Automation in APAC: trends for 2019

Jon Young

From the most recent smartphone to the latest fashion, keeping up-to-date with trends can be tiring. In the manufacturing industry, future-proofing your factory may seem like a daunting task, especially as parts become obsolete as quickly as new advancements emerge.
Asia Pacific countries can expect a surge in workplace automation, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, over the next three years. According to research from Willis Towers Watson’s Global Future of Work Survey, automation is set to account for around twenty three per cent of work being done across the region.
This compares with thirteen percent of work using AI and robotics today, and just seven per cent three years ago. With this growth in mind, how should manufacturers adapt to stop them from falling behind?
Visualising maintenance
Virtual technology has been around for a while, and is most often associated with design and entertainment industries. However, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been breaking into industrial environments over the past few years, and this growth is set to continue.
Enabled by the increased networking of equipment, such as programmable logic controllers (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, predictive maintenance uses data obtained by sensors to monitor the condition of equipment. By analysing this data, engineers can predict when equipment parts may need servicing or replacing, allowing them to intervene before the system fails.
AR and VR take things to the next level. By using a smart device, maintenance engineers can create a digital representation of a fault and, more importantly, the solution. This level of maintenance will allow engineers to pinpoint exactly where a system may fail, ensuring the correct replacement part is ordered well in advance.  EU Automation can help your maintenance plan stay ahead of the game by delivering parts worldwide and within 48 hours, meaning broken equipment will never have to put manufacturing on hold.
Going retro
When thinking towards the future, the phrase ‘out with the old, in with the new’ may spring to mind. This doesn’t always need to be the case. As complete upgrades can be costly and time-consuming, many manufacturers will continue to teach older machinery new tricks with retrofitting.
Industrial components that are coming to the end of their service life are always at risk of causing unexpected downtime or delays to production. Retrofitting improves machine reliability by replacing older components with more advanced equipment.
Integration doesn’t need to break the bank. As production rates are so high, some components become obsolete after only a few years, making them an economical option.
Getting personal
One size no longer fits all. Over the last decade, the design-it-yourself business model has snuck quietly into the manufacturing market. Even major producers like Nike and Adidas offer specialised web portals that allow customers to design footwear personalised to their own aesthetic and functional needs.
Thanks to other key innovations in the industry, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, automation will continue to take the desire to differentiate to a mass scale.
But mass customisation puts pressure on manufacturing companies to up their game in nearly every aspect of their operations, from customer sales to crafting flexible yet cost-effective custom manufacturing processes. Manufacturers must be lean and adaptable to deliver variations on products and quickly respond to changes in requirements. It will be of no surprise therefore, if machinery were to feel the impact.
As automation advances, keeping on top of the latest trends may seem tricky. However, preparing for what 2019 has to offer can be made simpler. EU Automation’s fast delivery time guarantee means your new part can be with you on the same day, minimising downtime when integrating new and old technologies.
Jon Young is the sales director of obsolete equipment supplier EU Automation.

Supply chain visibility and social responsibility

A new study from MIT Sloan School has found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for supply chain visibility.
Companies from Patagonia to Nike to Levi’s are leading the charge on social responsibility and supply chain transparency and they’ve encouraged their competitors to follow suit. But getting better visibility into a supply chain is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour for apparel makers. What’s more, its benefits are not entirely clear. Do customers really care? And if they do, are they willing to reward a company for its efforts?
A new study, led by two MIT Sloan School of Management professors, provides answers. The research finds that customers do indeed value information related to a company’s supply chain, and many are prepared to pay a premium for greater supply chain visibility. The study, published in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, has implications for companies debating how transparent to make their supply chains and also how best to convey their social responsibility efforts to customers.
“Historically, many companies kept their supply chains as a closely guarded secret,” said Tim Kraft, visiting assistant professor of operations management, one of the study’s authors. “But recent events, such as the Foxconn suicides in Shenzhen in 2010 and the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013, have shifted the paradigm. Now, many companies realise an expectation is being set that they need to put this information out there for consumers to see. But even as they’ve increased their transparency, most weren’t sure that it made a difference to customers. Our study demonstrates that it does make a difference: Customers want to know more about where and how the products they purchase are made.”
Professor Kraft and his co-authors — Yanchong Zheng, the Sloan School Career Development Professor, associate professor of operations management at MIT Sloan, and León Valdés, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business — conducted a series of laboratory experiments that mimicked the dynamics of a supply chain with a three-player game where participants played the roles of a consumer, a seller, or a worker. The experiment examined whether and how visibility into the outcome of the seller’s effort to improve the treatment of the worker impacts the price premium that consumers are willing to pay to the seller. All players’ decisions were incentivised, i.e. their actions directly impacted their payments from the experiment.
The researchers varied the extent to which the company’s social responsibility efforts were known to participants. Sometimes both the company and the consumer could see the outcome of the company’s effort to increase the worker’s pay. Other times, even the company was uncertain of the outcome of its effort. (In practice, although companies have full knowledge about their own efforts, they do not necessarily have the same level of knowledge about their suppliers’ practices.)
“Our results show that social responsibility matters to customers,” said Professor Zheng. “Yes, gaining supply chain visibility requires massive time and financial commitments. Many companies have hundreds of suppliers and those suppliers, in turn, have tens of hundreds of suppliers of their own. It is a massive undertaking to verify that everything is being done properly. And yet, our findings show that it can be worthwhile — not only for the social good, but also for a company’s market position.”
The study also highlights how a company’s messaging about its social responsibility initiatives resonates with different target customers. For instance, the researchers found that if consumers naturally care about others’ wellbeing, then they tend to be less interested in learning about the amount of effort that a company exerts and more interested in observing greater visibility into the outcomes of such effort. If instead, consumers are more driven by self-interests, then under high levels of supply chain visibility, they may be willing to reward a company for its social responsibility efforts. However, under lower levels of visibility, these same consumers may punish a company for low effort or even justify a lower willingness to pay by further shifting responsibility for the workers’ well-being onto the company.
“For companies that are trying to figure out how best to communicate their social responsibility efforts, the lesson is clear: know your customers,” said Professor Kraft. “Understanding their needs, values, attitudes, and personality traits will help companies send the right messages to the right people.”

Electronic invoicing: the way forward

The Ombudsman for Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise, Kate Carnell AO, has encouraged larger businesses to offer e-Invoicing to their small business clients.
Speaking at the recent Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) Annual Conference on ‘e-Invoicing, Ms Carnell said: “We will continue to advocate digitisation, and its many applications, so small businesses can realise the benefits of participating competitively in the digital economy.”
e-Invoicing is a digital practice where trading partners directly exchange invoice data, enabling the invoice to be directly lodged in the recipients accounting system.
The adoption of e-Invoicing promises to generate huge savings for both large and small business. Studies have shown that the processing costs associated with e-Invoicing can be as much as 80% less than traditional paper and PDF style invoices. A paper invoice can cost as much as $30.87, with its PDF cousin, typically delivered via email, being only slightly less at $27.97. In comparison, an e-Invoice attracts only $9.18 in processing costs. A significant saving for all participants.
There are 2.2 million small businesses, which represents 97% of all businesses in Australia. Over 50% have adopted cloud-based accounting systems.
This high rate of adoption in the small business community opens up the opportunity for larger business to provide an easy time-saving low-cost purchasing process to their small business clients.
ABSIA’s resident e-Invoicing expert, Simon Foster, will be holding a free education session for the supply chain industry on 16 January in Sydney. Simon Foster is also the e-Invoicing leader for the Digital Business Council (DBC) and the founder of Squirrel Street, an eBusiness enablement provider.
For booking and more information click here.

Online disappointment: 53% deliveries are late

More than half of Australians (53%) have been left disappointed during the festive season after online orders failed to arrive on time, new research from location mapping company HERE Technologies has revealed. West Australians are the worst off with three in five left empty handed, while Tasmanian shoppers are the least likely to be left hanging during the festive season (41%).
With retailers and logistics companies struggling to meet booming digital shopping demands, late deliveries (47%) or inaccurate estimated delivery times (39%) topped the frustrations of online Christmas shoppers. The trauma of waiting for parcels to arrive before a festive event has caused stress and anxiety for 43% of buyers, and one in five has had to rush in-store for a last-minute gift when an online order failed to arrive on time.
“Order tracking in the last leg of the purchase is a crucial issue for retailers to address, as there is a clear mismatch between what customers expect and what is currently provided by retailers,” said head of Oceania at HERE Technologies Daniel Antonello.
“We know shoppers want to have more visibility and real-time information on their online orders, in fact 90% want to be able to track their parcel in the same way they can see where a Deliveroo or UberEats driver is with their dinner.”
“Given most of the frustrations faced by shoppers relate to shipping challenges, there is a huge opportunity to improve supply chain management and customer service with tracking technology, which our research shows customers would be willing to pay a premium for.”
Ensuring a seamless delivery could also boost sales for retailers, given three quarters (76%) highlighted punctual delivery as the most important consideration when shopping online during Christmas, and almost a fifth (19%) would pay more for an item from a store that they trust to deliver on time.
Despite the risk of late deliveries, many Australians still opt to do their festive shopping online. Over a third (36%) of Australians split their Christmas shopping list between online and instore, with almost twice as many men (21%) choosing to do their shopping exclusively online than women (12%). Some shoppers also opted to take things into their own hands by using ‘click and collect’ (38%), of which millennials were the most likely to decide to head instore to pick up their online purchase (18-35, 44%).
The research was based on a survey conducted by PureProfile of 1,004 participants between the ages of 18 to 65 across Australia.
Other key research findings include:

  • Top shopper frustrations when doing Christmas shopping online include:
    • Delivery is late (47%).
    • Inaccurate delivery date/time (39%).
    • Retailer does not provide regular updates on my order (34%).
    • Inability to track my order like I can for a Deliveroo/UberEats order (29%).
  • To avoid the frustration of a late festive delivery, shoppers have:
    • Completed online shopping earlier (71.9%).
    • Chosen to click and collect (37.9%).
    • Paid more for an item from an online store they trusted would deliver on time (18.5%).
  • When looking into the millennial shopper, findings revealed:
    • 1 in 5 millennial shoppers would pay more for an item from an online store they knew would deliver on time.
    • A quarter of 26-34 wanted to be updated when stocks were replenished.
    • Younger millennials (18-24) most likely to pay for express shipping (31%).
    • The younger the shopper, the more likely he/she would only do his/her festive shopping online.
      • 27% (18-24)
      • 24% (25-34)
      • 15% (35-44)
      • 8% (45-54)
      • 8% (55-65)
    • Older consumers (55-65) more likely to double check an item instore first before deciding to purchase online (48%).


Blockchain trial to support beef exports

L-R: Marcus Sweeney, chief information officer, NTI; Charles Turner-Morris, director, BeefLedger; Tony Clark, chief executive officer, NTI; and Warwick Powell, chairman, BeefLedger.

Specialist transport insurer NTI is taking part in a blockchain trial, with the aim of boosting food safety, improving animal welfare and monitoring export security for Australian beef.
BeefLedger, an Australian integrated provenance, blockchain security and payments platform will deploy a pilot initiative that tracks the paddock-to-plate journey of premium Australian beef, abroad.
NTI CEO Tony Clark said the reasons for backing the trial are varied, but in a snapshot, it is supporting Australian businesses.
“We’re excited by the prospects this presents across several streams of Australian industry: agriculture, animal welfare, transport and logistics,” said Mr. Clark.
“While it’s early stages, we’re optimistic of the outcomes and learning, and what it potentially means for Australian suppliers, exporters and consumers.”
The pilot run will see premium live cattle transported from South Australia’s Limestone Coast to the processing facility at Casino in New South Wales and frozen for shipping to Shanghai, for consumption.
BeefLedger chairman Warwick Powell said the rise in wealth across Asia, particularly China, sees a steady growth in demand for imported beef and increased risk of counterfeiting and poor safety standards.
“Research shows us that ethical standards and concerns for animal welfare, along with authenticity and proof of product origin, are amongst the top priorities for Chinese consumers. It’s also what’s driving consumer interest in Australian products,” said Mr Powell.
BeefLedger is a platform developer and technology integrator, which is rolling out a blockchain technology, packaging innovations and Internet of Things digital systems to improve product credentials and supply chain performance. The platform deploys a diverse range of technologies to create a multi-layered system that delivers enhanced product security and credentialing.
The Australian beef supply chain is integral to the Australian economy, with some 45,000 cattle producers across the country contributing to Australia’s position as the third largest beef exporter in the world.

Air freight achieves modest growth in October

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), rose 3.1% in October 2018, compared to the same period the year before. This pace of growth was up from a 29-month low of 2.5% in September.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK), rose by 5.4% year-on-year in October 2018. This was the eighth month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand.
Growing international e-commerce and an upturn in the global investment cycle are supporting the growth. However, demand continues to be negatively impacted by:

  • A contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations in October.
  • Longer supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe.
  • Weakened consumer confidence compared to very high levels at the beginning of 2018.

“Cargo is a tough business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the end of 2018. Slow but steady growth continues despite trade tensions. The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets. And yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Regional performance
All regions reported year-on-year demand growth in October 2018, except Africa, which contracted.

  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight grow by 1.9% in October 2018, compared to the same period last year. This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier delivery times particularly in China and Korea impacted the demand. As the largest freight-flying region, carrying more than one-third of the total, the risks from rising trade tensions are disproportionately high. Capacity increased by 4.2%.
  • North American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region in October 2018, with an increase in demand of 6.6% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 8.2% over the same period. The strength of the US economy and consumer spending have helped support the demand for air cargo over the past year, benefiting US carriers.
  • European airlines experienced a 1.4% increase in freight demand in October 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9% year-on-year. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier delivery times particularly in Germany, Europe’s largest freight flying country, impacted demand. Seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand remained deflated in October, which could indicate the start of a broader weakening in demand.
  • Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes expanded 5.0% in October 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 8.8% over the same period. There are signs of a pick-up in seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand helped by more trade to/from Europe and Asia.
  • Latin American airlines’ freight demand rose 0.3% in October 2018 compared to the same period last year and capacity increased by 3.3%. International demand slipped by 0.9%, marking the first contraction in 11months. International freight volumes have fallen month-on-month in four of the past five months, reflecting broad weakness in the region’s key markets.
  • African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 4.2% in October 2018, compared to the same month last year. This was the seventh time in eight months that demand shrank. Capacity increased by 5.4% year-on-year. Demand conditions on all key markets to and from Africa remain weak. Nonetheless, seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have stopped declining and recovered sharply in recent months.


Cash tied up, suppliers squeezed: report

McGrathNicol Advisory has launched its 2018 Working Capital Report, revealing working capital metrics worsened, on average, across a sample of 146 ASX-listed businesses, in nine sectors.
The report shows working capital cycles increased by an average of 0.5 days to 48.7 days in 2018, tying up an additional $691 million in working capital within the sampled companies. The net result of 0.5 days was driven by companies holding higher average inventory balances but attempting to offset that cash impact by taking slightly more time to pay suppliers where possible.
The report revealed transport & distribution companies experienced the greatest deterioration in working capital performance, with all but one of the sampled companies having lengthened working capital cycles.
While 75% of the sample reported EBITDA growth, increased levels of activity and improved trading performance didn’t translate to better working capital outcomes.
Longer customer collection cycles and shorter supplier payment cycles drove the increase in working capital cycles. 88% of the sample reported a structural ‘funding gap’ in 2018 (meaning companies typically paid their suppliers on shorter terms than they collected from their customers). The structural funding gap widened for 75% of the sample in 2018.
While there was an overall increase in cash tied up in working capital, four of the nine sectors achieved an improvement in average metrics. The Construction & Engineering and Telecommunications sectors performed the best, each achieving more than a four day reduction in working capital cycles, on average.
For Construction & Engineering a shortening of debtor and inventory cycles drove a stronger working capital performance. The sector generally operates in an environment where suppliers are paid much faster than payments are received from customers under what are sometimes complex contracts. Closing this structural funding gap is going to become more challenging under proposed changes to the Security of Payments Act, meaning businesses in the sector need to focus on improving their contracting billing and collections processes. The results show that on average the gap closed by 0.4 days. Downer EDI was one of the biggest improvers managing to materially reduce the average time to collect cash, closing the funding gap by 15 days.
The improvement in the telecommunications sector was driven by a mix of faster customer collections, lower inventory and longer supplier payment cycles. Telstra and Amaysim were the best performers in telecommunications, with their working capital improvements representing a net cash benefit of $919.6 million and $14.6 million respectively.
McGrathNicol Advisory Partner Jason Ireland said, “The Construction & Engineering sector benefited from stronger market conditions with 81% of companies in the sample growing both revenue and EBITDA. The majority of companies in the sample were also able to improve their working capital management unlocking more than $670 million dollars in cash.”
“However, the solid performance in Construction & Engineering went against the grain with the majority of other sectors seeing an increase in cash tied up in working capital. That’s cash Australian businesses could be using to fund their growth and deliver more value to shareholders. The figures show that even a relatively small deterioration in metrics can represent a significant lost opportunity.”
The Food and Beverage sector had the longest working capital cycle of any of the industries covered, mainly due to its large inventory holdings. Two thirds of companies in the Food and Beverage sector sample held onto inventory longer driving a 2.6 day increase in Days Working Capital across the sector
“Some companies are performing exceptionally well in determining their optimal working capital holdings then setting a course to achieve them. The findings confirm that management teams need to keep a balanced and concerted focus on all three working capital levers, inventory, debtors and creditors, in order to maximise their cash flow. The competitive advantage to be gained is clear when you consider the length of working capital cycles can vary by more than 100 days between best and worst performers within a sector,” Mr Ireland added.
To read the full report visit

The RENAULT-NEOLINE-cargo sailing-ship sustainable supply chains transport

Renault to bring back cargo sailing ships

Groupe Renault has announced the signing of a 3-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain while nearly 60% of the group’s parts and vehicles are transported by sea.
Vice President Strategic Environmental Planning at Groupe Renault Jean-Philippe Hermine said: “Groupe Renault’s objective is to reduce the environmental impact of each vehicle throughout its entire life cycle, from parts transportation up to delivery and end-of-life processing. In the context of our strategy to explore new sustainable mobility solutions and to continue along the road to reducing our carbon footprint, the ship designed by NEOLINE, which combines energy efficiency and operational relevance, has truly captured our attention”.
Alliance global director production control Jean-François Salles added: “The partnership with NEOLINE is the latest example of our supply chain’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint by 6% between 2016 and 2022. For nearly 10 years, we have been working to identify the most environmentally sustainable solutions: for example, optimising the fill rates of the containers and trucks, producing eco-friendly packaging, and implementing a multimodal system. We are also developing more initiatives, such as the use of natural gas transportation between parts suppliers and production sites, the evaluation of transporters’ environmental performance, the modernisation of truck fleets, and of course the optimisation of our flows to reduce the number of kilometres travelled and to eliminate empty trips.”
CEO of NEOLINE Jean Zanuttini said: “We are especially pleased that Groupe Renault, a key player in accessible and sustainable mobility for all, is the first partner to join us on board our journey by trusting in NEOLINE’s maritime transport research. Considering that the traditional sea freight accounts for nearly 3% of CO2 emissions in Europe, NEOLINE aims to build an innovative French way to address a global environmental challenge while remaining within an industrial and competitive framework, with the support from its partners.”
To create a maritime transport capable of meeting the environmental challenges of our time, NEOLINE is developing its industrial-scale wind-powered freight services that are cleaner, customised and competitive, in response to the logistical needs of shippers. Led by a team of maritime professionals, this shipowner project has culminated in the design of a commercial demo with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimised energy mix, compared to a traditional cargo ship on an equivalent route. The demo, a 136-meter RO-RO ship and 4,200 square metres of sail area, features an innovative blend of technical innovations borrowed from the maritime transport industry, as well as from competitive sailing, in order to make transport more logistically and economically proficient, while also setting the bar for energy efficiency.
The objective is to build two ships based on this model and to commission the vessels by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, the U.S. Eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.

The industry celebrates its winners

2018 International Supply Chain Award winner: The team from Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan and XAct Solutions (Shinsei Project).

The Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia in conjunction with Wisetech Global, Vertical Talent, Australian Trusted Trader, Bondi Labs, Freight Assist, Localz, Xtreme Freight and LMA announced the winners of the 2018 Australian Supply Chain & Logistics Awards at the annual awards night dinner held at the iconic Luna Park, Sydney.
These prestigious awards have been held annually for the last 58 years by the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA). The awards allow a fantastic opportunity for people and companies involved in the supply chain industry to celebrate and be recognised for their particular contribution, success and hard work.
There were eight categories, with seven open for submission. Each of the seven categories attracted a significant number of high-calibre submissions. Award winners were announced as follows:
2018 Training, Education & Development Award
Training, education and development remains a vital part of allowing knowledge to be utilised for new ideas and supply chain improvements to be discovered and then implemented. This award is presented to a company that can best demonstrate their commitment/ application and results of providing training, education and development of their people. The trophy was first awarded in 2002 and is dedicated to the late Professor Peter Gilmour.
2018 Training, Education and Development Award winner: Wesfarmers Chemicals Energy & Fertilisers.
2018 Information Technology and Management Award
Information remains the most important requirement of any supply chain. Information technology is where the majority of supply chain improvements have been made. Nominees for this award demonstrate where their use of existing or new technology has provided significant improvements to their management of information and/or their supply chain processes. The trophy was first awarded in 1994 and is dedicated to the late Len Smith FAIMM.
2018 Information Technology and Management Award winner: BlockBit Solutions.
2018 Industry Excellence Award
Recognises and acknowledges outstanding achievements and contribution by an individual currently engaged across the supply chain industry. Persons nominated for this most prestigious award will be leaders and will have made significant change to the way a supply chain is managed and improved either academically, physically or technologically.
Originally awarded in 1987 and dedicated to Mike Munns, FAIMM, this award remains a cornerstone of SCLAA’s commitment to recognising and promoting the importance of the supply chain industry and its people to continuously improving organisational strength and growth.
2018 Industry Excellence Award winner: Rob O’Byrne, Logistics Bureau Group.
2018 International Supply Chain Award
This is an award that recognises that supply chains know no boundaries. The ASCL International Supply Chain Award is given to a company, association or an individual that may operate internationally and are able demonstrate their capability, commitment and achievements across any spectrum of the sciences, practices, disciplines or efforts to promote and improve the knowledge and acceptance of the importance of the supply chain.
2018 International Supply Chain Award winner: Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan and XAct Solutions (Shinsei Project).
2018 Supply Chain Management Award
Supply chain management (SCM) is the overview of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. This award recognises an organisation that can demonstrate significant achievement within a section or across their entire supply chain. Nominees should be able to clearly state the design and achieved results of the project or process that was envisaged and then implemented. The trophy was first awarded in 1984 and is dedicated to Doug Beattie.
2018 Supply Chain Management Award winner: Fremantle Ports.
2018 Logistics Management Award
This is a new award and is awarded for one of the oldest disciplines of any supply chain and replaces the Storage and Materials Handling Award. Recipients may stem from nominees for any of the other SCLAA awards at the judges’ discretion, or from a direct application, where the demonstrated achievement, improvement or results have required a logistical approach to improvement or major change to their logistics management.
2018 Logistics Management Award winner: Richard White, WiseTech Global.
Environmental Excellence Award
The ASCL Environmental Excellence Award recognises corporate leadership contributing to the solution of environmental sustainability within our industry through performance and action. The trophy was first awarded in 1966 and is dedicated to Mr Ken Pike.
2018 Environmental Excellence Award winner: PGT-Reclaimed.
2018 Future Leaders Award
The purpose of this award is to provide incentive and recognition to young supply chain professionals who are both currently working in and wish to continue their career path. Nominees for this award should be able to demonstrate their passion and commitment to taking the supply chain toward tomorrow. The SCLAA wishes to showcase finalists and provide impetus to continue to attract the brightest to the industry. First awarded in 2009 and dedicated to Vince Aisthorpe.
2018 Future Leaders Award winner: Kathryn Esler.
The 2018 ASCL Awards Gala Dinner was a memorable evening with MC Michael Gallacher, CEO Ports Australia, and guest speaker Commissioner Michael Outram APM, Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Significant SCLAA announcements were made by our chairwoman Amanda O’Brien, one of these being that SCLAA had formed an alliance with the Australian International Trade Association in the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road Australia-China Supply Chain and Logistics Alliance’.
The awards were attended by local, national and international guests and provided ideal networking opportunities. The SCLAA extends its congratulations to all finalists, high commendation recipients and award winners.
Don’t miss your opportunity in 2019 to nominate an individual or company for these prestigious awards that are recognised industry wide. To join this exciting national association please contact the National Secretariat on 1300 364 160 or email

Boeing gets ready for drone-filled skies

Boeing and SparkCognition will launch SkyGrid, a new company that will enable the future of urban aerial mobility. SkyGrid will develop a software platform to ensure the safe, secure integration of autonomous cargo and passenger air vehicles in the global airspace.
Using blockchain technology, AI-enabled dynamic traffic routing, data analytics and cybersecurity features, SkyGrid’s platform will go beyond unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM). The platform will enable SkyGrid customers to safely perform a broad range of missions and services using UAS, including package delivery, industrial inspections and emergency assistance.
“The Boeing and SparkCognition partnership is unmatched in industry today,” said vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt Steve Nordlund. “SkyGrid is building the digital infrastructure that will make safe, seamless commercial and personal transport possible for billions of people around the world.”
“SkyGrid merges expertise in AI, blockchain, security and aviation to deliver breakthrough technological advancements for the rapidly-growing urban aerial mobility industry,” said Amir Husain, who will serve as CEO of SkyGrid in addition to his role as founder and CEO of SparkCognition. “By offering scalable and robust capabilities in a single, integrated framework, SkyGrid will make large-scale air vehicle applications more practical and accessible.”

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