ALC welcomes Sydney freight planning publication

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed a new publication from the Greater Sydney Commission, noting that it underscores just how important proper planning and the preservation of key freight corridors is to ensuring the efficient operation of Sydney’s freight transport network over the next four decades.
“[The] ALC welcomes Directions for a Greater Sydney, particularly its emphasis on sustained investment in freight corridors, such as the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor and the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“As the Commission correctly notes, the construction of Western Sydney Airport will be the catalyst for significant additional economic expansion in Western Sydney in the years ahead. This facility will complement the freight activity that already occurs at Sydney Airport and Port Botany, and help a burgeoning city meet its future freight task.
“It’s pleasing to note the Commission has also highlighted the importance of the Port Botany rail line duplication – a project which [the] ALC has long argued is vital in ensuring the city’s freight network is able to keep pace with growing demand,” Kilgariff added.
“[The] ALC strongly supports the WestConnex project and its potential to improve traffic flows and alleviate congestion for freight logistics operators using the Sydney road network.
“There is no doubt the Sydney Gateway has improved the project, and ALC looks forward to clarification as to how it will connect with Port Botany and Sydney Airport, given the critical role these two facilities play in the city’s freight network.
“The recurring theme that emerges in Directions for a Greater Sydney is that all stakeholders accept the need for strategically planned investments that will provide certainly and clarity for investors and local communities alike.”
 

Qube project to fundamentally transform supply chain

Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest intermodal precinct, continues to make headlines with yet another multi-million funding boost.
Freight and logistics company Qube which is developing the project, has secured $150 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) under the premise of increasing the use of rail networks to distribute containerised freight to and from Port Botany.
According to the CEFC, the project is expected to reduce freight truck emissions by switching the movement of over 1.5 million freight containers at Port Botany from road to rail, with an estimated annual abatement of more than 110,000 tonnes of CO₂.
As such, it is expected to reduce the distance travelled by container trucks on Sydney’s road network by 150,000km every day, and 93,000km per day for long-distance interstate freight trucks.
Locally in Sydney, it will cut an estimated 3,000 truck journeys per day from Sydney’s road network, particularly the M5, according to the CEFC.
“Emissions from road freight transport are a substantial part of our carbon emissions challenge. By switching to rail solutions, the Moorebank project will reduce emissions, reduce urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity for years to come,” said CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth.
Learmonth added that despite its massive scale – operating across a site the size of Sydney’s CBD – the freight and energy efficiencies delivered via the Moorebank Logistics Park are expected to result in net emission reductions totalling more than two million tonnes of CO₂ over a 40-year period.
However, this net reduction takes into account construction emissions, embodied energy within building materials, offsite transportation, operational emissions and savings from the onsite use of renewable energy. It does not factor in inevitable advances in technology over that 40-year period – for example the imminent introduction of Euro-VI engine technology.
Still, Qube Holdings’ Managing Director, Maurice James, said the Moorebank Logistics Park would transform the containerised freight supply chain in Sydney and deliver significant community-wide benefits.
“Our focus at Qube has always been on how we can improve the efficiency of the import and export supply chain, how we can provide a faster and more cost-effective way to get goods to consumers and the Moorebank terminal is certainly a key part of that strategy,” he said.
“Being able to deliver a faster and more reliable supply chain that creates savings for our customers, as well as remove thousands of truck trips from our roads at the same time as delivering very significant environmental benefits is a great trifecta.”
The Moorebank Logistics Park will be developed across 243 hectares in south-western Sydney, taking advantage of its location near the Southern Sydney Freight Line, M5 and M7 motorways and in an area of rapid population and economic growth.
It is expected to deliver “significant job creation”, with the precinct employing as many as 6,800 people when operating at full capacity and over 1,300 jobs to be created during the construction phases.

PFD Food Services commissions new NSW facility

Australian food distributor PFD Food Services will soon add a new cold storage and food production facility to its portfolio in western Sydney.
Frasers Property Australia will construct the $70 million, 22,208m2 development on a 60,000m2 plot at its industrial site in Chullora, 15km west of the Sydney CBD.
It is expected to be completed in mid-2018.
PFD also recently commissioned Vaughan Constructions to build a $36 million, 25,500m2 facility on a 74,400m2 site in Knoxfield, 27km east of Melbourne’s CBD.

Render of the Knoxfield, VIC, construction, supplied by Vaughan Constructions.
Render of the Knoxfield, VIC, construction, supplied by Vaughan Constructions.

It will comprise 20,900m2 of refrigerated, ambient and seafood storage, along with 3,000m2 of office space.
Scheduled for completion in late 2017, the development recently hit the halfway mark, and Vaughan Constructions has shared a time-lapse video of the project’s progress.
“Construction of PFD Food Services’ new Knoxfield facility is progressing well,” Andrew Noble, Managing Director, Vaughan Constructions told Logistics & Materials Handling. “Vaughan Constructions is anticipating project completion at the end of September 2017.”
 

NZ and China expansion for FreightExchange

Sydney company FreightExchange is looking to take its online freight capacity marketplace overseas, with support from the NSW Government.
John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Small Business and Skills, said the company, which received a $98,000 Building Partnerships Grant from the private sector–led, NSW government–backed ‘Jobs for NSW’ program, had grown 587 per cent in 2015/16, with revenue of more than $1 million and over 800 carriers and 1,700 shippers on its books.
“FreightExchange is a great example of a clever company developing technology to make NSW more efficient while creating jobs and growing the economy,” said Barilaro.
“Former management consultant and FreightExchange founder and CEO Cate Hull saw the massive amount of under-utilised capacity of trucks on Australian roads and she knew she was on to something.
“This smart online platform uses GPS tracking to take advantage of unused capacity on long-haul freight by connecting shippers with carriers and allowing them to instantly book their freight, get a price and get it moving.
“The company, which now has 12 staff and focuses on long-haul trucking, has developed apps which allow companies big and small to plug directly into the system to match unused capacity with freight orders instantly.
“After building the company from scratch, Cate is now hoping to take the company global, with a pilot set for New Zealand this month and plans to expand to Shenzhen, Singapore and Hong Kong,” Barilaro added.
Hull said the Jobs for NSW Building Partnerships grant had been a huge help in growing the business.
“To big businesses it might sound like a small amount but to us it was significant,” she said.
“We used the Jobs for NSW grant to build the product, but also to deal with the growing pains of a small company – the team has close to doubled in the past year.
“The more we can drive efficiency the better it is for NSW. The dream is to create a platform that in future orchestrates self-driving trucks and automates the buying of selling and freight capacity internationally – a global platform,” Hull said.

VTA urges operators to pass on Patrick fees increases

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has advised members to pass on in full increases to infrastructure surcharges announced on 9 June by stevedore Patrick.
Patrick will introduce a new surcharge at its Sydney and Fremantle terminals, $25.45 per box and $4.76 per box, respectively.
The surcharge at its Fisherman Islands and East Swanson Dock terminals will increase by $32.55 per box and $32 per box, respectively. It will also increase its ancillary charges due to increased labour and energy costs.  The new rates will take effect on 19 July.
Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA, said operators had no choice but to pass on the higher surcharge.
“At a time when operators are facing unprecedented increases to infrastructure and road user charges in and around the Port of Melbourne, it is important to ensure the increases are passed on through the supply chain for freight businesses to remain sustainable and viable in a competitive trading environment,” he said.
“Customers need to understand that the costs of doing business for transport operators are increasing rapidly, and that transactional costs such as this surcharge ultimately must be worn by consumers of goods and services.”
Anderson commended Patrick for extending one-stop trading terms from seven to 30 days, which will help operators transition and adjust for the changes to the surcharge.
 

Sendle recognised for small-business focus

Sendle has received the Good Design Award for Service Design – Commercial Services at the 2017 Good Design Awards, held on 8 June at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney.
The accolade was given in recognition of Sendle’s business model which is specifically designed for small businesses.
Commenting on the win, James Chin Moody Founder and CEO, Sendle, said,
“We started Sendle to make parcel delivery for small businesses simple, reliable and affordable – and we’ve done this by focusing on good design across our software, courier network and customer support.
“The ease of account creation, intuitive interface and simple pricing is designed to help very small businesses, while powerful features and integrations satisfy larger business needs. Good design should not be overlooked in any business, and it’s given us a strong competitive edge in a market monopolised by the post office.”
 
 

Rohlig opens Sydney warehouse facility

International freight forwarding firm Rohlig Logistics has opened a new 6,000m2 warehouse in Sydney.
The new warehouse is equipped with the latest in warehousing and logistics technology, including a sunken dock with a seven-metre in-ground hoist capable of handling 14 tonnes of airfreight. Additionally, the facility will be able to handle up to 4,000 pallet spaces, covering from warehousing and freight, to contract logistics.
“Our research and development team are always looking at new processes and technologies that can streamline our operations, deliver cost savings and efficiency, while also adding value for customers,” said Hany Amer, Managing Director, Rohlig Australia. “The sunken dock, for example, means we are able to cope with much bigger loads and offer more services than any of our competitors.”
This new addition to the organisation’s operations is the latest in a line of improvements to facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Freemantle and Adelaide, following the launch of a small parcel service last year and a new customs consulting service.

Qube raising $350 million equity for Moorebank

Qube has announced a $350 million equity raising to fund new warehousing and strategic growth initiatives for Moorebank Logistics Park, Australia’s largest intermodal precinct.
Earlier in May, Qube officially commenced development at Moorebank and it is now in discussions with potential tenants for the development.
Qube has announced that it expects to fund the construction of at least $80 million of new warehousing for Moorebank, including the warehouse for the soon-to-be-announced first tenant as well as an initial warehouse facility for Qube Logistics, and construction is expected to commence in early 2018.
“Qube is pleased to have achieved a further important milestone, with the development of the first new warehousing at Moorebank bringing us a step closer to realising the substantial benefits that the Moorebank project will deliver for customers, suppliers, and the entire East Coast freight and logistics chain,” said Maurice James, Managing Director, Qube.
“We are delighted with the initial reaction of potential tenants to the transformational proposition that is provided by the Moorebank facility” he added.
New warehousing at Moorebank is to be built on demand and with pre-commitments from tenants.
Qube has invested around $140 million in the 2017 financial year to date to acquire the remaining 33 per cent of Moorebank it did not already own and on initial development capital expenditure, Qube expects to invest $400 million of capital expenditure in the development of Moorebank – excluding warehousing and rail shuttle capital expenditure ­– over the first 5 years.

Parkes NSW makes cheeky Amazon bid

Parkes, New South Wales, a town perhaps best known for its reknowned annual Elvis festival, has released a light-hearted video detailing the reasons why Amazon should choose to set its fulfilment operations up there when the eCommerce giant arrives in Australia.
Telling the story of a man using Amazon to get his hands on an Elvis costume, the video notes that Parkes’ air, road and rail connections make it a worthy contender for Amazon’s warehouses.
Parkes Shire Council noted that the town is an intermodal national logistics hub situated where the north-south and east-west rail corridors intersect, “at the crossroads of the nation,” with a regional airport and accessible road networks enabling over 80 per cent of Australia’s population to be reached overnight.
The Council added that Amazon and Parkes “adds up,” as it offers intermodal transport, affordable land and liveable communities.
Check out the video below.

 
 

Shippit turns down $5M funding boost

Sydney-based logistics and shipping business Shippit has rejected a $5 million investment offer in its Series A funding round, instead accepting $2.2 million to fund in order to drive its growth and Asia-Pacific expansion.
250,000 parcels are delivered via Shippit’s platform each month, and many of the company’s 750 clients are major retailers, including Harvey Norman, Sephora, Topshop, Thankyou and Pet Circle.
Shippit’s Series A funding round attracted strong investor interest due in part to the company’s announcement of significant growth of its subscriber base and a 200 per cent increase in monthly profits.
“During the raising process, Shippit’s user base grew ahead of our projections which reduced our capital requirement and prompted us to review our growth ambitions,” said co-CEO Rob Hango-Zada.
Hango-Zada and his co-CEO William On decided to reject the $5 million investment secured through the funding round, having calculated that the growth push would cost around $2 million.
“We’ve always been fiscally responsible, however when we reconsidered the amount that was required to fuel our next phase of growth, the figure was actually much closer to [$2.2 million],” Hango-Zada added.
“We received a humbling flurry of interest, however, we didn’t think it would be wise to accept more capital than we actually required. The purpose of this raise was specifically to obtain growth capital to invest in strategic hires, building out the local team, as well as supporting rapid expansion into international markets.”
Lead investor Aura Group, a well-established venture fund, has experience dealing in the APAC market, which will benefit Shippit as it makes its bid for the market.
“Shippit stood out to us because of the scalability of its platform and its alignment to the global opportunity being driven by the transition of retail into e-commerce,” said Eric Chan, Managing Director, Aura Group.
“The predominant reason we invested, however, was because we believe Shippit has the right founders to execute on a well-considered strategy and vision.”

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