Levy could cost WA Govt $2.4 billion

Western Australian mining companies could cost the state government up to $2.4 billion if they decide to fight the proposed $5-a-tonne ‘levy’ on iron ore exports.
The fee, which up until now has been $0.25-a-tonne, could be successfully challenged in a court of law, Murdoch University law lecturer Lorraine Finlay told the ABC.
If the challenge is successful it could also threaten the already existing revenue stream leaving the Western Australian government poorer by up to $120 million.
“The concern with the production rental levy is that it’s really an excise duty dressed up as a levy,” says Finlay, “and if the High Court held that that was the case, then the levy would be constitutionally invalid.”
So how would the mining companies get around the tax? Under Section 90 of the Australian constitution, states are not allowed to introduce taxes on the production, manufacture, sale or distribution of goods.
The increase is being championed by Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls who says the old agreement – dating back to the 1960s – needs to be upgraded to reflect 2016 prices, not those of 50 years ago.
“The Auditor-General reviewed State Agreements in 2004, he made it very clear that future parliaments shouldn’t be shackled by the terms of a 1960s agreement,” says Grylls.

Heathrow may finally get a third runway

The trade association that represents the UK’s freight forwarding and logistics businesses has given a cautious welcome to the news that the government has approved a third runway at Heathrow.
“Today’s news appears to be the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity,” says Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA). “If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.”
Airport Council International’s figures say that put Heathrow as the third-busiest airport in the world for 2014 after Hartfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia and Beijing Capital International Airport in China.
A third runway was approved in 2009 but was nixed when the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government won the 2010 election. In the past, the extension has been a problem that politicians have been trying to sweep under the carpet due to many contentious issues arising, such as where it will go and how the increased air traffic with affect surrounding communities.
“…We understand that a public consultation will now be held on the effects of airport expansion before the government makes a final decision as part of a national policy statement on aviation, with MPs then voting on that decision in the winter of 2017-18,” says Keen. “If that is the case, uncertainties remain. Whilst the UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling has hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted parliamentary and planning processes that are also likely lead me to doubt that any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.”

Coke contract allows fleet expansion

Pickering Transport in Swan Hill, Victoria employs over 300 staff, providing a range of road transport services for a list of local and interstate customers that includes one of Australia’s biggest supermarkets.
This year, the third-generation family business secured a contract with the Coca Cola Company to service Mid-west and Southern NSW adding to their previous contract with the beverage giant that service Northern Victoria.
To ensure they had the best possible fleet going into this new venture, Pickering’s bought 20 new Isuzu F Series trucks.
Justin Pickering, Group Sales Manager and grandson of the company’s founder, says that adding these new trucks to Pickering’s fleet has enabled the business to hit the ground running with their new client.
“We’re keen to grow this side of the business, so once we’d secured the new contract and renewed the old one we had to buy 20 trucks in one go, and Isuzu had everything we were looking for and the stock on hand to do it,” says Pickering. “Any changes we made were mainly to the body, as the trucks themselves are great. We did add long range fuel tanks, since we service as far as Bourke and Cobar in rural NSW.”.
The trucks feature beverage bodies, segregated for pallets of cartons so drivers can access orders. Each truck is fitted with an Allison six-speed automatic, making them perfect for vocational applications with high idle time or frequent stop-starting.
“The trucks manage between 40,000 and 70,000 km a year but it varies, depending on the job. It might be stop and go type work delivering product to stores, or some real tough outback jobs,” says Pickering. “In Bendigo for instance the work is very metro, they’re ducking and diving down alleys and under awnings. But a Dubbo run means driving 750 km just to deliver the product, so it’s big kilometers, across floodways and driving through rivers.”
The FVD 165-300’s six-cylinder Isuzu 6HK1 engine features a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for low maintenance and unparalleled dependability.
Each truck has 221 kW of power at 2,400 rpm and torque of 981 Nm at 1,450 rpm. Other features include ADR 42 compliant sleeper with mattress, an ECE-R29 compliant cab and an Isri 6860 air suspension driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support.

Touch3PL offers 24/7 user support

Supply chain solutions provider TouchPath is launching a fully multilingual, user-defined 3PL (third party logistics) solution – Touch3PL.
It is to be marketed in on-premise, hosted cloud and pay-as-you-go versions, with global 24/7 user support and integration with carriers and e-commerce platforms. The number of Touch3PL software licences can be increased and decreased in line with changing seasonal demands. While Touch3PL can utilise desktop PCs and handheld radio terminals, its core functions are also available as apps to give users the option to avoid mobile terminal costs by running warehouse processes on IOS mobile phones and tablets. Users can log in using any leading web browser.
“3PL is one of the fastest-growing supply chain market segments, but with historically slow-moving technology,” says TouchPath International CEO David Myers. “As a result, it has lacked a truly modern warehouse management system with the flexibility and affordability that its agile companies need. Touch3PL is our response.”
Touch3PL integrates with carriers including UPS and TNT, and with e-commerce platforms including eBay, Amazon and Magento, allowing customer orders to be fed directly into a 3PL warehousing environment.
Picking options range from pick-and-pack for smaller orders, or pick-to-pallet for bulk orders, through to wave picking to maximise efficiency. Touch3PL enables rapid and accurate customer billing, supporting different charge rates by customer, warehouse, item and process as required with accessible enquiry screen reporting. It also includes bill of materials (BOM) maintenance to support kitting, relabelling and component (re)assembly. Information is available to customers when their stock moves or an order is fulfilled via email or live Touch3PL web portal access to their own stock information.
TouchPath systems’ technology is claimed to capture more supply chain information for better business performance and faster ROI. Its custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems use building blocks that allow TouchPath software to be fully tailored with no limits, in line with user-defined business rules and processes.
TouchPath has operations in the UK (Halifax HX1 5ER) and the USA (High Point, NC 27265) and is actively seeking partners in Asia and Australia.

Melbourne warehouse to go live with InfoMotion

InfoMotion, a provider of end-to-end software solutions for the warehousing and logistics sector, has announced that eFulfillment Australia will go live with InfoMotion before the end of the year.
E-Fulfillment Australia operates a 3PL fulfillment warehouse in Melbourne and has provided fulfillment services including the design, development and management of eStores for Australian businesses since 2003.
In addition to providing product storage and time sensitive shipping, the company integrates its in-house order fulfillment and warehousing software with a customer’s eCommerce platform. This enables clients to access real-time order and inventory data through the use of tracking numbers which enable customers to track their delivery online.
InfoMotion’s icsLogistics solution, a single-platform, fully integrated logistics, warehousing and transport software system, will replace e-Fulfillment Australia’s incumbent warehousing solution which was no longer being further developed and equipped with new feature functionality.
“As a result, we went to market to deploy a new platform which could scale for our business and meet the demands for both our own company growth in the years ahead as well as support our customers’ ongoing requirements for agility, innovation and great customer experience,” said eFulfiilment Australia director Rob Harrison.
E-Fulfillment Australia will deploy the InfoMotion warehousing and transport feature functionality that will enable the company to manage and track the process of holding stock in a warehouse all the way through to delivery via third-party distributors and carriers. Key features include scanning products in and out, service tracking, reporting on scan and pick rates, stock holding, dispatching, order processing, receipt processing and managing transport and financials.
The 3PL warehouse management software is a paperless warehouse management system that caters to all modern contract logistics practices including cross-docking, auto put-away, rolling stock take, dangerous goods, multiple bin locations, pallet management and temperature zone control. It provides flexible provisions for reporting, customer web access and electronic data interchange (EDI). It also includes a flexible pricing structure for charging out pallet spaces and services.
At the same time, it will provide eFulfillment Australia with automated, integrated and real time client specific billing for every chargeable activity including handling, basic and minimum charging, extra items charging and storage by pallet, by location, by cubic, by product group and by commodity.
The InfoMotion icsTransport functionality will enable eFulfillment Australia to port data in real-time from their existing systems or directly from customers’ internal systems. Customer order management will be facilitated through both the client web portal and an EDI file interchange with automatic job rating, according to a customers’ rate card.

Arcadis launches holistic transport planning business

Arcadis Australia Pacific has launched a new mobility orientated development (MODe) business line and has appointed transport and development expert Kevin Brake to lead the new operation.
MODe is a holistic approach to planning transport infrastructure that factors in how to best integrate transport into an area to create a community-focused precinct that achieves the highest possible community benefit and value from transit investment.
Arcadis has international MODe experience, having used its bespoke MODeX tool on projects such as London King’s Cross St Pancras Station and Crossrail.
Brake has experience both in public and private sectors developing transit-orientated projects with a strong focus on sustainable infrastructure and using value capture as a funding model.
“I’m very excited to drive this new business and take Arcadis’ global MODe experience and apply it in Australia,” Brake said.  “MODe is an experiential approach to infrastructure planning. It takes the infrastructure as the foundation and builds upon it to create a space that will drive community engagement, which then provides greater investment return. It’s about driving better value capture and creating more from the assets you own.
“I’ve seen first-hand how siloed infrastructure and rail planning can be. Rail is vital to successful urban districts, so it’s crucial that public and private sectors collaborate to create precincts that meet the needs of the community. There are few examples of this done well in Australia, so I’m excited to take our MODeX global rating tool and see how Australia compares to international best practice.”
The new MODe business will sit within Arcadis’ Buildings and Urban Development sector.

Man dies after mine collapse in Queensland

A 62-year-old man has died after a makeshift mine collapsed on him in the remote outback area of Opalton.
Sidney Cuddy was said to be working alone when the incident happened. Cuddy was found under a pile of rubble on Saturday night. Emergency services were notified, but it took them six hours to get to the scene due to its isolated location.
Police and firefighters had to dig with their hands to remove the debris so they could recover the body of the popular Longreach man. A friend became concerned after finding Cuddy’s damaged car late on Saturday afternoon.
Opalton area is an opal mining location – one of the biggest areas to find the rare gem in Queensland.
The reason for the mine collapse is not known. Workplace Health and Safety and the Department of Mines and Energy have been informed of the incident and will be investigating. This brings the mining accident death toll in Queensland to two for 2016.

DHL opens Asian hub in Singapore

DHL Express has launched a €85 million (AUD$121 million) 24-hour express hub facility located within Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The 23,600 sqm facility is outfitted with the industry’s first fully automated express parcel sorting and processing system in South Asia, and is set to boost its operational capacity and efficiency, says DHL.
The opening of the new facility is timely as DHL has recorded healthy shipment growth in recent years, particularly in the southern part of Asia Pacific. Between 2012 and 2015, the average daily shipments for Oceania grew approximately 50 per cent, South Asia at 30 per cent and Southeast Asia rose 25 per cent. This facility is 33 per cent larger than the previous hub, providing DHL with additional capacity to handle the growing shipment volumes for regional and international destinations. The hub is said to improve the flow of goods between aircraft and the facility, and allows consignments to be shipped or transshipped within an hour.
“The DHL South Asia Hub is a significant milestone in further enhancing our multi-hub strategy in the region,” says Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific. “With four hubs in Asia Pacific – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok – this links over 70 DHL Express Gateways located throughout the region. Together, these facilities reinforce our customer commitment to provide the most efficient international express connectivity between key markets in the region. This will also allow us to add more network flights in and out of Singapore, such as the recent introduction of the Phnom Penh-Bangkok flight that adds to our existing Bangkok-Singapore service, as regional trade continues to grow.”
The facility processes up to 24,000 shipments and documents per hour and can handle more than 628 tonnes of cargo during the peak processing window.

New integrated reefers for Seatrade

Seatrade has selected Maersk Container Industry as the main supplier for its expanding reefer container fleet. The 4,000 new Star Cool Integrated reefers will be equipped with the latest technology to protect perishable cargo during long-distance transportation and keep energy consumption at a minimum.
The order of 4,000 new Star Cool Integrated reefers from Maersk Container Industry (MCI) will reinforce Seatrade’s perishable and sensitive cargo logistics.
Seatrade live-tested every relevant refrigeration unit option before deciding on Star Cool Integrated. Closely monitored shipments were carried out with chilled banana loads from Ecuador to Germany, during which energy consumption and cargo condition were measured. The results confirmed Star Cool’s higher performance, lower operating costs and CO2 emission levels.
All new reefer containers from MCI will be the Star Cool Integrated version equipped with the Automatic Ventilation (AV+) system. A large number of units will also be installed with the Controlled Atmosphere (CA) system, with the option of upgrading the remaining reefers if demand for longer transportations of certain types of perishable cargo increases. Energy efficiency is said to be enhanced MCI’s StarConomy software. This solution reduces energy costs without compromising produce quality, claims the company.
A proportion of the 4,000 units will be manufactured in MCI’s factory in San Antonio, Chile, ready for the fruit season in the southern hemisphere. The remainder of the order will be fulfilled by MCI’s facility in Qingdao, China.

Collaboration doubles supply chain capacity

Freight transport provider Toll Intermodal and Cristal Mining Australia have worked together to create a supply hub in Broken Hill that transports mineral products to Adelaide and doubles supply chain capacity.
The collaboration has been further recognised with Cristal announced as the winner of the Entrepreneurial Procurement Organisation of the Year at the 2016 Procurement and Supply Australasia Awards.
As one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide and titanium chemicals, Cristal Mining required a solution for its Broken Hill hub that would improve efficiencies and increase capacity to accommodate growth 15 years into the future.
The solution was centred on longer and heavier trains to increase capacity. Toll Intermodal enabled the improvements, new multi-purpose equipment and improving the materials handling process.
The hard stand was expanded by 6000 metres2; the Broken Hill hub rail line was increased by over 400 metres; and by pre-loading containers to allow a new container-on container-off approach, together with more powerful and efficient material handling equipment, loading time reduced from 18 hours to five.
These modifications have resulted in increasing the payload on every train by 40 per cent and a 30 per cent reduction in train paths – improving environmental impact with less fuel and carbon emissions.
Since the solution has been in operation, there have been zero safety incidents and injuries after more than a year.

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