Ontime wins freight supplier of the year

National transport firm, Ontime Group, has been awarded freight supplier of the year at the prestigious Dulux Group Annual Supplier Awards for 2016.
Dulux Group has held the annual awards for 26 years, to “recognise service excellence among its 7,000 plus suppliers”. Dulux Group’s suppliers are evaluated across 16 award categories against a range of complex criteria including account and relationship management, innovation, DIFOT (delivered in full, on-time), customer service, supply and quality.
Ontime Group is one of over 100 freight suppliers to Dulux Group, and was selected the award winner among three other finalists including Toll Intermodal and Mainfreight NZ.
Ontime Group’s win was based on its accomplishing a doubling in the delivery standard, from once-per-day to twice-per-day, for Dulux subsidiary Lincoln Sentry without adversely impacting cost. This provided a significant upturn in business.
Dulux Group also mentioned Ontime’s impeccable, ‘on time’ delivery record to a customer base spread throughout the three major cities of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Walter Scremin, General Manager of Ontime Group, was on-hand to collect the award and said the transport provider had enjoyed a long association with Dulux Group. “We enjoy working with Dulux Group immensely, they are an outstanding organisation and we value their acknowledgment.
“Dulux Group is like many fast-moving businesses which need flexible and responsive freight solutions, with outstanding customer service.”
 

Union demands govt keep train building jobs local

West Australian rail workers have demanded a State Government strategy to maximise job opportunities for local manufacturing workers and businesses, with the mining boom over and unemployment continuing to rise.
Workers, represented by the Australian Manufaucturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), signed a petition that will be presented to State Parliament calling for more public transport procurement to remain in WA rather than sent offshore with many major infrastructure projects now fabricated overseas and shipped to Australia for assembly.
As part of the Union’s Plan for WA Jobs campaign, the group has called for the $3.1 billion of new trains due be purchased for WA’s public transport network to be built in WA to stimulate local industry, encourage more apprenticeships and provide brighter job prospects as the mining boom comes to an end.
The Union’s WA State Secretary Steve McCartney said the local rail manufacturing industry was facing an uncertain future because of the State Government’s plans to purchase future rail cars from overseas manufacturers.
“The WA manufacturing sector and its highly skilled workforce has the capacity and capability to build the new rail assets needed for an expanding public rail network.
“Yet skilled railcar builders are losing their jobs because of the shortage of work at a time when the economy is already struggling due to the collapse of the mining boom,” McCartney said.
“WA has a good track record in railcar manufacturing. Thousands of WA-built rail cars are carting tonnes of iron-ore through the Pilbara every day, with the first fleet of electric Transperth trains in Perth, which were manufactured by UGL Rail in Bassendean, still ferrying commuters on millions of trips each year.
“Yet the Barnett Government has absolutely no intention of continuing to procure locally built railcars for future West Australian projects. We know this because as recently as September, the previous Transport Minister rejected outright a suggestion for more investment in the local train manufacturing sector when he spoke at a Chamber of Commerce and Industry event.
“This is cold comfort to the thousands of skilled workers in the rail manufacturing sector who have lost their jobs and many others who face uncertain futures at a time when the WA economy is already grappling with the end of the resources boom.”
The petition will be presented to State Parliament by Shadow Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
 
 

Choosing the right weighing system

The transport and freight industries have broad and differing needs when it comes to the weighing of goods and there isn’t one ‘right’ answer to the question of which weighing system is best for freight.
In these industries, requirements can range from static and dynamic vehicle weighing technologies such as weighbridges, axle weighers, truck scales, forklift scales, pallet weighers, weighing-in-motion (WIM) systems and onboard vehicle weighing systems through to calibrated and certified weighing systems for legislative purposes and management practices such as driver control systems and integrated software.  The solution depends on the specific weighing requirement.
Choosing the most appropriate weighing system depends on several factors including cost, speed of operation, efficiency, legal compliance, operating environment, frequency of use and accuracy.  It also goes without saying that for freight companies, time is money and their aim is to use their time, resources and equipment as efficiently as possible – so their choice of weighing equipment is crucial.
Speed is vital. Freight companies want to expedite the movement of freight and minimise the amount of time that vehicles spend on site so weighing systems need to operate efficiently without delaying operations. One example is forklift scales that can collect weight data seamlessly without causing any disruptions.
Accuracy is also important, because discrepancies in freight weights can lead to costly delays, disputes and claims and can have a negative impact on customer relationships. Billing accuracy and safe loading are commercial imperatives and freight companies need the peace-of-mind that there are no variances between the package weights that they are being charged for and the ones that their customers are paying for. Weighing inaccuracies can impact on a company’s profitability and bottom-line – so precision performance is key.
Choosing a weighing system that can handle heavy duty is also imperative. Many freight companies operate in rugged, harsh conditions and equipment needs to be sufficiently robust and durable to withstand continuous operation in challenging environments.
Freight weighing systems are also crucial from a legislative perspective. Trucks and vehicles have to be loaded within legal limits for compliant road use and to ensure that they meet the legislative requirements for duty of care and Chain of Responsibility laws. On-board truck scales are a good way of avoiding financial penalties, ensuring safety and weight concerns are addressed whilst at the same time, assisting operators to enhance their fuel and operational efficiencies.
Overloaded vehicles are also unsafe, so weighing systems such as onboard truck scales and weigh-in-motion systems play a crucial role in preventing non-compliant vehicles from entering the road network.
Further legislation in the form of the new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations will also have a major impact on organisations’ choices of weighing systems because this directive puts legal responsibility for compliance directly onto the shipper. In terms of these new global laws, container gross weights have to be verified before they can be loaded onto a vessel either at a verified weighing station or by combining the individual verified weights of all packages in the container (plus the weight of the container and any packaging materials).   These new laws will have a knock-on effect throughout the container supply chain – so it’s essential to understand what your obligations are and to choose the appropriate certified weighing system if required.
For operators across the freight industry, from warehousing and aviation to road transport, rail and shipping, having the right weighing system is imperative. If you need help matching your needs with the appropriate system, a good call is to talk to someone with extensive industry experience and a deep understanding of the legislative and operational landscape – because there should be no room for error.
Article supplied by Accuweigh.

Australian stevedoring prices cheapest on record

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released this week, stevedoring costs are at their lowest point since records began.
The ABC and others report that the ACCC’s annual Container Stevedoring Monitoring Report found competition levels had led to the lowest prices since the first report was written, in 1998 – 1999.
Investments in capacity and automation from DP World and Patrick, the owners of the four largest ports in the country, had been seen.
“Increasing competition between stevedores should deliver cheaper imports and lower costs for exporters and will see benefits flow through the whole economy,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in the report.
Productivity levels were “strong” and largely unchanged, “at close to record levels”. Capital productivity fell slightly overall, while labour productivity “increased from 45.3 to 47.0 containers per hour and is now at record levels.”

Thyssenkrupp Materials Australia opens new facility in Victoria

 Thyssenkrupp Materials Australia has announced the opening of a new facility in Dandenong, Victoria. The expansion will provide a growing customer base with a range of products and materials services.
“The opening of our facility in Dandenong is an opportunity for us to bring our quality products closer to where customers need them the most, and for us to establish a key footprint in the Victorian market,” said Brad Foster, General Manager, thyssenkrupp Materials Australia. “This strategic expansion signals our commitment to furthering and growing our operations in the country”
The new facility will offer a range of rolled and extruded aluminium products in the 2000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 series. It will also support the local Victorian market with other services including cut-to-size on both rolled and extruded products with state-of-the-art equipment including a CNC plate and band saw.

Rail track modules add to fuel efficiency on train networks

Running autonomous longer, heavier, fuel efficient and safer trains with less track wear has become more cost effective with new generations of XBee (ZigBee-based) communication modules, claims the manufacturer. These modules attach to the track and self-powered by new generation energy scavenging and smart batteries.
In basic terms, more measurement means more (process) management particularly when combined with logical and fast data algorithms to crunch the numbers. If Google can do it with online searching, then train control becomes a ‘walk in the park’. And that is what the Columbus Innovative R&D is about. It is suited to heavy iron ore ops, nation-wide container trains and export grain shipping links.
The technology can be fitted to both new and existing rail networks, quickly with less disruption, claims Columbus. Its 3R system of rapid rail restoration track rebuilding hardware is claimed to turn transport liabilities into revenue-positive networks, with less track wear for lower maintenance cost savings.

Courier company secures more funding

Crowdsourced delivery and courier service Go People has raised in excess of $2 million in two rounds of funding over the last three months, with its latest round raising a further $825,000.
The company is reportedly looking to to capitalise on the demand for on-demand couriers and become the go-to people for simpler deliveries. Go People – formerly knowne as People Post – has also undergone a facelift, with a new brand name and technology platform.
According to Wayne Wang, Founder and CEO of Go People, the recent raise and surge in demand marks a significant turning point for the company.
“Since I started the business in 2014, I believed the courier model could be much more efficient,” said Wang. “We went to market to change the delivery industry and disrupt legacy delivery and courier rules, resetting the benchmark of how deliveries can be made.”
Go People will use the additional funds to continue its growth in the domestic market, “and keep competitors at bay.”
“Although we have seen a number of new entrants come to market with a similar model or other on-demand services companies looking to expand into the deliveries industry, we’re not fazed,” said Wang. “Parcel delivery can be much more complex than other on-demand services. That is because a runner – our name for a courier – needs to be able to deliver parcels to multiple locations in the simplest and most efficient manner.
“That’s where our proprietary routing and grouping algorithms set us apart. We work out the best routes and the best locations for them travel, to make their life easier and, in turn, make them more money.”
Go People routing and grouping algorithms have reportedly been improved further, ensuring runners receive the best routes for bulk and on-demand jobs, fitting more deliveries into the day.

What will shape the future of shipping

Drones, remote inspection technologies and insights on cybersecurity were some of the main topics discussed at the DNV GL Innovation Day in Singapore.
The Innovation Day kicked off with a presentation from Dr Pierre Sames, DNV GL Group Technology & Research Director, on DNV GL’s Technology Outlook 2025. This report, which is published every five years, offers insights into the technology landscape for the next decade and showcases the technologies and solutions, which could shape different industry sectors. For example, DNV GL expects an accelerated uptake of cyberphysical systems. These systems comprise of physical components that can be monitored, controlled and optimized by smart sensors, advanced software and actuators. “Modern ships are becoming highly automated and are increasingly dependent on software-based control systems. Advances are likely to be applied to machinery systems first and then move gradually to vessel navigation systems, which will increasingly rely on advanced software and sensors to alert the navigator of possible hazards and propose appropriate courses of action to maintain safety,” said Dr Sames.
Drones were also a popular discussion point of the day. After successfully conducting 10 drone surveys, Catrine Vestereng, Business Director Tankers at DNV GL, shared the classification society’s experiences with using drones to inspect ship tanks and cargo holds. The presentation also included a live demonstration of a drone in operation. “The success of these production surveys shows how our investment in developing modern class solutions to the benefit of our customers is paying off. This has given us the experience to develop our own tailor-made drones,” she said. Using camera equipped drones to check the condition of remote structural components can accelerate the survey process, eliminate the risk of damage to the coating, and reduce the costs of as well as the time spent on erecting scaffolding and improve safety. The next steps for DNV GL include developing guidelines and training for drone surveys, as well as potentially updating the rules to reflect the use of remote inspection techniques.
Catrine Vestereng presented DNV GL’s digital twin solution, which could help owners and operators reduce their operational costs. A digital twin is a digital copy of a vessel, which synthesises the information available in the digital world, virtualising its systems. “The concept enhances information management and collaboration, where the experts can work together, preventing costly mistakes,” said Vestereng. “Sensor data, remote monitoring and analytics made possible by the digital twin enable more profitable, safe and sustainable operations. Therefore, the consequences of any new solution, for instance a software update, can be tested well before physically introducing it on board.”
With new communications technologies deployed in the shipping world, cyber security is a concern and needs to become an integral part of overall safety management in shipping, said Patrick Rossi, Senior Cyber Security Product Manager at DNV GL. He presented the company’s new Recommended Practice (RP) on Cyber Security. Developed in cooperation with customers, the RP provides guidance on risk assessment, general improvements to cyber security, and the verification of security improvements and management systems. It covers common threats to maritime assets, such as vulnerabilities in the electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), the manipulation of AIS tracking data, as well as jamming and spoofing of GPS and other satellite-based tracking systems. Importantly, the RP provides practical guidelines for vessel owners to assess current readiness, propose and implement solutions and train staff and crew to attain the appropriate knowledge to reduce cyber security risks.
Smart hull integrity management software, ShipManager Hull, uses a 3D-model of a vessel, that can help customers manage hull inspection information over the lifecycle of their vessels and use this information more effectively. The benefits include increasing the operating lifetime of a vessel, decreasing the total cost of ownership and achieving better transparency of hull condition and any anomalies as well as ensuring more accurate drydock planning.
Finally, there was Verif-Eye, which involves the use of cameras and distributed control systems (DCS) interfaces for surveyor-less surveys, remote inspections and real-time 24/7 support for customers. This technology could be used for annual DP trials/sea trials, typical verification/inspection services and activity monitoring, leading to cost reductions, less service interruptions, safer inspections, quicker reporting and greater transparency during the inspection.

Crown invests in online sales of pallet trucks

Crown has added a new level to its sales strategy with its  PTH Series of pallet trucks now available for order through the Crown website.
Crown PTH 2745 and 2045 models can now be ordered directly through Crown with flat rate shipping of $75 for one-hand pallet truck to any address in Australia. Additional hand pallet trucks for each order will receive discounted shipping rates.
Managing Director Greg Simmonds said that Crown’s online sales of hand pallet trucks is yet another way the company is making it easier for customers to satisfy their material handling needs.
“We’ve always believed in putting the customer at the centre of everything we do, and selling our hand pallet trucks through our convenient online store is another part of this,” Simmonds said.
The PTH 2745, with its 685mm wide and 1143mm long dimensions, is a suitable for standard Australian pallets. The PTH 2045, measuring 508mm by 1143mm, is suited to narrower European pallets or skids.
Both models feature solid-steel construction, robust linkage and pump, nylon wheels and entry/exit wheels

Case study: Innovation in Freight Transportation

Australia has a significant challenge ahead to meet its future freight task, with this task predicted by the 2011 Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) Report 123  to almost double between 2010-2030.  With the overwhelming dominance of road transportation of the non-bulk market (more than 78 per cent), the pressure in meeting this challenge will be felt by road transportation and its associated infrastructure.
It is likely by 2030 that the road transportation industry will require more than an additional 70,000 articulated vehicles to meet this demand.  The BITRE also predicts that although road transportation productivity (based on average vehicle loads) will increase by less than five per cent, compared to around 40 per cent over the prior two decades, the transport needs will still increase significantly.
With this massive increase in vehicles what impact will there be on the ability of road transportation to maintain its service levels? Will governments and industry be able to provide sufficient investment for the maintenance and delivery of infrastructure? And what about the other modes of rail and sea, what investment will occur in the next 15 years to deliver significant productivity gains?
Along with new technologies that can assist existing modes to further increase productivity, perhaps now is the time to also look at new freight transportation modes that don’t require significant infrastructure.
I am seeking the assistance of people based in Australia with supply chain/logistics experience to complete a 10 to15 minute online survey in the aim to collate a broad sample of the value decision makers place on the different qualities of freight transport modes.
A new mode of transport, cargo airships, are being examined as part of this research and whether they can assist in meeting Australia’s future freight task and associated infrastructure challenge.
By completing the survey you are contributing to the assessment of this new mode, which could provide greater operational flexibility and lead to new distribution models.
To fill out the survey, click here.

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