CEVA Logistics opens Australasian HQ in Victoria

CEVA Logistics has officially opened its transport, distribution and logistics hub in Truganina. The facility is the largest in the southern hemisphere and will service clients including General Motors Holden, Continental Tyres, NBN Co, Michelin, Caltex, Accent Group and Mazda.
The $80 million, 166,000 square metre supersite – equivalent to eight MCG playing fields – will employ 250 workers in Melbourne’s west and create around 40 new positions.
CEVA will also operate Nissan Australia’s new state-of-the-art National Distribution Centre.
CEVA joins other major companies such as NewCold Logistics, Border Express, Toll, Linfox, DB Schenker, Silk Logistics and Australia Post who’ve chosen Melbourne as the location for their corporate headquarters.
In a press statement, Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan, welcomed the news. “Transport, distribution and logistics are some of Victoria’s most important industry sectors, contributing $21 billion annually to the state economy and employing around 260,000 people across Melbourne and regional Victoria,” he said. “The Andrews Labor Government will continue to support the logistics industry in Victoria – a huge contributor of jobs and economic opportunity state-wide.”
“With Australia’s largest container port and a 24-hour, curfew free airport – it’s little wonder Melbourne has become the logistics capital of Australia” said Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan. “Transport, distribution and logistics are big sectors for our state, contributing billions to the Victorian economy and creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
Member for Tarneit, Telmo Languiller added, “This is an exciting investment for the Truganina area, supporting local jobs and strengthening the state’s logistics industry.”
CEVA employs more than 42,000 people in more than 160 different countries, including around 1,800 in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Andrew Jenkinson, CEVA’s Vice President of contract logistics, announced that the group handles ‘reverse logistics’, transporting and dealing with defective items returned from stores or car dealerships and warranty issues or replacements of goods.
“We’re very involved in their supply chain. We have assessors in every state who go and inspect and say it’s a genuine warranty claim or not. It’s all processed online.”
Eight B-doubles will be able to unload at once at the new CEVA structures, on continuous loading docks with levellers.
The structures feature 4,000sqm of rooftop solar panels, rainwater storage, smart movement-sensing lights that switch on and off automatically and technology including advanced racking, traffic management and material handling systems. The facility is also trialling forklifts motion sensors that detect the specially tagged safety vests one people walking nearby. This equipment can shut the forklifts down in case of accidents, and can also track their movements and cargo weight to increase efficiency.
The 166,000sqm site is one of eight major sites on Australia’s east coast leased to CEVA by developer and builder Frasers Property Australia.

Federal Government to waste 43 billion on NBN infrastructure?

In a move reminiscent of the NSW Government’s tactics of up-announcing major projects before they are cancelled, the Rudd government has announced it will increase spending on the national broadband network (NBN) almost tenfold to AUD 43 billion.
NSW’s weary electors are used to long-awaited, important infrastructure projects being replaced by grandiose, hyper-expensive, obviously inappropriate schemes that are cancelled almost as soon as they are announced, but not before millions are spent on pointless studies, reports and advertising – take Sydney’s north-west Metro, for example.
So it will be with some cynicism that many Australians listen to Mr Rudd’s upbeat announcement of the cancellation of the current NBN tender, and the announcement of a new program in which the government, with some private sector involvement, will form a company with a budget of $43 billion to build the network.
The $43 billion will be funded by borrowing, which places into doubt the federal government’s ability to finance other infrastructure projects already announced, especially in the road and rail transport sectors.
The announcement has been received with some incredulity by most commentators. In the Business Spectator, Stephen Bartholomeusz writes: “The much vaunted, lengthy, controversial NBN tender produced what? Nothing, actually.
“The NBN is, therefore, dead. However, announcing the complete and abject failure of a core election promise – the nation-building project that was supposed to carry the country into a high-speed broadband future – wouldn’t have been a good look for the government, given the importance it had assigned it.
"So, in a masterstroke of spin, Rudd and Conroy not only raised the NBN from the dead but also made it so much bigger, and grander and more ambitious – and more expensive – than its original form. The NBN is dead, long live the (new) NBN!
“Instead of the $4.7 billion taxpayer contribution to a private sector-owned and operated fibre-to-the-node network, taxpayers will instead spend up to $43 billion building a national fibre-to-the-premises network. Private sector contributions to the New NBN’s financing will be welcomed and, in a decade and a half, New NBN will be sold to the private sector. A T4, if you like,” he writes.
The leader of the Nationals Warren Truss is also questioning the benefits of the ‘New NBN’.
“The government was told repeatedly, before the 2007 election and afterwards, that its broadband policy would not work and hundreds of thousands of Australians living outside the capital cities would be bypassed,” Mr Truss said.
“Labor did not listen and has wasted 18 months trying to re-design a Coalition plan that would have seen fast broadband delivered everywhere around Australia in 2009, not 2017 as under the Rudd Government’s new plan.
“The Coalition signed off on $958 million for the Opel contract to provide fast broadband to regional Australia, and put another $2.4 billion into the Communications Fund to future-proof those services and provide further upgrades. In metropolitan areas where there is strong competition, existing commercial providers were willing to build the fast broadband network," Mr Truss said.
While many technology commentators have welcomed the plan, its long timeframe means that by the time the network is rolled out in around eight years’ time, communications technology may have overtaken it and made the same speeds possible on current copper-to-the-premises wiring (currently fibre-optic cables only run between exchanges, or nodes, not to homes and businesses).
Another concern is that the uptake of wireless broadband, which is running at six times of wired connections, means that there will not be a sufficient number of subscribers taking it up to make the roll-out financially viable.
From a transport and logistics perspective, the industry will be anxiously watching if today’s $43 billion NBN announcement will be followed by any cuts to spending on transport (and other) infrastructure.
That is, unless the next announcement will be cancelling the NBN altogether, a la NSW Metro.

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