The votes are coming in, the judges are preparing to deliberate and it’s time to secure your tickets for the 2018 Mercury Awards.
Australian television presenter and actress Livinia Nixon will lead the proceedings, presiding over a night celebrating the very best people, companies, and initiatives Australia’s supply chain industry has to offer.
Theres still time left to submit your nominations – put forward the name of an exceptional individual, company or solution here until voting closes on 12 April.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, the business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain, which takes place 10–12 May at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Head to the Mercury Awards website to purchase tickets for individuals and tables.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has confirmed the Australian Government’s support of inaugural supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018.
In a letter confirming the Government’s support, Chester cited the event’s relevance for the national freight sector and supply chain.
“This inaugural conference will bring together participants from the logistics, materials handling and freight industries to consider key issues for the freight section,” said Chester.
“This conference complements the Government develop of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy for Australia’s future.
“The Government looks forward to working with the freight and supply chain industry to deliver future prosperity and competitiveness. This conference will be an important component toward shaping that outcome.”
The Australian Government joins the growing list of MEGATRANS0218 sponsors, which include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and Isuzu Trucks, to name a few.
Connecting the Australian and international supply chain, the three-day expo will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption. MEGATRANS2018 will take place over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s30,000 square metres of space, 10-12 May 2018.
The Port of Melbourne risks becoming an “international laughing stock” if industrial action that has disrupted stevedore Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) is permitted to continue, according to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The VTA’s warning is in response to VICT’s revelation that the person the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is pressuring the stevedore to employ is ineligible to work on docks under Australian law because he failed to obtain a Maritime Security Identification Card.
“It is an affront to every Port of Melbourne stevedore and freight operator working in and around the port that the Victorian economy is continuing to be held to ransom by the MUA over what we now understand is a legal reason for this individual being ineligible for employment at the docks,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“The effects of this ongoing action at our busiest time of the year are being felt right throughout the economy when you consider that the more than 1000 containers and their contents sitting idle at Webb Dock cannot be brought to market and sold to consumers during our peak retail trading period.
“Not only are VICT and the hundreds of freight operators that cannot move containers in and out of the terminal being impacted by this recalcitrant industrial action, so too are hundreds of small business operators and their families that are being denied access to goods demanded by Victorian consumers.”
Anderson said it was a potential sovereign risk to the broader Victorian economy and the Port of Melbourne’s position as the nation’s largest port if the action is allowed to continue.
“VICT is already losing business to other Port of Melbourne stevedores through this action, but if foreign exporters determine Melbourne is an unreliable destination for freight forwarders they will send their business to ports in other states, at a massive cost to our economy,” said Anderson.
“So, while this action may be confined to VICT for now, the real risk as we see it is the long-term reputational and economic damage the action will create for Victoria as a place to do business.”
Anderson implored all stakeholders involved in the action to put the interests of the Victorian economy first and work constructively to bring an end to industrial action that is undermining the state’s hard-fought reputation as a reliable place to do business.
“This is not the time for our leaders to run and hide but rather confront the real issue of adverse union action that is brutal and selfish, and has a negative effect on the livelihoods all Victorians,” he said.
A report produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the country’s stevedores has suggested that Port Botany has overtaken the Port of Melbourne for container trade due to constraints at the Victorian port, as first reported by The Age.
In 2016/17, Port Botany handled 34 per cent of Australia’s container movements, with 33 per cent going through the Port of Melbourne – down from 36 per cent in 2015/16.
While the report did not directly link the Port of Melbourne’s reduced volume to the increasing size of container ships, it noted that it is the most likely port to put limits on the size of ships visiting the country.
The Age noted that the biggest ship to visit Australia, the 347-metre Susan Maersk that docked at the Port of Brisbane in October, would have been unable to travel up the mouth of the Yarra River to Swanson Dock, and its 10,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) load may or may not have managed to fit underneath the West Gate Bridge.
In a recent newsletter, industry body Shipping Australia wrote that with only one terminal able to take the larger ships – Webb Dock, with Swanson Dock out of reach – “Melbourne is already the limiting factor for the size of ships coming to Australia’s east coast ports and is preventing Australians benefiting from the efficiencies of larger ship operations.”
“The risk is that shipping lines may consider by-passing Melbourne for Adelaide or Sydney and use rail, or a smaller ship feeder service (possibly from New Zealand) to make the connection,” it added.
“This would ultimately cost the Victorian consumer, the Port of Melbourne and the state economy.”
After a brief hiatus, the Logistics & Materials HandlingMercury Awards will be relaunched in 2018 for the ninth annual instalment, in partnership with MEGATRANS2018.
The Awards, featuring a new design, will recognise the outstanding achievements and successes of companies across the logistics, supply chain and materials handling sectors.
The Mercury Awards is the official awards program of MEGATRANS2018, a business-to-business trade event focusing on the freight and logistics supply chain. MEGATRANS2018 incorporates all forms of freight transport, logistics and materials handling, infrastructure and storage and warehousing, providing perfect alignment with the Mercury Awards.
Twelve awards will recognise outstanding individuals and organisations across the supply chain:
Supply Chain Innovator of the Year
Safety Advocate of the Year
Best Technology Application
Sustainability Initiative Award
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Road
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Rail
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Air
Freight Transport Solution of the Year – Sea
Outstanding Graduate Program
Best Storage Solution
Best Infrastructure Innovation
Victorian Government ‘Contribution to Industry’ Award
The 2018 Mercury Awards sponsors include the Victorian Government, the Port of Melbourne and SICK. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information please contact Simon Coburn on 03 9690 8766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations details will be announced soon.
Container port operator DP World Australia has announced changes in leadership for its Fremantle operations and Continuous Improvement business unit.
Replacing Luke Westlake as Fremantle General Manager Operations will be Stefan Reynolds, effective 11 December 2017.
For the past nine months, Reynolds has led process improvement projects in Melbourne and nationally as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations.
“With over 10 years’ operational experience in the container transport and logistics field, Stefan brings a high calibre of operational and change leadership experience to Fremantle,” said Max Kruse, Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, DP World Australia. “In his recent position as Manager of Capacity, Planning, Gate and Operations Projects with Ports of Auckland, Stefan worked closely with a large team as well as other departments, to continuously focus and strive for exceptional levels of performance and customer service.”
In Melbourne, Troy Sparkman will join the DPWA team as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations, effective 30 October 2017.
According to Kruse, Sparkman has 28 years’ experience in the rail transport and logistics industry, and worked in most states and regional areas of Australia during that time.
“Troy has a significant understanding of supply chain and operational management,” Kruse added. “Having held general manager roles with Aurizon, most recently as the General Manager service delivery for the interstate intermodal business, and Regional Integration Manager responsible for operational optimisation and transformation of the Hunter Valley and West Moreton supply chains.”
DP World Australia has announced the appointment of executives for the General Manager – Operations position at its Melbourne and Sydney terminals.
Robert Snow joins as General Manager – Operations at the Melbourne terminal, effective 30 October. He brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry. He was previously Chief Operations Officer at APM Terminals for the Aqaba Container Terminal in Jordan.
The new General Manager – Operations for the Sydney terminal is Bas Hokke, previously Vice President – Group Operations at Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI), part of the DP World Group in the Philippines. Hokke brings with him more than three decades of global ports experience. He will enter the role on 22 November.
DPWA Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, Max Kruse, thanked Rowan Bullock and Ray Lee, who have been acting in the roles during DPWA’s global search for the roles.
“Their professionalism, guidance and leadership was invaluable to the teams in Melbourne and Sydney, and to the wider Operations Team, and we are incredibly grateful for their support,” Kruse said. “Rowan and Ray will provide a detailed handover to the new General Managers – Operations, and will continue to lend us their knowledge and experience through an ongoing working relationship with the Operations Team, beyond their respective departures.
“Thank you to Rowan and Ray, and a very warm welcome to Robert and Bas.”
The Australian and Victorian Governments have announced that they will back several projects aimed at taking trucks off local roads and connecting major Victorian freight hubs with the Port of Melbourne, using the existing rail network.
The Governments will soon seek expressions of interest to deliver a series of rail freight ‘shuttle’ initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the proposal would take advantage of rail’s ability to shift larger volumes of freight than trucks, while also busting congestion in Victoria’s capital.
“The Australian Government’s free trade agreements are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports,” said Chester.
“This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads.
“The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness, which is why the Australian Government is investing $8.4 billion in the Inland Rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne.”
Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the initiative will take trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s inner west.
“The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation. With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail,” Donnellan said.
“Alongside the West Gate Tunnel, 24-hour truck bans in the inner west and the Port’s rail access plans, this project will help shift containers from residential streets onto dedicated routes to the port.”
Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC, welcomed the Governments’ support of rail freight.
“Moving more freight to rail, where it makes sense commercially, has the potential to significantly improve freight efficiency, while at the same time improving urban amenity, reducing road congestion and decreasing queuing times at ports,” Kilgariff said.
“[The] ALC has been a consistent supporter of the Port Rail Shuttle project, which will be a significant enhancement to the Port of Melbourne, producing real benefits for freight efficiency in Victoria, and across the nation’s supply chains.
“In NSW, the state government is committed to doubling the amount of freight entering and leaving Port Botany by rail, which currently sits at 19.3 per cent. NSW Ports is likewise committed to moving 3 million TEU by rail over the longer term.
“There needs to be an equal focus on promoting greater use of short haul rail services for freight movement in Victoria.
“The Port Rail Shuttle will build on other significant investments being made in freight infrastructure – including the Inland Rail project, which will link the Port of Melbourne with the Port of Brisbane when fully completed.
“Constructing the Port Rail Shuttle to provide a rail connection between the Port of Melbourne and inland ports in Victoria is a crucially important aspect of improving the state’s freight network and driving greater supply chain efficiency and safety.”
In its response to the West Gate Tunnel Environmental Effects Statement (EES), the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has made recommendations designed to make the proposed road more efficient and productive for operators.
“Our strategic assessment of the merits of the Environmental Effects Statement of the West Gate Tunnel Project, has determined the project will deliver a high level of benefit in providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and supporting the productivity and performance of the M1 corridor,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“While the project will assist in improving transport connections with the city and the western and inner western suburbs, the need for the Port of Melbourne (PoM) to grow and prosper is vital to the overall prosperity of Victoria, and this project must deliver on Melbourne’s future growth opportunities.”
Specifically, the VTA has recommended that plans to meter heavy-vehicle entry ramps be abandoned on safety grounds, and to keep truck traffic moving seamlessly.
“Heavy vehicles, regularly weighing between 55 and 65 tonne gross mass, have great difficulty in entering the freeway at freeway speeds from a standing start,” Anderson added. “The VTA maintains it will be safer and more efficient, and would not impede the flow of traffic onto the freeway, if the heavy-vehicle lane is not metered.”
The VTA submission also recommended an additional lane be added to the eastbound entry ramp from Millers Road to allow for safer entry to the freeway.
In relation to user charges, the VTA has strongly recommended tolls reflect the net impact upon the infrastructure in a fair and equitable way.
“The tolling regime should acknowledge the multiple user and shuttle service providers to the PoM at an agreed threshold of daily movement,” said Anderson. “The transport operator should be eligible for a discount on the current tolling rates that would encourage full usage of the system.”
The VTA also made recommendations regarding construction congestion and ensuring that the Port of Melbourne will not be negatively impacted during construction, noting that McKenzie Road is a vital link and the construction process must not lead to vehicle disruption and road closures.
Other recommendations were for design changes at various locations to enable better movement of freight and less congestion.
LeadWest, the advocacy group for Melbourne’s west, has called for the Andrews Government to urgently progress development for an inland rail terminal for freight to relocate shipping container parks, and get dangerous and polluting truck traffic off roads in Melbourne’s west.
While truck bans have been announced on Francis, Somerville and Buckley streets as part of the West Gate Tunnel project, LeadWest has estimated that the majority of the 10,000 truck trips along those streets involve the transportation of shipping containers which are being transported to and from the port to empty container parks located in Tottenham, Brooklyn, West Footscray and Yarraville.
The Western Interstate Freight Terminal (WIFT) is outlined in the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne to be built in Truganina and has been in pre-feasibility stage for years without progress, the group noted.
LeadWest has called for the WIFT to be developed urgently so container parks and associated traffic can be relocated to a more appropriate location.
“As this type of trucking usually involves slim profit margins, often the vehicles are old and poor quality, worsening the impacts on communities,” the group said in a statement. “Developing the WIFT and associated freight activity centre would enable container parks to be relocated and the transport of both full and empty containers to the port occur via rail.”
Craig Rowley, CEO, LeadWest said, “Empty shipping containers are almost the biggest export from the Port of Melbourne.
“Empty shipping containers are stored in container parks in Brooklyn and Tottenham and then trucked in their thousands to the Port of Melbourne along residential streets.”
Speaking to Logistics & Materials Handling, Peter Anderson, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) noted that empty containers will be necessary so long as Australia has a working port, since the country imports more containerised goods than it exports.
“As the port continues to grow we need to strike a better balance between road and rail to enable those movements,” he added. “An intermodal hub is essential for this balanced to be achieved.
“The VTA has put forward a number of sensible solutions to the government to reduce the impact of heavy-vehicle movements on local roads, such as multi-user discounts on tolls, efficiency rebates for low emission vehicles.” and specialist training for drivers operating in the area.