Storage, telematics and communications specialists sign on for MEGATRANS2018

Headland Machinery, specialist in quality, reliable automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, will showcase its wares and market offerings at MEGATRANS2018 this May.
With a strong history of supplying and servicing machinery to a range of industries across Australia and New Zealand, the Australian-owned and operated business is a welcome fit to the inaugural supply chain and logistics trade event in Melbourne.
Also joining the line-up is vehicle and logistics technology specialist Caltex Telematics.
Caltex Telematics’ fully integrated technology to provide insights on the performance of both vehicles and drivers. The company’s systems are configurable and can identify potential issues early to help keep fleets running safely and efficiently on the road.
Simoco Wireless Solutions will bring wireless solutions and communications technologies expertise to MEGATRANS2018.
The business specialises in building communications networks for industry sectors where reliability, integrity and clarity are of utmost importance, including utilities, transport, government infrastructure and public safety.
Find out more about exhibiting at and visiting MEGATRANS2018 here.

US logistics union demands protection from automation

US labour union Teamsters has demanded that US delivery company UPS provide assurances that deliveries will not be automated through the use of drones or self-driving vehicles, as a part of a new collective bargaining agreement, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Teamsters represents the interests of more than 260,000 UPS employees in the US, and has a total membership base of more than 1.3 million workers.
Business Insider notes that UPS and other delivery companies including DHL and FedEx are looking into automation technology to cope with increasing delivery volumes brought about through the rise of e-commerce, and the country’s truck driver shortage.
In early 2017, UPS conducted a drone delivery trial, through which a drone would launch from the UPS van and complete parcel deliveries to addresses close by, while drivers also completed deliveries.
Research company Pew found in a 2017 of US adults that 72 per cent were worried about automated technology taking jobs, and 58 per cent supported government restrictions on the number of roles businesses can replace with machines.

We must educate drivers about trucks

Peak transport body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has called on the Federal Government and relevant departments to convene a special industry-led national working group to better educate motorists on interacting with heavy vehicles, in order to reduce the number of road accidents estimated to be costing the Australian economy $33 billion a year.
Appearing before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiring into road safety in Australia, RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara said: “Greater engagement and education on the roads, particularly with regard to light vehicles is essential.
“Preventable deaths are a tragedy, the question is what we do about it,” Mr O’Hara told the hearing.
“RFNSW, along with the ATA, has issued a list of ‘Top 10 Tips’ advising the motoring public on how to drive safely with heavy vehicles on the roads. One of those tips is distracted driving, with studies showing that 80% of collisions are caused by motorists whose attention is taken away from the road by their passengers, phones, GPS, radio, eating drinking and smoking.
“Alarmingly, distractions are now deemed to be the single biggest cause of crashes and near misses, with road users who take their eyes off the road for two seconds or longer, doubling their crash risk. If drivers get that message and pay attention, that’s one simple way of trying to achieve safer roads for all users alike.
“RFNSW wants safety to be the cornerstone of what truck drivers do each and every day.
“RFNSW recommends the establishment of a working committee to scope out better ways to educate light vehicle users and cyclists in their interactions with heavy vehicle users for the purposes of attaining safer roads. We believe appropriate funding also be set aside for greater engagement and public awareness to educate road users and inform them on how to properly interact with heavy vehicles.”
At the hearing, Mr O’Hara also raised another critical issue impacting carriers – crippling new surcharges being imposed by stevedores DP World Australia and Patrick on truck operators at Port Botany.
“A large proportion of the rationale for these charges, as we understand it, is around rent increases. But only last week we learnt from NSW Ports that rent has actually decreased at the Ports from 2013 (pre-privatisation) to 2017,” he explained.
“RFNSW believes these port charges place further pressures on an industry already working with slim profits and costly overheads.
This questionable behaviour from the stevedores should be properly explained and built on a firm foundation of empirical evidence that justifies the rationale for this additional financial burden on carriers.
Ultimately, the consumer in one form or another pays the cost and if road transport users can’t understand why they are being taxed (and invoiced early) for using the stevedores – then perhaps the Australian consumer who will likely bear these costs deserves an explanation.”

Leadership change at ANC

Fleet home delivery company ANC has announced two new senior management appointments – Stephen Sloane has recently taken up the position of NSW State Manager, Operations, while internally, Brett Randall has been appointed National Manager, Innovation and Improvement.
ANC provides last-mile delivery for Australian and international brands such as Bunnings Warehouse, IKEA, Fantastic Furniture, Telstra, Australian Cement and Fuji Xerox.
Stephen Sloane joins ANC following a 19-year tenure at Startrack, most recently as National Fleet & Facility Manager, having started as a contracted driver.
“I’m impressed by ANC’s growth over the past two years, and its plans for the future, so am excited by the opportunities this role will afford everyone,” said Sloane.
He will oversee the state-wide delivery of dedicated fleet management, client and customer services and report to the National Manager Operations, Roger Cengarle.
Brett Randall has been with ANC for over 30 years, starting out in the business as a contracted driver, progressing through sales and operational ranks to his current role overseeing strategy through innovation and improvement programs nationally.
Randall is a member of the National Executive Team and reports directly to CEO Don Mills and MD James Taylor.
“This new role in innovation and improvement is testament to ANC’s focus on future leadership for the sector, ensuring that we’re providing the best efficiencies and service possible for our clients and their customers,” he said.
“I’ve seen this organisation grow from 20 vehicles dealing with small packages to a $69 million national business and I am excited to be part of the next strategic phase in a dynamic industry.”
Taylor commented on the new appointments, “We have recently redesigned our senior leadership structure to reflect our national approach, and welcome these two new roles which are part of a larger strategy. People are our biggest asset and we know that these new internal and external appointments are going to give us the edge in the delivery sector, which is changing at an extraordinary pace.”

"More flexible" train crew operations for Aurizon

Rail freight company Aurizon has announced major changes in its Queensland operations “to meet customer needs” which will see many of its full-time train crew members redeployed.
Aurizon reports that it is moving to a “more flexible” train crewing operations in Central and North Queensland and undertaking a staged closure of its rollingstock maintenance workshop in Rockhampton to address varying demand in the resources sector as well as changes to Aurizon’s operating footprint.
Carter said Aurizon would work to offset the losses of local jobs by undertaking a review of which metropolitan based roles have the potential to be relocated to Rockhampton and other regional centres.
The proposed changes will be phased through to late 2018, to allow all options to be explored for employees including retraining, redeployment and redundancy.
Mike Carter, Head of Operations, Aurizon, said the business has changed significantly in recent years in line with changing market demand.
“Aurizon needs to continue to change in line with what our customers need if we are to remain competitive,” he added.
“Historically, most of our train crew have been permanent full-time employees and we have been unable to match fluctuations in weekly and monthly demand in train haulage services from coal customers or contract wins or losses.
“As a result we are proposing to change the composition of our train crew workforce in Central and North Queensland. This will involve engaging more contractors to provide greater flexibility for our customers. This will result in reducing the number of permanent full-time train drivers.
“In addition we have also commenced consultation with employees on the staged closure of the Rockhampton rollingstock maintenance workshops by late 2018.
Carter noted that the amount of work required at the Rockhampton workshop has reduced significantly in recent years. “It is a legacy facility,” he said. “Designed for a different operating footprint in a different time – and [it] is not located close to our operations in the Central Queensland Coal Network.”
Aurizon has undertaken a review of core maintenance requirements for the Queensland rollingstock fleet and found that the company’s future maintenance task will be best delivered at newer facilities at Jilalan (Sarina), Stuart (Townsville), Willowburn (Toowoomba) and Callemondah (Gladstone), with components supply and non-core maintenance sourced from third parties.
More than 180 employees at the Rockhampton rollingstock workshop stand to be impacted by the closure, of these up to 40 are expected to have the opportunity for redeployment to Aurizon’s Jilalan facility.
Over 120 permanent train crew positions will be phased out progressively over the next 12 months at the depots of Callemondah, Bluff, and Stanwell, with approximately 70 locally based train crew contractor positions expected to be created over that period.
At the North Queensland depots of Mackay and Townsville, approximately 62 permanent positions including train crew, freight operators and leaders will be cut and the Mackay Freight train crew depot will close.
An additional 20 contractor train crew position will be created for the Coppabella depot near Moranbah in central Queensland to meet increased customer demand on the Goonyella and Newlands Coal Systems.
Carter said Aurizon would also commence discussions with local, state and federal government representatives on the opportunity for urban redevelopment in Rockhampton on land vacated by the workshops.
The Rockhampton Workshop was first established in 1870s and includes a heritage-listed and largely preserved ‘roundhouse’ previously used to move locomotives into various maintenance bays.
Aurizon’s presence in the Rockhampton region will continue, with more than 650 employees stationed across its various businesses in the area.

Crown launches racking system safety course

Training organisation Crown Equipment’s driver division has launched a new course designed to reduce accidents associated with the use of double-deep and single-deep racking systems.
The double-deep training course focuses on safe and efficient methods for approaching, departing and monitoring loads when placing and picking pallets from steel storage racking systems. It also covers use of operator aids such as auto-levelling and cameras and also the functions of particular pieces of equipment.
The course was initially developed in conjunction with Customised Solutions, a business unit of Toll Group, to build competency within its workforce. It is now available for all Australian reach truck operators through Crown Commercial Training’s locations nationwide.
According to Mark Cowley, Executive General Manager at Customised Solutions, an analysis of safety incidents involving pallet placement into racking systems revealed that a high proportion were related to double-deep racking.
“Given the potential of these incidents to cause serious injury if products were displaced, it was imperative to look at all aspects of racking design and driver training, which were key contributors to the incidents,” Cowley said.
“We believe the adoption of consistent, correct techniques for material handling equipment into our culture will result in a much safer workplace, so establishing the right level of training was very important to us.”

Abolition of Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The Australian Logistics Council has supported a delay to the introduction of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order mandated by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
According to ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff, the abolition of the RSRT is the only real way to avoid the duplication, confusion and costs that this Order, and others like it, will inevitably create.
“An Order from the Tribunal covering contractor drivers’ minimum payments due to come into effect on 4 April 2016 is creating untold confusion and potential costs in the heavy vehicle industry, with many contracting companies now fearful they will be driven out of the industry.
“This concern has been highlighted by ALC since the legislation was first considered and passed by the previous government in March 2012. Since that time, ALC has consistently called for the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“ALC maintains that because the Road Safety Remuneration Act prevails over all other laws, including the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Work Health and Safety laws, inefficiency, confusion and increased costs would inevitably ensue when the first Order was handed down.
“The confusion with this first Order, which sets national minimum payments for contractor drivers in the road transport industry, underscores the practical difficulties associated with rate setting by an industrially focused tribunal,” he said.
“ALC is committed to improving safety for all road users and it is essential that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of a number of key facts in this important issue.
“First, improving safety in the heavy vehicle industry must be based on achieving greater compliance and awareness of Chain of Responsibility (part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law), rather than being distracted by emotive campaigns to support the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“In 2016, steps will be taken by Transport Ministers to amend Chain of Responsibility laws including the introduction of a ‘primary duty of care’ into the current Chain of Responsibility that will be similar in nature to those contained in workplace health and safety legislation (see editor’s notes below).
“Some of these obligations will extend to the executive officers of these duty holders.
“Also expected is the introduction of a new risk-based approach to heavy vehicle inspections and changes to how codes of practice are treated under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
“There needs to be greater effort by all stakeholders to promote understanding and compliance with Chain of Responsibility obligations, which is invariably ignored by proponents of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“Second, more can be done to support and drive the safety benefits associated with on board safety technologies, such as telematics.
“Telematics enables companies to monitor driver fatigue and speed, and has been shown to save lives.
“ALC believes that the use of monitoring systems using telematics for compliance purposes should be mandated for heavy line-haul vehicles as part of a company’s compliance with their Chain of Responsibility obligations.

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