Logistics Hall of Fame honours Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.
 

ARA submits advice for national supply-chain strategy inquiry

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its submission for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities – the Ten Point Plan to Creating Greater National Freight and Supply Chain Efficiencies.
“The ARA supports the development of a national freight and supply chain strategy to guide long-term decision-making and investments by both government and industry,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“With Australia’s freight task expected to grow by more than 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, combined with our national population expected to increase to 30.5 million by 2031, it is critical that we act now to ensure that we are able to meet the freight needs of tomorrow.
The ARA identified 10 areas in need of attention to enable greater efficiency and productivity for rail freight, including linking future infrastructure funding to the delivery of reform, committing to a competitively neutral policy approach to ensure domestic rail freight markets can operate as far as possible on a level footing with other modal choices, a national framework for corridor protection and equitable access pricing for road and rail.
“Other areas for improvement also include maximising efficiency on the existing network, addressing ‘externalities’ that impact upon the Australian community negatively, supporting technology developments, addressing jurisdictional inconsistencies and continuing to identify ways to address challenges associated with different track owners,” he said.
The submission can be viewed on the ARA’s website.

‘Someone’s got to pay’: Toll Group CEO on road charges

Michael Byrne, CEO of logistics company Toll Group, supports the establishment and rise of tolls in Australia’s main cities, so long as operators do not rake in “outrageous” returns, he told The Australian Financial Review (AFR).
When asked whether Toll would consider a similar strategy to that suggested by logistics magnate Lindsay Fox, to have trucks diverted through residential streets in protest over rising toll charges for major routes such as CitiLink, Byrne noted that the company’s 16,000 would not be operating on local roads.
“Someone’s got to pay,” he said. “You can’t say you want this infrastructure to be more efficient and then not pay for it.”
He added that transparency of toll fee revenue and calculations would be key.
“We want to see people have a return on the capital invested in public companies that run toll roads, but we don’t want it to be an outrageous return,” he said.
“That’s up to government to regulate.”

IA appoints former Toll executive to board

Infrastructure Australia (IA) has announced a renewed board, featuring representatives with experience across many areas of infrastructure.
Julieanne Alroe, the new chair of the board, is CEO and Managing Director of the Brisbane Airport Corporation and has served on the IA board since June 2015.
Former senior Toll executive Andrew Ethell has also joined the board, along with Reece Waldock, former Director-General of the Western Australian Department of Transport; Deena Shiff, former senior Telstra executive; and Dr Peter Wood former Evans & Peck executive.
“I am really pleased that the diverse experience of the new appointees – across telecommunications, trucking and logistics, state government transport delivery and consulting engineering – will complement the skills of the continuing board members,” said Paul Fletcher, Minister for Urban Infrastructure.
“I warmly thank outgoing board members Mark Birrell, Gerard Blood, Michael Carapiet and Peter Watson for their service. I particularly want to note the outstanding contribution of Mark Birrell, as chair and previously a board member.
“The Coalition Government has established a stronger role for Infrastructure Australia and Mr Birrell has overseen significant projects, including the Australian Infrastructure Audit—the nation’s first comprehensive examination of infrastructure across the energy, telecommunications, water and transport sectors—and the delivery of the first 15–year Australian Infrastructure Plan.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the new appointments, particularly the appointment of the ALC’s former Deputy Chairman and Honorary Fellow, Andrew Ethell.
Ethell served on the ALC’s Board from 2008 until 2017, and was Deputy Chairman for almost that entire period.
“This appointment recognises Andrew’s considerable expertise across the policy issues of vital importance to Australia’s freight logistics industry,” saidMichael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“We likewise welcome the appointment of Julianne Alroe as the new Chair of IA, as well as the appointment of Deena Schiff and Reece Waldock to the Board, and welcome the continuing service of Nicole Lockwood, given her expertise in freight logistics matters.
“[The] ALC also acknowledges the contributions of the outgoing IA Board members. We especially thank outgoing Chairman, Mark Birrell, who has been a reliable ally for our industry over many years.”
“ALC has been one of IA’s most vocal supporters. As the nation’s independent infrastructure umpire, we believe IA plays a critical role in advancing the infrastructure projects Australia needs to promote economic and employment growth,” he said.
“These include transformational projects such as Inland Rail, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal in NSW, the Western Sydney Airport and, of course, recommending the development of a comprehensive National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which is being undertaken by the Federal Government.
“Andrew Ethell’s wealth of experience and close involvement in issues affecting the freight logistics sector will add an important perspective to IA’s deliberative processes.”

Funding earmarked for Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal

Wimmera grain growers are set to benefit from the development of new industrial lots at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal site in Victoria, following the announcement of $1.25 million in funding from the Andrews Labor Government for Stage One of its construction.
“The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is located on the national rail freight network and further investment at this precinct will create better connections from paddock to port,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.
Industrial lots with bitumen road access, street lighting and other amenities will be established on the 100-hectare precinct, for agribusinesses and food and fibre processors establishing operations at the precinct.
The Wimmera is one of Victoria’s largest dryland farming regions and the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is a key export hub for local grain producers.
“By investing in the best infrastructure, we are helping grain growers get more produce from paddock to port more efficiently – that’s good news for growers and Victoria’s booming exports,” Pulford added.
“Supporting Victoria’s agriculture sector by investing in key infrastructure is a priority for the Government.”
The $2.5 million development will be delivered by Horsham Rural City Council, with support from the Labor Government.

ALC says freight “crucial” to city development

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has stressed the importance of efficient and safe supply chains in its submission to the House of Representatives’ enquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.
“The essential items most Australians take for granted – our food, household appliances, clothing, medications and cars, to name just a handful – are generally not grown or manufactured close to the cities where most of us live,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“Because of this, it is critical that as the Australian Government develops and implements their cities policies, adequate attention is given to the way freight moves in our cities.
“While urban renewal has become a policy priority for state and local governments, the reality is land-use changes, made to allow further residential and commercial developments, are increasingly impinging on the efficiency of Australia’s supply chains.”
Kilgariff added that operations at nationally significant infrastructure facilities including Port Botany, Fremantle Port and the Port of Melbourne are currently, or are at risk of, being constrained due to urban encroachment.
“A truly safe and efficient supply chain needs to be able to operate round the clock, so that freight movement is able to occur at all times and operators can take advantage of off-peak road traffic volumes,” he said.
“[The] ALC’s submission also discusses the importance of corridor protection. For example, a recent study by Infrastructure Australia (IA) found that, with adequate corridor protections in place, $66 million could be saved when a future freight rail line is constructed to the Port of Brisbane.
“A discussion on CBD freight delivery, the separation of passenger and freight infrastructure and insufficient integration of new and existing transport infrastructure also forms part of [the] ALC’s submission.”
The ALC will be appearing before the Committee to elaborate on its submission at a Public Hearing in Canberra on Friday, 11 August.
 
 

Freight forum focuses on urban NSW supply-chain strategy

At the Sydney Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Forum, held in late July in Eastern Creek by the Hargrave Institute and Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Sydney, a select group were invited to discuss urban freight supply chains in Sydney, the performance of the current freight system, and its projected future performance.
Simon O’Hara, General Manager of Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) shared several key takeaways from the event, noting that the value of products moved by freight in New South Wales is $200 billion, transport can make up 30 per cent of the final cost of commodities, freight’s value to the New South Wales economy is $66 billion, it accounts for 12 per cent of the state’s gross product and, perhaps most important of all, it is expected to double over the next four decades.
Freight challenges discussed included urban encroachment, last mile, rail access competition, freight facility access and heavy-vehicle regulations, he shared.
“There were discussions around disruptors to road freight like connected and autonomous vehicles, truck platooning and m2m (machine to machine)/telematics,” O’Hara added.
He stated that the increase of volumes at Port Botany and Port Kembla was also in focus. “The figures for the increase are extraordinary with a tripling of container volumes out to 2045,” he said. “It is worth noting 80 per cent of import containers through Port Botany are delivered with a 40km radius of the Port and will continue for the next 40 years.
“This means container volumes which sit at 2.3 million (TEU) stretch out to 7.5 TEU at the lower end or 8.4 million TEU at higher end by 2045.
The increases are projected based on strong population growth in Sydney and the Illawarra region.
“Importantly, infrastructure plays a key role in the requirements for this freight task through Sydney and Western Sydney,” O’Hara added. “Protected and efficient freight corridors are needed, as is a connection of Port Botany to WestConnex.”

ATA calls for ACCC to regulate road, port charges

Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), should take over regulating toll road and landside port charges, Ben Maguire CEO of the Australian Truck Association said on 28 July.
The Australian Government is considering setting up an independent regulator to control truck and bus registration charges and road user charges that truck and bus operators pay on fuel.
Maguire commented that the independent regulator – ultimately the ACCC – should be responsible for toll road and landside port charges as well.
“Toll road charges for trucks are growing rapidly,” he added. “Small trucking businesses simply cannot afford them. Although these charges are set by state governments, the arrangements for setting them are not transparent and do not take into account costs across the supply chain.
“The ATA and its members have similar concerns about landside port charges.
“Earlier in 2017, DP World unilaterally increased the infrastructure surcharge at its Melbourne terminal and imposed a new surcharge of $21.16 per container at its Port Botany terminal. ATA member association Road Freight NSW pointed out that the Port Botany surcharge could cost carriers up to $150,000 per year.
“Separately, Patrick increased its existing surcharges this month, and introduced a $4.76 surcharge per container at its Fremantle terminal and a $25.45 surcharge per container at its Port Botany terminal.
“These charge increases cannot be avoided by trucking operators – they have not been subject to detailed regulatory scrutiny, they simply build additional costs into Australia’s supply chains.
“To fix these problems, heavy-vehicle tolls and landside port charges should be set by the road-price regulator, which should ultimately be the ACCC or a dedicated body established under its Act.”
Maguire said governments must start the reform process by fixing the overcharging of truck and bus operators.
“Truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $264.8 million in 2017–18. The meter is ticking up by more than $725,000 per day,” he noted.
“It’s time for governments to take action and stop overcharging the hard-working small businesses that make up the vast majority of operators in our industry.”
 

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CILTA to host regional logistics event

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILTA) will host an event in Wodonga, ‘The Next Generation of Logistics in Regional Victoria’, to discuss infrastructure, the commercial transport industry and more.
The event is timely as the face of regional logistics in Victoria is set to change, according to the CILTA.
“The prospect of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project being realised and the expansion of the High Productivity Vehicle Network throughout the state and along the Hume corridor will bring a new dimension to freight productivity in regional Victoria,” said CILTA.
“Logistics in the Wodonga region has grown massively over the last decade and these new road and rail developments will propel the industry to new heights.”
CILTA has also stated that significant change will impact the Wodonga/Albury region as well as neighbouring regions and their logistics hubs and facilities.
“The logistics industry needs to do its strategic planning now,” said CILTA.
Speakers at the event will include road operators, warehousing specialists, economic planners, infrastructure providers, logistics trainers and other experts.
The event will be held on 8 August 2017 at The Cube, 118 Hovell Street, Wodonga, Victoria, 9am – 5pm.

Inland Rail to enable modal shift

At the Future of Freight event held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Melbourne on 17 July, a panel of logistics industry experts discussed the need for, and barriers to, a modal shift in Australia’s freight transportation network.
John Fullerton, CEO of Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), noted that the nation’s much-discussed growing freight task will heavily impact the east coast.
“If you look at Melbourne to Brisbane, currently only 25 per cent of that freight moves by rail, 75 per cent is on road,” he said. “Compare that to Melbourne all the way to Perth, we’ve got 75 per cent of the freight on rail, primarily because we run trains to different schedules, we’re more competitive, we can run trains a lot longer, and we can double stack those trains out of Adelaide.”
The purpose for Inland Rail, he added, will be to complete the network of track between Australia’s capital cities that can carry world class–configured trains. “We’re going to get more freight onto the network, to handle freight for the future and get a better, more productive market share,” he said.
Maurice James, Managing Director of logistics and infrastructure company Qube, added that he sees the Inland Rail project as a great opportunity.
“I think [people] are underestimating the benefits of Inland Rail,” he said, adding that the time is right for the construction of a “huge” intermodal terminal at either end of the rail line, in Melbourne and Brisbane, to drive freight to rail.
“Freight doesn’t just come to rail,” he said. “Freight goes to rail when rail is more efficient against road.
“The opportunity that Melbourne and Victoria have is to identify where is that big intermodal terminal at the end of the Inland Rail [going to go]?”
James noted that Qube will soon discuss ‘fragmented supply chains’ with the management of the Port of Melbourne.
“At its worst, between a container coming into the Port of Melbourne, or any port, and the product ending up on the shelves, there could be anywhere up to 12 or 14 different truck movements,” he said. “People thinking about the product going to the warehouse, then to the store – [they don’t realise] everything behind that container, where the empty container goes, the reuse of the empty as a export commodity, how it gets back to the port.”
Qube’s model, he shared, is to focus on making sure every container coming through Australia is used as efficiently as possible.
“The logistics challenge ahead for the country is quite simple,” he shared. “It’s truck movements to rail head, a rail movement to Brisbane, and a truck movement to a final destination, competing with a truck, door to door.
“[Truck door to door] is quite easy, from a pricing, costing, efficiency perspective, but if you had…an intermodal hub in Melbourne and Brisbane and you’ve effectively [got] rail competing door to door with road, then you’ve got a serious chance of a significant modal shift.”

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