Containerchain brings shipping technology to MEGATRANS2018

Logistics company Containerchain has joined the lineup of businesses exhibiting at MEGATRANS2018 in May.
Containerchain specialises in technological solutions to help drive down the cost of moving containers and use their technology innovations to help the industry unlock trapped value and reduce inefficiencies.
MEGATRANS2018 is set to bring together leaders and stakeholders in the wider Australian and international supply chain, including those in the transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling and infrastructure sectors.

Toll MD submits truck safety plan to PM

Michael Byrne, Managing Director of Australian transport and logistics company Toll Group, has submitted a six-point national truck safety plan to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and all road and road safety ministers across Australia.
“Australia has a dire road safety problem,” Byrne wrote in a letter to Turnbull. “Our approach to heavy vehicles in this country is core to tackling this issue. It’s time for a genuinely national approach to heavy vehicle regulation.”
He noted that, having heard from government and academic experts on improving safety, he wanted to give his own suggestions, as “the leader of Australia’s largest transport and logistics company,” former leader of “the second largest transport company,” Linfox, and a second-generation industry veteran who has worked in the industry since he was 13 years old.
In his letter, Byrne called for Turnbull to address six critical areas.
First, he requested a national rule book, which would provide a common definition for ‘heavy vehicle’, and consistent approaches across states for driver fatigue, speed limits, heavy-vehicle regulation and licensing.
“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator was supposed to deliver one rule book,” he said. “It hasn’t. Western Australia and the Northern Territory have refused to sign up to the national law. And so today, Australian road freight operators are subject to multiple and overlapping rules at the local council, state and national level.”
Second, Bryne stated the need for the introduction of an operator licensing system to ensure safety and competence, to bring the industry in line with others such as maritime, rail and aviation. “In road transport, virtually anyone with a truck, a driver and an ABN (Australian Business Number) can be a road freight operator,” he said. “Most comparable countries have an operator licensing system for road transport.”
Third, he wrote, road safety won’t be achieved by industry alone, the community, government, enforcement and road safety bodies must also do their parts. “We know that in 93 per cent of fatalities involving a truck, the other party was at fault,” he said. “Yet national and safe road safety strategies are silent on how light vehicle drivers can ‘share the road’ safely with trucks.”
Fourth, he called for government incentive to encourage safe behaviour. “Governments can incentivise and reward safe behaviours from heavy-vehicle operators,” he wrote. “Discounted registration and stamp duty fees could be offered to operators with sound safety records.”
Fifth, Byrne advised the Government to mandate telematics for all new heavy vehicles. “Mandatory telematics on every vehicle will identify operators that systematically and deliberately speed, overload vehicles and push fatigue limits,” he said.
Bryne’s sixth proposal was for the Government to ensure operators such Toll Group are actively engaged in debate and policy development regarding road safety. “Any discussion on heavy-vehicle regulation must draw on private sector expertise to truly understand how we can overcome the obstacles that are holding us back from creating safer roads for our community,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for Barnaby Joyce, the recently appointed Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, told the Sydney Morning Herald that several of Byrne’s points had merit and would be considered.
“Even though there is no general consensus in the industry on some of the proposed initiatives, we will continue to work with industry and stakeholders to improve heavy-vehicle safety,” the spokesperson said.
Toll Group’s call for a national approach to road safety follows the Australian Truck Association’s (ATA) announcement on 12 January of its partnership with the National Road Safety Partnership Program, which aims to spread knowledge and information across all industries about managing risk and reducing the road toll.
The ATA also called for the Federal Government to allocate $12 million in funding to road safety, establish a National Road Safety Commission, and give responsibility for investigating truck accidents to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
In late 2017, Toll Group announced its own plans to position safety culture at the centre of its operations, with Byrne saying at the time that safety “is common to all of us and a non-negotiable.”

New Infrastructure and Transport Minister issues first statements

The Hon. Barnaby Joyce has hailed progress on the Inland Rail project and safety upgrade works on the Western Highway in his first official communications as the Federal Government’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
Joyce announced that the first delivery of steel for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project has arrived on site.
“This project is a game-changer for our regions,” said Joyce. “[On 15 January], we have seen the first 14,000 tonnes of steel to be delivered just for Parkes to Narromine section. We’re still on track for works to begin in May this year.”
He also issued a statement on the beginning of the $20 million safety upgrade of the Western Highway between Stawell in west Victoria and the South Australian border, jointly funded by the Victorian and Federal Governments.
“The Western Highway serves as a key transport corridor through Victoria’s western district and upgrading this section of the highway will significantly improve safety for all users including farming, tourism and manufacturing interests.”

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Image courtesy: Parkes Shire Council

Fremantle Port rail subsidy increased

Western Australia’s McGowan Government has implemented financial incentives to reduce truck congestion and get more freight on rail to Fremantle Port.
As committed prior to the last election, the container rail subsidy increased from $30 to $50 per Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) from 1 January 2018.
The plan aims to reduce truck traffic on roads around Fremantle Port by encouraging more freight on rail.
The Western Australian Government’s integrated plan for freight and trade includes a target to boost rail mode share to 20 per cent – an increase of approximately five per cent.
The subsidy will be paid for all loaded containers that move between North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT), Forrestfield and Kwinana, as well as for containers filled with hay received by rail at NQRT for export.
“Increasing the rail share for container haulage is one of several initiatives to improve efficiencies at the Inner Harbour to facilitate trade growth until additional port facilities are viable,” the Government said in a statement, adding that others include supporting the development of the Westport: Port and Environs Strategy; development of the broader rail supply chain, including intermodal facilities; and upgrading road infrastructure linkages around the inner harbour.
“The rail service plays a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in the container supply chain as well as improving community amenity and environmental benefits along metropolitan roads that link to Fremantle Port,” said Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
“That is why the McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to increase the container rail subsidy to encourage more container movements on the port rail service.”

Joyce replaces Chester

The trucking and logistics industry has welcomed the announcement that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will be appointed as the new Infrastructure and Transport Minister.
“Barnaby Joyce has a wealth of experience and understanding of regional Australia, and understands the importance of roads and transport to communities’ right across Australia,” said Geoff Crouch, Chair, Australian Trucking Association (ATA).
“Trucking is an enabler of opportunity, allowing businesses to reach domestic and international markets, consumers to purchase goods, farms to sell their produce, and construction materials to enable new developments.”
The Deputy Prime Minister will be responsible for a significant transport agenda in 2018.
“The Government has announced a $75 billion infrastructure program, plans for progressing road pricing reform, launching a new national freight and supply chain strategy, and important reviews into safety accreditation schemes, the National Road Safety Strategy, and the National Land Transport Network,” said Crouch.
“It’s a significant to-do list and the ATA looks forward to working with the Government to ensure the views of the trucking industry are well represented.”
Crouch also welcomed the reappointment of Paul Fletcher as Minister for Urban Infrastructure, and now also with responsibility for cities.
“Paul Fletcher has shown a commitment to engage with trucking operators on the details of heavy vehicle reforms, and we look forward to that continuing,” said Crouch.
“There is a pressing need to enhance a new national agenda on land transport safety and productivity, and the ATA looks forward to engaging with Barnaby Joyce, Paul Fletcher and the Australian Government to make this a reality,” he said.
“We look forward to working with Barnaby Joyce, in building a safe, efficient and effective road transport industry for future years,” said National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO, Warren Clark.
“We welcome a fresh perspective to a portfolio which is a vital component of building Australia’s productivity, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
“We hope to meet with the new Minster shortly, to discuss the prominent issues facing today’s trucking industry, including issues which need urgent attention such as: A lack of national consistency in regulatory requirements and enforcement, access restrictions for high productivity vehicles, and traffic congestion in urban areas.
“We’d also like to extend our appreciation to outgoing minister Darren Chester, for his contribution to the Road Transport Industry in his time as Minister. We admired his energy, intelligence and commitment to the portfolio,” he said.
Crouch paid thanks to the service of outgoing Transport Minister, Darren Chester.
“The trucking industry thanks Darren Chester for his work as Transport Minister and in particular his commitment and passion for road safety,” said Crouch.
“It has been an enormous honour and a privilege to serve in Cabinet in the best portfolio possible, infrastructure and transport,” Darren Chester said in a statement.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been part of policy and project decisions which will change lives and save lives across our nation.
“I’m proud of the work my team and I have done on behalf of the Government and I’m sorry we won’t get to finish some of the jobs we’ve started,” he said.

West Gate Tunnel a mismanaged waste

Construction of the West Gate Tunnel will begin next month, with the Victorian Government signing contracts to build the alternative to the West Gate Bridge. The contracts were signed just as a new report raises serious concerns about the West Gate Tunnel.
The government line
The six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.
The project will stop rat runs in the inner west for good – and 24/7 truck bans will be enshrined in law.
The government said it has negotiated a fairer deal under the Market-led Proposal guideline, including making the toll recovery system fairer and removing clauses that compensate Transurban for road projects that divert traffic off its network.
Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed. This partnership has been assessed as high-value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.
Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.
There have been massive improvements to the project’s scope after five design updates, through two years of community consultation and a comprehensive Environment Effects Statement process, the government said.
The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years.
In addition to the business case released in 2015, the Government today released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The Government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.
Early works will start in January, with the first of two massive Tunnel Boring Machines to be ordered in the next few weeks. The project will be complete in 2022.
Don’t do it: new report raises serious concerns about West Gate Tunnel
The West Gate Tunnel Project could worsen Melbourne’s traffic congestion, increase car dependency and should be rolled back, according to a new report from six leading planning academics.
Other concerns raised by the report include:

  • The project’s overreach and overstatement of benefits.
  • The poor planning process and lack of overall strategy.
  • A lack of transparency in the market-led proposal.

The report, a joint publication between RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, argues that the project will not meet three of its key objectives and only partially meet two others. It recommends that Parliament instead limit its support for strategic road investment in Melbourne’s inner west to building the $500 million West Gate Distributor – a project that addresses access to Port Melbourne and trucks on inner west roads.
The report’s authors note that the proposed tunnel will not improve transport capacity along Melbourne’s M1 corridor, and will not reduce reliance on the West Gate Bridge. The project will fail to give residents in Melbourne’s fastest growing region better access to employment opportunities via public transport.
The report also warns that freight access to the Port of Melbourne and the rest of the city will only be partially improved by the tunnel, and that the plan’s ban on trucks will only slightly improve community amenity and local streets in Melbourne’s inner west.
Co-author, RMIT University’s Dr Ian Woodcock, said the project’s inability to meet its key objectives would have major consequences for many Melburnians, particularly those living in the city’s fastest growing metropolitan area – the west.
“International and local evidence overwhelmingly shows that when it comes to improving traffic congestion, building new roads is only a short-term solution,” Woodcock said.
“By building extensive new road capacity that simply entrenches car-based transport, the West Gate Tunnel Project will introduce new transport complexity to the west and the rest of the city, and will compromise many decades of carefully developed aspirations for the central, inner-west and north Melbourne.
“The project’s massive $5.5 billion budget will severely limit options available to future governments to create better public transport, and to meet demands for investment in health, education and regional development.”
Dr Crystal Legacy, from the University of Melbourne, said the West Gate Tunnel was a clear case of ‘overreach’ and the government should revert back to the 2014 West Gate Distributor plan.
“For too long, Victoria’s transport planning and infrastructure investment has occurred in a policy and planning vacuum.
“We therefore call on Parliament – and all sides of politics – to support urgent action for the preparation of an integrated Victorian Transport Plan, as required by the Transport Integration Act 2010.
“This can be done through transparent, strategic and vision-led infrastructure planning, based on an appropriate evidence-based assessment process. All alternatives must be considered to create the city in which its residents wish to live.”
The report also includes an open letter to Victorian State MPs signed by 22 internationally renowned academic leaders in transport planning, urban planning, engineering and safety about the direction of transport planning in Melbourne and Victoria.
Download the report at https://bit.ly/WestGateTunnelReport.

West Gate Tunnel construction to begin in Q1 2018

A CPB/John Holland joint venture will commence construction on the West Gate Tunnel next month, now expected to cost $6.7 billion – about $1.2 billion above its original estimated cost, with the Victorian Government finalising contracts on the project this week.
The builders have begun moving into a construction compound in Footscray where they’ll begin work on the northern tunnel portal.
A statement from the state government said the six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.
The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, which the Victorian Government said in the statement is due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to “improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years”.
Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed.
According to the government, this partnership has been assessed as high value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous Liberal government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.
Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.
In addition to the business case released in 2015, the government this week released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.
The project is anticipated to be finished in 2022.

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Asia-Pacific to be a dominant driver in global infrastructure

The Port of  Melbourne.

Australia, Singapore and China are driving momentum and interest for infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific, according to the CMS Infrastructure Index: A New Direction. Four of the top 20 spots for investment attractiveness were secured by Asia-Pacific countries, with robust economic growth across the region, ambitious renewables plans, and the world’s largest infrastructure project – China’s Belt & Road – set to reshape the continent’s landscape over the next decade.

Globally the Netherlands claimed top spot overall, despite a prolonged period with no government at all, after seeing the highest GDP growth since 2007, expected to reach 3.3% in 2017. The country’s success was in part down to its transparent and efficient procurement process, and its healthy multi-billion euro pipeline in road and water Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP). Other countries in the top five included Canada, Germany, UK and Australia
Shifting hegemony
China’s Belt and Road initiative continues to deliver on the promised infrastructure boom in Asia. Given the longevity of this project, changes in the balance of infrastructure investment in the region are likely to be profound. Though ranked at 20th position in the index, China is primed to become a global engine of investment, with close to a trillion dollars expected to flow through the initiative by its completion, while highly ranked countries such as Australia and Singapore continue to benefit from stable and prosperous economies. Australia’s federal target of 33,000GWh generated from renewable sources by 2020 has led to vast investment in solar and wind projects, and Singapore’s multi-billion-dollar development of Changi Airport’s Terminal 5 and the Tuas shipping megaport will solidify its position as a premier transport and trade hub globally. Further afield, opportunities in the likes of Malaysia and India are plenty – with renewable energy set to play a central role in future projects.
Adrian Wong, partner at CMS Singapore said: “The Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and most ambitious infrastructure projects, and the spread of four countries within the index top 20 reflects an ever developing opportunity for investment. While key success factors like government stability and political certainty cannot be ignored, the potential impact of the Belt and Road Initiative alone promises to stimulate economic growth through the continent and far beyond.”
Partner at CMS Hong Kong Dr Nicolas Wiegand said: “The risks of adverse government interference that are typically associated with investing in the Belt & Road jurisdictions are mitigated through an extensive and ever-expanding network of Asia’s investment treaties and free trade agreements with integrated investment chapters. In addition to investment treaties, political risk insurance industry in the Asia-Pacific region has developed sophisticated insurance policies for insuring foreign investment in volatile Asian jurisdictions. As with previous years, investor-state arbitration remains an efficient tool to protect foreign investments in Asia, with Chinese companies becoming increasingly frequent users of investor-State dispute settlement mechanism.”
Europe bounces back
European countries have bounced back after a period of stagnation. Quantitative easing, the Juncker Plan and EIB support have all contributed to accelerated levels of EU infrastructure spending in recent years, and with economies such as Czech Republic and Romania experiencing significant expansion, there is room for optimism for future investment.
Europe as a whole has experienced an upsurge in infrastructure investment, as many politicians have been willing to use infrastructure investment as an economic stimulant. As well as the Netherlands and the UK, Germany, Norway and France ranked highly in the study, particularly for innovation. In Germany, all dominant parties have placed their support behind PPPs, and it is expected that deal flow, particularly in large-scale transport PPPs, will stay the course.
UK not fulfilling potential
Maybe unsurprisingly, the UK struggled to hold on to the top spot it gained in a study conducted by law firm Nabarro in 2015. The impact of Brexit and general political instability is already starting to have an impact on infrastructure investments, as investors struggle with a lack of certainty in the country. Those operating across the sector are clearly looking for commitment and long-term policy from government to allay fears. The report highlights in particular the lack of consensus over infrastructure megaprojects such as a third Heathrow runway and HS2.
Canada rules the Americas
In the Americas, Canada leads the way whilst a lack of detail on Trump’s proposed USD 1 trillion US infrastructure project leaves the US lagging behind in 7th position. Notably, the Canadian government is to launch the Canadian Infrastructure Bank in 2017, providing a boost to the already reliable infrastructure market.
From oil to renewables
In other regions, MENA has succeeded in looking at alternatives to combat ongoing low oil prices. UAE and Saudi Arabia have shown a keen interest in renewables. UAE have already played a pioneering role in exploiting their high levels of solar irradiation, while Saudi Arabia’s recent commitment to clean energy is hailed as a game changer for the regional pipeline.
Traditional versus alternative investment
The report also highlights potential new emerging asset classes including 4G, charging stations, car parks and the likely impact technology, which is already revolutionising infrastructure. One example is the rise of smart roads and smart cities, thanks to the interaction of road sensors, fibre optic networks, interconnected self-driving vehicles and inductive charging roads, laying the foundations for a new generation of self-charging and self-driving electric vehicles. Cities like Dubai and Singapore are already making strides to lead the next wave of digital innovation.

Australian researchers developing rail safety computer models

Researchers from Australia and Indonesia are developing computer models to predict how railcars will respond to different track conditions, to improve rail safety and efficiency in both countries.
They’ve already created a successful model for passenger carriages, which has been validated against the performance of trains in Indonesia. Now the researchers are working on models for freight trains.
“For railways, it’s standard practice to measure the conditions of the track periodically,” said Dr Nithurshan Nadarajah, a research engineer at the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University.
“However, the influence of a track’s condition on the vehicle isn’t fully understood. So the thresholds for when to intervene with maintenance aren’t comprehensive, or optimised.
“Lots of relevant data is helping our computer algorithm learn about the relationship between track conditions, running speeds, and the response of a moving train under these conditions. This work will help operators predict the response of different wagons, and identify maintenance requirements based on performance.”
The researchers are also hoping the models could be used to predict optimal running speeds based on the track condition and vehicle characteristics, but that work is yet to be validated.
The project, supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, is using data collected by a real-time monitoring railcar – utilising the Instrumented Revenue Vehicle Technology (IRV) developed by the Institute of Railway Technology – which ran for several weeks during 2016 on a track between Surabaya and Lamongan in East Java, Indonesia. Further IRV data from an Australian line managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation is also used for this research.
When a range of different vehicles use the tracks – for example passenger and freight wagons – the risk reportedly increases, when using the current passive track condition–based maintenance threshold.
“The increased demand on railways – particularly in a growing country like Indonesia – is quickly exposing the crippling limitations of traditional passive assessment, and a number of derailments have resulted from a combination of track defects and rolling-stock condition,” said Nithurshan.
The project involves The Australia-Indonesia Centre’s Infrastructure Cluster, with the support of the Australian Rail Track Corporation,, Public Transport Victoria, the Institute of Railway Technology, Monash University, the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, the Government of East Java, PT Kereta Api Indonesia (the national rail company), Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate, the Lamong Bay Terminal container port.
 

Container expert SCF signs on for MEGATRANS2018

SCF, one of Australia’s largest container providers, will exhibit at multi-modal supply chain event MEGATRANS2018, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May 2018.

SCF specialises in new and used container hire, sales and design.

The company supplies the Australian transport, resources, construction, defence and chemical storage industries, and manages more than 13,000 containers throughout Australia as well as a depot network spanning Australia’s major cities including Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Karratha, Perth and Sydney.

SCF’s product range spans tanks, containers for site storage, accommodation and intermodal equipment, including refrigeration, side doors, pallet wide and high cube containers.

SCF joins the diverse list of exhibitors signed up for the show who cover everything from transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling, infrastructure and more.

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