IAP update

Following Transport Certification Australia’s announcement of Minorplanet Asia Pacific Pty Ltd achieving certification as an IAP Service Provider, the RTA provided an IAP update to transport operators pre-enrolled for the IAP in New South Wales and Victoria.
Minorplanet Asia Pacific joins Transtech Driven, certified in July this year, as being able to provide IAP services to transport operators wanting to participate in the IAP.
IAP in New South Wales
Included in the update was a map providing an overview of the Higher Mass Limit (HML) network of state roads in New South Wales.
The state-wide HML network is only available for vehicles that become fully enrolled in the IAP by engaging an IAP Service Provider and having IAP equipment installed into eligible vehicles.
The RTA says it is continually assessing its road network for suitably for use by HML vehicles. Full details of the HML network are made available to transport operators that become fully enrolled in the IAP.
The update reminded operators that RTA transition arrangements for all pre-enrolled operators draw to a close on 30 June 2009. With all vehicles needing to be fully enrolled in the IAP to obtain ongoing HML access entitlements in New South Wales from 1 July 2009, the RTA encouraged operators to start planning their transition now.
There was also a reminder that the RTA’s HML Route Confirmation Service is available for transport operators wanting to confirm whether HML access is available on specific roads or routes of interest to their business. To use the service transport operators can complete the ‘HML route confirmation form’ available on the RTA website at www.rta.nsw.gov.au.
More on IAP access
On the subject of IAP access, TCA chief executive officer Chris Koniditsiotis said the IAP had been specifically designed to ensure transport operators had negotiated the access they needed before they engaged an IAP Service Provider.
“It isn’t a matter of buy the IAP equipment and then find out if you can get the access you need – in fact it is the opposite,” Mr Koniditsiotis said.
“Before they can engage an IAP Service Provider for IAP services, a transport operator must be issued with an Interim Intelligent Access Condition (IAC) by the relevant road authority, which indicates the intention of the road authority to grant the access provided the transport operator engages an IAP Service Provider to provide IAP services.
“It is quite clear the IAP was designed to ensure transport operators had the necessary access prior to acquiring any IAP services,” he said. 
Mr Koniditsiotis said it was also important for transport operators to understand that the data collected under the IAP was owned by them and could be accessed for other purposes.
“The IAP supports and promotes commercial telematic services. A transport operator can negotiate with their chosen IAP Service Provider to supply commercial services, what we call non-IAP services. Transport operators can also negotiate to have their data sent directly to their own back office systems to run their operational systems, as they may already be doing. Effectively there is little change in any existing back office commercial systems an operator may have.”
IAP in Victoria 
TCA welcomed the announcement in November by the Victorian Minister for Roads and Ports the Hon. Tim Pallas, MP, of the introduction of the IAP for heavy cranes and concrete pump trucks in Victoria.
According to Minister Pallas, the introduction of IAP technology will allow the provision of ‘increased access to vehicles on the approved routes’. The announcement also highlighted a number of benefits the IAP can provide, including improved road safety and increased road transport industry efficiency and productivity.
The IAP has also been named in the Victorian Government’s Freight Futures – Victorian Freight Network Strategy document, described as an ‘important companion’ to the Victorian Transport Plan. The IAP will be a condition of access for a trial of High Productivity Freight Vehicles in the ‘Green Triangle’ region of western Victoria and key metropolitan freeways.
Mr Koniditisiotis praised how the IAP is being used.
“It’s great to see the transport industry and government, including at the local level, begin to appreciate how the IAP can be used as a way of managing and delivering on the expectations of the community.
“In particular I would like to acknowledge those transport operators and associations that recognise that public acceptability in relation to heavy vehicles is an important issue and view the IAP as providing them access that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” he said.

Tripodi calls for more attention to ports

NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi has called for greater emphasis to be placed on strategic maritime issues, ports and port land-side links to promote better consistency in port regulation and national reforms.
Fresh from his global sojourn to find a buyer for NSW electricity assets, Mr Tripodi said this would be a key recommendation in the NSW Government’s response to the 2009 Review of the National Transport Commission (NTC).
“We want to elevate strategic port issues to a national level to ensure they’re given appropriate priority,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Australia’s ports are essential to its economic welfare, with 90 per cent of our trade going through our ports. They are dependent nodes in critical export and import supply chains.”
Mr Tripodi said NSW strongly supported elevating the importance of port considerations as part of the development of a national transport policy.
“To this end, a recommendation will be made to hold one Australian Transport Council (ATC) meeting a year to discuss strategic maritime issues and matters concerning ports and port land-side links.
“The aim is to promote greater consistency in port regulation and reforms nationally.”
Mr Tripodi said there were many strategic issues related to Commonwealth and state/ territory ports policy such as ports planning, access both from land and sea, duplication of resources, port ownership and administration, the domination of wharves by two stevedores, terminal ownership and access to terminal space for third parties, as well as infrastructure investment and who should pay.
Port and maritime matters to be considered as part of the development of a national transport policy would include:
How strategic port issues would be progressed at a national level. In particular, consideration of the development of a national ports strategy; and
Institutional arrangements to ensure that strategic port matters are afforded a high priority at a national level.

Asciano: heads I win, tails you lose

After threatening to withdraw from Victorian and NSW grain rail transport and taking the ball with it, Asciano (Pacific National) has signed a grain haulage contract with GrainCorp on which it cannot lose.

Asciano Group has finalised agreements with GrainCorp to provide export grain rail haulage services "that will deliver commercially viable outcomes for Asciano for the next five years". This is after Asciano said it would abandon its grain services in NSW and Victoria but refused to sell its specialised rolling stock to other operators in Australia.

Under the new agreements, Asciano’s rail subsidiary, Pacific National, will contract to GrainCorp eight trains that will service GrainCorp’s export haulage requirements in NSW and Victoria on a ‘take or pay’ basis. ‘Take or pay’ means that the trains will be at GrainCorp’s disposal even when not required, as it will have to pay for them even if there is no grain to be moved. Pacific National will benefit further through additional variable payments for export grain volumes moved.

“Securing a ‘take or pay’ contract with GrainCorp reduces Asciano’s risk in its grain segment and will ensure an acceptable rate of return for our dedicated grain assets”, Mr Rowsthorn said. “We are very pleased to have reached a conclusion that drives supply chain efficiency and satisfies the needs of the grain industry and of Asciano security holders.”

Mr Rowsthorn commented, “the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Regional Economics is predicting a bumper winter grain crop this year. Asciano will be well placed to benefit from any upside while ensuring the grain business remains viable in the event that drought conditions persist”.

In concert with these new arrangements, Asciano has resolved its Broadacre obligations with the NSW Government and will, as was originally intended, invest in the future of the export grain rail haulage market in NSW.

This $70 million Broadacre obligation will reduce by $30 million upon the transfer of a number of ‘branch line’ rail assets that Asciano no longer intends to operate beyond the date of transfer. These assets will be transferred from Asciano to an entity nominated by the NSW Government. Certain elements of ongoing maintenance capital expenditure on main line locomotives used in the NSW export grain business will be credited against the remaining obligations. As a consequence, Asciano expects its obligations under the Broadacre agreement to reduce to zero within 5 years.

GrainCorp Managing Director Mark Irwin said, “GrainCorp and Asciano have entered into a deal that secures a commercially viable future for grain transport in NSW and Victoria.

“The dedicated trains are an investment that underpins our core business of storing and handling grain upcountry, and providing export opportunities for wheat, barley, sorghum and other grains through our ports. The trains will also be used for domestic transhipment of grain, a key part of our business,” Mr Irwin said.


Supply chain report calls for government help

The Freight and Logistics Council of NSW (FALCONSW) has released the long awaited report into "Innovation in the NSW Freight Logistics Industry".

This first phase of work outlines a series of actions that could be taken by (the NSW) government to stimulate innovation and efficiency within the NSW Freight Logistics Industry in both the short and long term.

Beyond the conventional barriers to innovation that affect all organisationssuch as cost, market related issues and skill shortages, the report has found a range of factors that act as particular barriers to innovation within the NSW freight logistics industry.

These were grouped into a three major categories:

– Limited ‘co-opetition’– fragmented and complex supply chains, and unsophisticated end users can often act as a barrier to improving efficiency (e.g. small transport operators and retailers that have basic business processes).

– Limited interfacing – transport operations are often seen as providing a competitive advantage which can prevent firms in different markets working together (e.g., combining transport operations/resources to reduce costs).

– Significant number of transactions along chain, limited utilisation of technology and availability of relevant data can also be an issue.

– Domination of incumbent organisations – high barriers to entry for new players and long term contractual arrangements (e.g. in the provision of infrastructure) can also prevent innovation.

The report found that "three particular supply chains within the NSW, export coal, domestic grocery and export grain supply chains, demonstrated innovative approaches to overcoming these barriers. Other chains appear to be lagging in their efforts to take advantage of the drive for innovation within their chain primarily due to a larger number of barriers present. Consequently these chains are unable to leverage cooperation or clustering into effective solutions."

The authors call for an agenda to be developed for actions that can be taken by government to help increase innovation in this vital sector. They recommend that the following actions be considered as early priorities:

– Gather improved and additional data on the NSW freight logisticsindustryIn particular developing a strategic vision and agenda for next steps and taking steps to establish a freight database for Sydney.

– Focus on integrated infrastructure planningProgressing AusLink projects.

–  IPART recommendations for Port Botany and addressing issues surrounding Sydney Airport.

– Help industry make more informed decisions.

– Development of toolkits, case studies and reviews of new products and technologies to encourage greater take up of industry best practice.

– Establish benchmarking programs for the sectorDevelop indicators and programs to benchmark the sector against other jurisdictions and industries to gauge the relative success of any actions.

The report is available on the FALCONSW website (formerly Air Freight COuncil of NSW) at www.airfreightnsw.com.au under ‘Council Projects’, Innovation Report.

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