Biosecurity levy "significantly flawed", according to logistics and transport industry

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.
 

Linfox opens warehouse in Vietnam

Linfox has opened a warehouse and distribution centre in Bac Ninh to service Hanoi and the northern Vietnam region.
The new facility is part of a strategic partnership with multinational fast-moving consumer goods company, Unilever.
The 100,000-square-metre site is one of the largest warehouse and distribution centres in northern Vietnam, offering 70,000 pallets positions, 60,000 square metres of ambient storage space and multi-tenancy.
The warehouse is equipped with cutting-edge technology such as a Microlistics system for warehouse management, and radio frequency (RF) devices to complete warehouse activities.
“The facility is strategically located at the VSIP Integrated Township and Industrial Park in Bac Ninh province, 20 kilometres from central Hanoi with connections to all major road systems, ” Linfox International Group CEO, said Greg Thomas.
“This will provide customers easy access to their inventory and will optimise distribution across the region.
“When designing the facility, we focused on incorporating many environmental features.
“The facility features motion sensored LED smart lighting to lower energy consumption and minimise the environmental footprint. We’ve also installed a rainwater harvesting system to reuse the rainwater and reduce the risk of stormwater flooding. This facility represents Linfox’s commitment to sustainability,” he said.
The new Bac Ninh facility is a significant investment for Linfox as the company expands into the Mekong region, with further investments planned in the near future. Operations will commence at the facility in March 2019.

Infrastructure Priority List welcomed by the freight sector

The Infrastructure Priority List recently released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) has won widespread approval in the freight sector, including the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railways Association and the Australian Trucking Association.
ALC: The priority list highlights freight infrastructure opportunities
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said the Infrastructure Priority List released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) highlights continued need for targeted investment in freight infrastructure projects that will enhance supply chain efficiency and safety, and make Australia more internationally competitive.
“It is essential that Australia makes infrastructure investment decisions that are based on sound principles and evidence-based assessments regarding a project’s capacity to contribute to our economic strength, and liveability of our communities,” said ALC chairman Philip Davies.
“In the past, the Infrastructure Priority List has helped to build support for investment in critical freight infrastructure projects which are now being undertaken, including Western Sydney Airport, Inland Rail, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and more recently the Port Botany freight rail duplication, which was supported in the 2018 Federal Budget.”
“It is especially pleasing to note this year’s list again includes the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy as a high priority initiative.”
“To further boost the effectiveness of that Strategy when it is released later this year, ALC urges governments to prioritise investment in key freight-related initiatives IA has included in this year’s list, including:

  • Upgrading Chullora Junction to enhance Sydney’s freight rail network;
  • Constructing the North East Link in Melbourne to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance freight efficiency;
  • Pursuing a dedicated freight rail connection from Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane;
  • Enhancing capacity and traffic flows on the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways in Perth;
  • Completing the upgrade of the Adelaide North-South road corridor to enhance capacity and efficiency of freight movement to the airport and port precincts;
  • Investing in road and rail improvements on the Burnie to Hobart freight corridor;
  • Implementation of the Advanced Train Management System on the ARTC network; and
  • Establishing a national electric vehicle fast-charging network to overcome ‘range anxiety’ among freight logistics operators.

“Australia must do everything possible to eliminate capacity constraints in our freight networks if we wish to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market. Securing investment in these priority projects will help to deliver that outcome.”
ARA backs IA’s strong rail focus in Infrastructure Priority List
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has also welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) 2019 Infrastructure Priority List.
“IA plays an important role in identifying key infrastructure problems and opportunities to ensure investment is appropriately targeted to areas of greatest need,” said ARA CEO Danny Broad.
“The rail projects included in IA’s 2019 Infrastructure Priority List are important nation-building initiatives and are endorsed by the rail sector,” he continued.
“Pleasingly, there are more rail projects and initiatives in the report compared to the 2018 Infrastructure Priority List, with 54 of the 125 projects and initiatives rail-related.
“As Australia’s population grows, rail infrastructure will increasingly become the backbone to meet Australia’s growing passenger and freight needs. To manage the challenges posed in our cities and regions in the long-term, Australia will need to ensure that it continuously invests in rail infrastructure.
“We know that rail is an efficient, environmentally and socially beneficial mode of transport. We also know that rail has lower emissions than road transport, is safer and can help reduce congestion in our cities.
“The significance of these rail projects identified by IA warrants investment from governments at all levels. Our networks of infrastructure and services connect people and communities, support freight transport across the country, help deliver our resources to overseas markets and continue to generate economic growth and employment,” he said.
ATA welcomes updated Infrastructure Priority List
Infrastructure Australia’s updated Infrastructure Priority List illustrates the importance of evidence-based investment decisions, chairman of the Australian Trucking Association Geoff Crouch said.
“The Infrastructure Priority List provides critical focus on the need to invest in safer regional roads and fixing urban congestion,” Mr Crouch said.
“The new project calling for regional road network safety improvements to invest in fixing high-risk sections of regional roads and deliver safer road infrastructure is a critical priority.
“Infrastructure Australia reports that relative to population size, the number of fatalities in regional areas is over four times higher than for major cities.
“This project now requires government support across Australia, and the ATA strongly welcomes the inclusion of a similar new project by the NSW Government to make regional road safety improvements in NSW.
“Governments should also support the call for a roads network optimisation program to address urban congestion.
“First added to the priority list in 2016 but still without a government proponent, Infrastructure Australia has again reconfirmed the need for governments to make multiple, co-ordinated, productivity enhancements to the road network to reduce congestion.
“These investments should be based on data and seek to optimise traffic flows through investments such as intersection treatments, traffic light sequencing, clearways and incident management.”
The ATA also welcomes the continued inclusion and expansion of projects to address major road investment priorities.
“There’s a long list of proposed road, highway and motorway projects which would make a significant investment to improving safety, connectivity and productivity on the road network,” Mr Crouch said.
Future updates to the Infrastructure Priority List should expand the network-based focus on improving roads to include regional and outback highways and corridors.
“The need to make better use and enable more productive connectivity extends beyond our major cities and their rural hinterlands, and Infrastructure Australia should include network optimisation and access for investing in better regional and outback highways in future priority list updates,” Mr Crouch said.
 

CHR appoints Andrew Coldrey new vice president of Oceania

Global third-party logistics provider C.H. Robinson has named Andrew Coldrey as vice president, Oceania, following the retirement of Mike Smith in December 2018 after more than 30 years of tenure. Andrew will report to Mike Short, president Global Forwarding at C.H. Robinson.
“I’m excited to have Andrew lead the Oceania team, where his main focus will be to increase customer success, and create greater focus on C.H. Robinson’s global product development,” said Mike Short, president, Global Forwarding at C.H. Robinson. “Andrew’s expertise and leadership skills will drive regional growth and advancement of Global Forwarding within Oceania, in close alignment with his teams in Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the global network”.
Andrew has held various roles throughout the business, having started his career in freight forwarding with C.H. Robinson. Since 1995, he has been an integral member of the Oceania management team. He managed the New South Wales office, generated opportunity for regional growth as manager of international development, and led successful operational and commercial teams as regional director.
“I am thrilled to be leading the Oceania team, and I look forward to continuous learning, development and innovation in support of our people and customers,” Andrew said. “The greater focus of our operational and commercial teams will allow for more collaboration and overall business excellence.”
C.H. Robinson continues to deliver expertise and logistics services to global and local Australian and New Zealand companies. C.H. Robinson focuses on product development and innovation, which includes the expansion of Australian domestic services to include a local air service that complements coastal shipping. Further developments include customised technology that creates greater visibility for customers over their supply chains.
 

Maersk to introduce a virtual assistant named Captain Peter

Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo.
Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform.
In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter.
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said.
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs.
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo.
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said.
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.

Budget must focus on freight: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has released its 2019-20 Federal Budget submission, saying this year’s Budget must establish the right framework to support the implementation of an effective National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“The Federal Budget in April will be the last one delivered prior to the release of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
“The ALC has been a long-term advocate for this strategy. Our members understand that a national economy needs to adopt a consistent national approach to freight movement.
“However, the best Strategy in the world counts for little if there are insufficient resources in place to support its delivery.
“Accordingly, ALC’s submission encourages the Federal Government to use this year’s Budget to establish the right frameworks to support the delivery of a Strategy that will meet the needs of our industry and the Australian economy as a whole.
“To help achieve this, ALC makes 19 recommendations addressing two core objectives – ensuring those responsible for implementing the strategy have adequate resources, and supporting specific infrastructure, safety and regulatory initiatives that will improve the performance of our supply chains.
“These include recommendations to support key Federal agencies, as well as state and local governments, in delivering significant reforms around planning, corridor protection, road pricing and data collection that will allow us to better monitor performance and more effectively target infrastructure investment.
“Additionally, there are specific recommendations to support crucial infrastructure and regulatory initiatives, such as better freight rail linkages to ports, infrastructure to hasten uptake of electric vehicles in the freight sector, maintenance of the industry Master Code for heavy vehicle safety, and development of a National Rail Plan that will finally deliver the regulatory consistency the industry seeks.
“Implementing these recommendations as part of the 2019-20 Federal Budget will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of Australia’s supply chains, and contribute to the delivery of a more effective National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” Mr Coningham said.
 

DP World increases stake in DP World Australia

DP World has announced that it has acquired an additional stake in DP World Australia from Gateway Infrastructure Investments and other financial investors. DP World Australia  is now at an enterprise value of approximately A$ 1.4 billion.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in 1Q2019.
Following the closure of the transaction, DP World Australia will become a consolidated entity within the DP World Group and is expected to be earnings neutral in the first full year of ownership.
Corsair Infrastructure Partners, the manager of the Gateway Fund, will continue to manage a significant investment in DP World Australia.
“We are pleased to announce this transaction that brings DP World Australia back into our consolidated portfolio, which presents a more optimal structure to drive this business forward, while continuing our relationship with CIP as a valued partner. We remain optimistic on the growth prospects in Australia and believe there is an exciting opportunity to enhance shareholder value by further developing the container terminals operations and expanding beyond the ports into logistics services,” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World said.
DP World Australia is a container port operator that manages 4 terminals at each of Australia’s major ports (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle) with a capacity of approximately 4mn TEU’s.

CEVA trials truck route from China to Europe

CEVA Logistics Greater China has sent the first-ever TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) truck from Khorgos, China via Kazakhstan to Europe.
The trial run was on 13 November, 2018 and was operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the IRU (International Road Transportation Union) and CEVA’s partners Alblas and Jet-rail.
The truck arrived in Poland on 24 November, with no disruption or Customs issues after 11 days on the road. The closing TIR at its final destination was after 13 days on 26 November.
According to CEVA, the new road service will deliver a cost saving of about 50 per cent compared to air options. With a lead time door-to-door of between 10 to 15 days, it will be 30-50 per cent faster than rail.
Customs sealed in Khorgos, the first TIR truck from China to Europe started its 7,000 kilometers journey via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to Poland in the afternoon of 13 November. It was a historic moment when the truck, operated by CEVA’s partner Alblas International Logistics, left Khorgos to cross the border into Kazakhstan.
“This is a day to remember. Together with our partners, we have trialed TIR all the way to Europe today the very first time,” Kelvin Tang, Director Road & Rail at CEVA Logistics Greater China said.

Western Sydney Airport selects architect to develop business park

Western Sydney Airport has appointed Architectus to plan a business park on a dedicated 191-hectare parcel of airport real estate.
The business park will offer the opportunity to integrate office, retail, industrial, hotels and conference facilities within 1.5 kilometres of the airport terminal.
“There will be opportunities for businesses to be at the terminal’s doorstep at what will become Australia’s largest international gateway. When the Airport opens in 2026, it will be built for 10 million passengers a year, but we’ve got a blueprint for staged growth to become one of the world’s biggest airports in the decades to follow and our business park will be a key feature,” Graham Millett, CEO, Western Sydney Airport said.
Graham said he expects interest in the Airport’s business park to come from a range of different industries.
“Consultants, tech companies, defence and aerospace, airlines and pharmaceutical are just some of the industries that would enjoy considerable advantage being located at the Airport’s front door,” he said.
Master planning work on the Airport business park is expected to be complete in mid-2019. Work to build Western Sydney Airport began in September, with the business park set to open before Airport operations begin in 2026.

Kuehne + Nagel to acquire the Quick Group

The Quick Group has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Kuehne + Nagel, a global logistics company operating in airfreight, seafreight, contract logistics, and overland businesses.
Quick will continue to offer tailor-made solutions to all the industries they serve and will operate as independent specialised product brands: Sterling Aviation, QuickSTAT, Quick Healthcare, and Quick Logistics. The Quick/Sterling team, including management, will continue to support their client base. Unitrans International Logistics will not be part of this transaction.
The partnership will offer Quick’s customers additional service and resource capabilities, with an expanded global footprint within Kuehne + Nagel’s operating network across more than 100 countries.
“We are very excited to become part of the Kuehne + Nagel Group and further expand the services we provide to our customers, with a clear focus on providing integrated logistics solutions with speed, control, communication, and IT efficiencies. We plan to continue leading the industry, providing the very best specialized solutions,” Dominique Bischoff-Brown, CEO, The Quick Group of Companies said.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions.
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