can also track their movements and cargo weight to increase efficiency.
The 166,000sqm site is one of eight major sites on Australia’s east coast leased to CEVA by developer and builder Frasers Property Australia.

Etsy executive joins Sendle board

Australian delivery service Sendle has appointed eCommerce and marketplace expert Helen Souness to its board. The appointment follows a year of growth for Sendle – since launching in 2015, Sendle – Australia’s only 100% carbon neutral delivery service – has grown at over 20 per cent month on month and, in 2016, delivered parcels more than 400 million kilometres around Australia.
Souness has over 10 years of marketplaces and eCommerce experience, including Envato, SEEK and Etsy, where she is Managing Director for Australia and Asia.
Commenting on her appointment, Souness said, “Purpose-driven businesses are close to my heart, and Sendle is helping small businesses compete with the big end of town. These businesses are frequently underserved by a lot of companies but Sendle is doing great work to support this community and I’m excited to be a part of it. Sendle is a brilliant example of a disruptor being better, cheaper and greener.”
“Helen’s expertise in scaling businesses and online retail will be an important part of Sendle’s continuing journey in helping small business to thrive with delivery that is simple, reliable and affordable. She’ll be an invaluable part of the team as we continue our rapid growth journey this year,” said James Chin Moody, CEO and co-founder of Sendle.
“Parcel delivery is an integral part of eCommerce and Sendle is committed to making it a seamless experience for both customers and retailers, with low flat rates Australia wide, easy booking and tracking,” Sendle wrote in a statement. “Ms Souness’ expertise will help Sendle drive more initiatives to support small business customers.”

AusPost announces parcel record

Australia Post has seen record parcel volumes over the 2016 period, with over 34 million deliveries in December, representing a 21.5 per cent increase on the year before.
In a report published by trade publication Inside Retail, Australia Post saw a December 21.5 per cent increase compared with same month in 2015, which included receiving 5.6 million more parcels from overseas.
“We delivered a record number of parcels during the Christmas and New Year period, and continued to see strong volumes throughout January as Australians took advantage of extended Boxing Day sales,” Ben Franzi, e-commerce GM, Australia Post, told the retail publication.
“To help make this happen, we had more than 15,000 vehicles on the road, flew 5.3 million kilograms of parcels vial our domestic air network, and trialled extended hour deliveries in capital cities in an effort to catch more people when they were home.
“During our busiest day on 19 December, we delivered more than 2.2 million parcels. We continued to see high parcel volumes through the summer holiday period, particularly as some online retailers extended their Boxing Day sales until late January.”
According to Australia Post, more than two million customers are now registered for MyPost Deliveries, with the company receiving over 300,000 requests for a ‘Safe-Drop’, where a customer asks for the parcel to be delivered to a safe spot at their house so they can receive a delivery when they are not at home.
There was also a 50 per cent increase in parcel locker usage and a 150 per cent spike in customers requesting a parcel redirection, according to Inside Retail.

New postal partnership across the Tasman

Australia Post and New Zealand Post have signed a new partnership agreement which aims to boost access to markets for businesses on both sides of the ditch.

Australia Post’s executive general manager for Parcels and Express services Richard Umbers said the three year agreement featured global benefits.

“Joining forces with New Zealand Post enables both organisations to grow our business from Australasia to the rest of the world,” he said.

“This supports both companies’ ambitions to grow international markets and will greatly benefit our customers looking to access those markets.”

The partnership represents a win for New Zealand Post who have gained the exclusive Express Mail Service and parcel businesses with Australia Post.

New Zealand Post general manager business development and strategy Sohail Choudhry said the partnership with provide service and price upsides for kiwi businesses.

“New Zealand businesses will have access to the full range of Australia Post marketing and customer data,” he said.

“Not only can we offer end-to-end supply chain solutions into Australia, we can help customers grow their market across the Tasman.”

Choudhry said there was great potential for New Zealand business to gain a piece of the large online market.

Postage costs set to increase by 30%

Price increases announced by Australia Post have been slammed by many Australian businesses who say the decision will result in cost increases.

The prices of prepaid Australia Post packages have been raised by up to 30 per cent.

The rises also means the cost of getting a signature of delivery has almost tripled from $1 to $2.95.

Online retailers have attacked the price hikes as a ''direct hit'' on their businesses.

Many say they will have to charge customers more as a result, SMH reported.

Australia Post has defended the increases saying the company is ''operating in a challenging business environment with increasing external costs''.

The company said the price increases were mostly "less than 7 per cent".

Australia Post has faced a social media backlash over the decision, with angry customers taking to Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration.

Online businesses say the new prices will make it impossible to compete with international sellers.

Bookstore owner Chris Elworthy from Port Macquarie said he would have to pay $11.70 in postage to send an $8 paperback book, Macquarie port news reported.

Booksellers in the UK can send the same book to Australia for around $3.

"They are bleeding us dry," he said. "Why would people buy from Australia when they can buy from overseas?"

"It's really upsetting to a lot of people," online retailer Tabitha Fernando said.

"We are being forced out," she said. "I'm seeing New Zealand postage prices and it's cheaper [for consumers] to buy from there than here."

More than 4000 online retailers have signed a petition over the past week in protest of the changes.

Image: news.com.au

Using e-logistics to enable collaboration

The Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force has adopted an e-logistics

solution to enhance its supply chain visibility.

George Hodgson

Logistics management is an inherently complex process, involving the management of moving and positioning inventory throughout a supply chain. Currently there are many significant logistics trends affecting Australian business with the aim of managing this complex process. Some examples are Lean thinking, RFID technology, use of 4PLs, global supply chains, and free trade agreements, to name just a few.

However, there is a trend that I believe underpins and enables the examples just described and affects Australian business in the way they conduct business now and in the future. This trend is towards the use of e-logistics to enable collaboration. E-logistics solutions for organisations are increasingly being developed and implemented with the aim of improving the complex process of logistics management through increased information flow and collaboration in a supply chain.

What is e-logistics and collaboration?

The use of ‘e’ was first seen in the 1990s through home shopping via the internet, with ‘e’ business marketed as the way of the future. Unfortunately, it did not receive the anticipated response that was hoped, due to slow communication equipment available at the time, and a lack of consumer understanding. Jump forward to 2006, and ‘e’ has continued to develop with many companies now offering ‘e’ business options and solutions to customers and suppliers, through banking services to the purchase of retail goods. Just look at how popular eBay has become.

However, the term e-logistics is a comparatively recent development and a logical progression of ‘e’. A widely accepted definition of e-logistics has not yet been developed, though in its simplest form, e-logistics is simply the processes necessary to transfer goods sold over the internet to customers. Alternatively, in a more complex form e-logistics is a wide-ranging topic, related to supply chain integration using the internet as the communications medium. This article will focus on e-logistics in the broadest sense of integrating the elements of a supply chain through the electronic transfer of information to enable collaboration.

Collaboration is currently a theme that organisations are looking to implement in their logistics processes, with e-logistics seen as a tool to provide improved collaboration and information flow in a supply chain. Collaboration can be defined as the ability to share information regarding business activities and interact on a close to real-time basis in the supply chain. It provides greater visibility of the supply chain, which then provides a greater ability to measure supply chain effectiveness by all organisations involved.

Collaboration by an organisation can be internal and external. Many Australian organisations have implemented internal collaboration solutions to improve their business and information flow through the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that align an organisation’s internal business process, such as forecasting, sales, and inventory management. However, older and some current versions of ERP software do not integrate external supply processes with an organisation’s suppliers or retailers. This is an opportunity that organisations need to look at addressing.

A number of e-solutions to enable external collaboration have been designed over the past decade, such as efficient consumer response and vendor-managed inventory, however, these systems were single-minded in their approach as opposed to viewing the whole of the supply chain to enable collaboration. Electronic data interchange (EDI) was seen as the e-solution to enable external collaboration by connecting companies with their suppliers and retailers and sharing information. However, each supplier required EDI to communicate effectively, and the implementation of EDI was considered costly for small companies.

A number of new e-solution initiatives to enable external collaboration have been designed such as collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR) software, with overseas organisations such as Gamble and Proctor and Wal-Mart implementing it. There is also middleware collaboration software available, with Siemens adopting a web-based collaboration system to share business data with its customers and suppliers, while still being able to use its existing ERP system. The installed system is comparatively cheap and expected to pay for itself in six months.

CPFR, current ERP systems and web-based collaboration software are all e-logistic solutions, assisting organisations to enable collaboration with their trading partners and to enjoy the benefits available from collaboration.

What are the benefits to Australian business?

The benefit of integrating manufacturing, purchasing, warehousing, sales and logistics functions has long been recognised. Over the past 20 years, several approaches have been taken to improve relationships between the various players in a supply chain. These have included vendor-managed inventory, quick response, and just-in-time.

The aim of all of these initiatives is to enable the sharing of data, to allow early identification of trouble spots and therefore allow managers to take prompt action to mitigate risk. While initial efforts involved vertically integrated operations ‘in-house’, later attempts focused on external partnerships, with each organisation managing its portion of the supply chain and monitoring its partners to ensure contractual obligations were fulfilled.

More recently, and in order to optimise the entire supply chain network and not just create locally optimised arrangements for one or two partners, strategic partnerships with suppliers and customers have become more prevalent. The widespread acceptance and use of the internet and more flexible systems in electronic commerce has enabled these collaborative relationships to be widely adopted.

Progressive Australian businesses are moving from the ‘need to know’ mentality to a more open attitude of relevant information-sharing with supply chain partners.

It has been researched that collaborative supply chain management not only reduces waste in the supply chain, but also increases responsiveness, customer satisfaction and competitiveness among all members of the partnership. Thus collaborative supply chain management can transform a business and its partners into more competitive organisations and provide a competitive advantage in their chosen market.

Specific advantages through utilising e-logistic solutions (CPFR, middleware software) for collaboration include integrating business practices amongst trading partners by using internet technology to reduce inventory and expenses, enhanced shipment data visibility, improved production planning, building stronger relationships with suppliers, increased level of forecasting accuracy, and linking demand with supply planning. However, it needs to be noted that trust and interdependency are key elements amongst collaborative partners who see collaboration as a strategic asset to achieve competitive advantage.

Are there any issues?

Like any trend, there are issues for a business to be aware of in implementing an e-logistics collaboration system. Two primary issues are trust and interdependency.

One of the fundamental paradigm shifts exhibited by leading firms in the transformation of their supply chain capabilities is the move from information hoarding to sharing. A key issue of this is that information sharing is heavily dependent on trust, beginning within the business and extending to supply chain partners. Information sharing may take many forms, including the exchange of data files and provision of direct access to databases.

Trust needs to be fostered in a collaborative relationship for it to be successful. Attaining the required levels of trust between trading partners for collaboration to work is not easy. A lack of complete trust between trading partners can create an adversarial supply chain relationship. The possibility of sensitive data from one company being used to the other companies’ advantage creates mistrust. A lack of trust between partners will result in limited collaboration, which will affect each organisation’s supply chain effectiveness.

However, to ensure trust is part of a collaborative relationship, a company should ensure that ground rules for that relationship are stated and formalised in written documents. This is achieved through non-disclosure agreements, partnership agreements and service level agreements. The active management of formalised agreements, joint planning and regular communication of all factors will ensure trust in a collaborative relationship. Further, organisations need to develop an e-business collaboration strategy with senior management support to enable collaboration to work.

As organisations become more collaborative, they are also becoming more interdependent with their trading partners. This raises the issue of managing each of these relationships or interdependencies. Part of relationship management includes identifying what each partner will gain by entering into a relationship. This needs to be clearly articulated and agreed to by each partner for the relationship to be successful.

However, as with any relationship, who has the power in a relationship can become a factor and the influence they exert on the relationship needs to be understood, particularly in a supply chain that has a series of relationships with differening levels of influence. An overseas example is that Wal-Mart has mandated that its suppliers will implement RFID if they are to supply to it. This example demonstrates the power one organisation can exert on a supply chain, with its trading partners needing to adopt its mandate or suffer lost trade.

Consequently, an organisation needs to fully understand the relationship it is entering into and how the collaboration will benefit its organisation.

Are there Australian businesses adopting this trend?

Two Australian organisations, Australia Post and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) have seen the opportunities provided by this trend and have used e-logistics successfully to enable collaboration with their customers and suppliers. Australia Post has been developing new e-logistics systems and protocols to improve the interface between its domestic distribution businesses of Parcel Post and Express Post and its joint-venture distribution businesses Star Track Express and Australian air Express.

Part of this new system includes increased security, which is a vital aspect of the postal industry with millions of personal and business letters and parcels moving throughout the supply chain on a daily basis. However, through collaboration with suppliers, other postal organisations and Government agencies, the use of internet technology is now being used to provide track and trace, enhance mandated security measures and improve customer service.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has adopted an e-logistics solution to collaborate with supply chain partners in order to increase supply chain visibility for deployed operations, through the use of a Lotus Notes-based application. This application is used to order and monitor high priority equipment orders on an operation, and has been successfully used in the Middle East, Afghanistan and East Timor. It provides ‘real-time’ visibility of an order and where it currently is in the supply chain.

This e-logistics application has enabled Defence to be in a collaborative relationship with Defence contractors, Defence suppliers, transport and distribution organizations and finally the customer, are all supporting a common aim of providing equipment to an operation in the most efficient way.

During the implementation of the package it was noted that trust had a direct impact on the level of collaboration between Defence and its contractors. This was due to sensitive Defence information being shared. Consequently, Defence contractors were required to sign non-disclosure statements before being able to gain access to the application.

Defence and Defence contractors were also aware that by increasing collaboration through an e-logistics application there would be increased risks. However, many of the risks were identified early such as access control to sensitive data and downtime of software, with risk mitigation strategies established and implemented before implementation.

With ADF deployments increasing and more equipment resources required, the ADF has recognised that greater collaboration is required with all organisations involved in the supply chain, if it is to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction to ADF personnel on operations.

In conclusion

Although e-logistics is a relatively recent trend, its effectiveness for enabling collaboration with trading partners in a supply chain is an advantage and opportunity that Australian businesses need to consider how they can adopt into their business. As described, the advantages and opportunities of adopting e-logistics to enable collaboration will enhance a business’s logistic processes whilst increasing competitive advantage in their chosen market. This is a trend that will assist the contemporary Australian supply chain manager in dealing with the complex logistics environment.

Squadron Leader George Hodgson is the Caribou Through Life Support Manager at the RAAF’s Air Lift System Program Office and a past winner of the Logistics Association of Australia’s Logistics Development Award.

Excerpted from MHD Supply Chain Solutions, May/April 2008, pp.44-6.

Cargo plane crashes in Sydney

A twin-engine cargo plane operated by Airtex Aviation has crashed into the sea to the south of Sydney Airport last night.

The Metroliner aircraft, which in passenger configuration carries 19 people, was on a regular mail run from Sydney to Brisbane. Departing from Sydney Airport at 11.30 pm, it made a series of turns contrary to air traffic control directions. When queried by air traffic controllers, the pilot reportedly said that he was "experiencing minor control problems". The plane disappeared from radar shortly afterwards.

An itensive search involving police, rescue and navy personnel located the wreckage of the aircraft off Jibbon Beach in the Royal National Park earlier today.The male pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, is still missing presumed dead.

Australia Post has confirmed the aircraft was carrying Express Post mail sent from the ACT and NSW to addresses in Queensland.

Photo: a Metroliner similar to the crashed aircraft.

AaE opens new freight handling facility in Melbourne

AeE domestic freight handling facility in Melbourne.

Australian air Express (AaE) has officially opened its new domestic freight handling facility at Melbourne Airport.

The $20-million facility at Tullamarine features a covered freight sorting, loading and unloading area of 12,000 sqm to allow more efficient freight handling practices.

At the opening ceremony, AaE chief executive Wayne Dunne said: “I have a tremendous sense of pride as I stand here today; pride because I have witnessed the collaboration from the whole AaE team to make the dream our reality.

“For AaE the success formula is simple: provide a quality, superior and reliable service which can adapt to our customers changing needs.”

The facility is equipped with an automated-sortation system, which has the capacity to sort in excess of 100,000 items of freight each day. It was designed to handle a range of different sized and shaped parcels, satchel, mailbags and tubs at the same time, combining monitoring technologies.

The project followed a comprehensive freight survey, which was analysed by experts at RMIT and AeE staff. A freight properties database was developed to profile freight quantities, arrival times and package types. 

AaE, a joint venture between Qantas and Australia Post, has exclusive access to over 500 daily Qantas and Jetstar passenger flights and its own dedicated freighter aircraft.

Time is up for just-in-time

Faced with growing environmental concerns, the freight industry will be pushed to divert air cargo to sea and rail, the head of Australia Post said.

Issues related to global warming would exert an increasing influence on the way the international postal industry operates, Australia Post’s managing director Graeme John told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“One of the challenges in international logistics is going to be greenhouse [emissions],” said Mr John, who will chair an annual meeting this week in Queensland of nine of the world’s largest postal groups.

He said while the increase in international freight from consumer goods such as electronics made the industry opt for air travel due to its speed advantage, that approach has became unviable.

“Does the world want to absorb the greenhouse gas so that some kid can get his iPod a bit earlier?” he said.

“In my opinion, there’s going to be somebody that is going to, in a mandatory way, say ‘Change your supply chain’ – put it on a ship or jazz up the transcontinental railways.”

This week’s meeting of postal groups brings together members of the consortium called Kahala Post Group, which are Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Spain, France and Britain.

The group was established five years ago in an attempt to better compete with private freight companies.

Postage rates set to rise

The basic postage rate is set to rise from 50 cents to 55 cents as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has upheld Australia Post’s proposal.

The ACCC has issued its final decision to concede Australia Post’s proposal to lift letter prices, including large ordinary letters, and small and large PreSort Bulk Mail.

“The ACCC has decided not to object to Australia Post’s proposal because the proposed price increases do not involve Australia Post over-recovering the costs of providing these letter services,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

“The ACCC did not identify a concern that Australia Post’s current proposal did not provide sufficient certainty for some customers. Therefore, in its decision, the ACCC has established a framework for future price notifications that will encourage Australia Post to continue to reduce costs, improve productivity, and provide more certainty for Australia Post’s customers.”

Following the decision, Australia Post needs to give written notice of the postage rate increase to the communications minister, who has the power to disapprove proposals to vary the rate within 30 days after receiving the notice.

This February, Australia Post lodged a draft notification, seeking to lift the letter rates amid the growing operational costs.

The company’s group manager letter Allan Robinson has previously said due to rising fuel, wages and other transportation costs, domestic reserved letters profitability dropped by 18 per cent last year, with a loss around $12 million expected this year.

“The number of delivery addresses for home and businesses has increased by over 800,000 since the last price rise in 2003,’ Mr Robinson said.

“The task has got bigger, the costs have increased, but growth in the letters area has only been modest.

“Even with the proposed 55 cent stamp rates…it is, and still will be, the third lowest basic postage rate in the OECD.”

Australia Post proposes to increase postal prices with effect from 15 September 2008. 

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