Road transport is playing a critical role in moving freight through the Victorian stage four lockdown, continuing to operate in metropolitan Melbourne to deliver essential items to stock shelves of every supermarket.
The Western Australian Government has secured funding by the Commonwealth Government, announcing a $10 million dollar upgrade for key freight roads in the Wheatbelt area.
Concrete made using industrial waste from coal-fired power stations and steel manufacturing is being used in a world-first green roads trial in Sydney.
The City of Sydney is putting the environmentally friendly building product to the test on a busy inner-city street, replacing a 30 metre section of roadway on Wyndham Street in Alexandria.
To test the green concrete’s durability, the City has laid 15 metres traditional concrete and 15 metres of Geopolymer concrete, a sustainable blend of concrete and recycled materials.
As a major road leading to Sydney Airport, the high traffic volume provides the perfect conditions for the trial.
Nine sensors have been positioned under the concrete to monitor and compare how the Geopolymer concrete performs.
UNSW Sydney researchers and the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) will then use results from the trial to create the first set of industry guidelines for Geopolymer concrete.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was committed to finding new ways to lower carbon emissions.
“I’m proud that the City of Sydney was Australia’s first carbon-neutral local government and that we’re continuing to take significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Projects like this Geopolymer trial can result in new products that make a real difference in slashing carbon emissions.
“Local governments are responsible for maintaining local roads, so if we can purchase more environmentally sustainable materials, we can fight climate change and provide quality infrastructure for our community.
“With 70 per cent of the concrete produced today going into pavements and footpaths, there’s great potential to further lower emissions from our operations.
“We’re continually working with concrete suppliers to reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gases emitted during the production of concrete for our local roads, and we already use sustainable green concrete for all our footway renewal works – which adds up to 25,000m2 per year.”
Made from fly ash and blast furnace slag, Geopolymer generates just 300 kilograms of CO2 per tonne of cement, compared to the 900 kilograms from traditional cement production – saving the equivalent of the electricity used by an average household every two weeks.
Research has been undertaken since the 1990s into geopolymer, but it’s only now that it is being explored as a product that is not only better for the environment, but also commercially viable.
The low-CO2 concrete has the potential to put the 400 million cubic tonnes of globally documented waste from the coal and steel industries to good use. Whilst a small amount is currently used in construction, much of it is currently stored on site.
UNSW Sydney researchers will monitor the road performance for up to five years. Professor Stephen Foster, Head of School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the CRCLCL project leader and describes the trial as “a huge step forward”.
“This trial will help drive step-change in the industry. Many concrete companies are already doing a lot to change, but this trial really gives it another push,” Professor Foster said.
“While we’ll monitor the road performance for up to five years, a lot of the data collected in the first three to twelve months of this world-first trial will be used to confirm our models and strengthen our predictions.
“Concrete contributes seven per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions and in 2018 the world produced about 4.1 billion tonnes of cement, which contributed about 3.5 billion tonnes of CO2.
“Alternative, low-CO2 concrete materials offer potential benefits in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional concrete.
“This trial is important because we need demonstration projects to accurately assess the performance of Geopolymer over time so that there can be broader uptake.”
Industry partner Craig Heidrich, executive director of the Australian Iron and Steel Association and Ash Development Association, said the benefits of the trial will be far-reaching.
“Our collaboration with organisations such as the City of Sydney and the publication of the research findings will further de-mystify and promote the use of Geopolymer concrete in construction.
“Geopolymer concrete has great engineering properties. It is a durable, high-performance product that has a low carbon footprint when used in construction,” Mr Heidrich said.
“It’s a fundamental tenet in business that you need to be constantly innovating and investing into new technologies. This trial will provide real examples of Geopolymer concrete use that we can all use.”
Associate Professor of Sustainability Research at UNSW Dr Tommy Wiedmann said if all concrete produced in one year was Geopolymer instead of traditional concrete, this would save 12,000 kiloton CO2 per year.
The TWU is demanding that fatal truck crashes be investigated as workplace deaths when a truck driver is killed, following the death of two truck drivers in a head-on collision on the Augusta Highway in South Australia just before Easter.
Police are investigating driver fatigue as a possible cause for the fiery crash.
Road transport is Australia’s deadliest industry. A truck driver is 13 times more likely to die at work than any other worker.
“We are deeply saddened to lose two truck drivers and in such dreadful circumstances. Our thoughts are with the family and friends who received the tragic news this Easter weekend. We urge the Federal Government to ensure no stone is left unturned in finding the cause of this crash and prosecuting where necessary. Fatigue is being investigated as a possible cause, in most cases this is a direct result from pressure at the top of transport supply chain. To provide justice to the drivers we’ve lost, the families that mourn and the road users at risk over this busy period, it is only right that all possible factors be considered and punishment served where it’s due,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
When a truck driver is killed on the road workplace death investigations are forfeited, assuming a forensic crash investigation will determine the cause. These investigations fail to explore all possible causes beyond the mechanics of what happened at the time of the crash.
“Truck driver deaths have bypassed the vigilant investigations that rightfully follow deaths on building sites, in factories, in the mines. A truck driver’s workplace is on the road. When the worst happens, we must look beyond the debris and ask the important questions: was this driver fatigued or under pressure to meet a deadline? Was there enough money in the pot to ensure their vehicle was properly maintained? Until we start asking these questions and laying blame where it’s due, truck drivers will never be safe on our roads,” Kaine continued.
Safe Work Australia refers to a workplace as any place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking, including vehicles.*
Police have rated the crash risk three times higher over the Easter break.
“The skewed belief that speedy delivery is more important than road safety is exacerbated at busy periods like the Easter break. We urge the wealthy companies at the top of supply chains to ease the pressure on truck drivers and ensure there is enough money in the pot for trucks to be properly maintained and goods to be delivered safely,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
The Infrastructure Priority List recently released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) has won widespread approval in the freight sector, including the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railways Association and the Australian Trucking Association.
ALC: The priority list highlights freight infrastructure opportunities
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said the Infrastructure Priority List released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) highlights continued need for targeted investment in freight infrastructure projects that will enhance supply chain efficiency and safety, and make Australia more internationally competitive.
“It is essential that Australia makes infrastructure investment decisions that are based on sound principles and evidence-based assessments regarding a project’s capacity to contribute to our economic strength, and liveability of our communities,” said ALC chairman Philip Davies.
“In the past, the Infrastructure Priority List has helped to build support for investment in critical freight infrastructure projects which are now being undertaken, including Western Sydney Airport, Inland Rail, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and more recently the Port Botany freight rail duplication, which was supported in the 2018 Federal Budget.”
“It is especially pleasing to note this year’s list again includes the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy as a high priority initiative.”
“To further boost the effectiveness of that Strategy when it is released later this year, ALC urges governments to prioritise investment in key freight-related initiatives IA has included in this year’s list, including:
- Upgrading Chullora Junction to enhance Sydney’s freight rail network;
- Constructing the North East Link in Melbourne to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance freight efficiency;
- Pursuing a dedicated freight rail connection from Inland Rail to the Port of Brisbane;
- Enhancing capacity and traffic flows on the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways in Perth;
- Completing the upgrade of the Adelaide North-South road corridor to enhance capacity and efficiency of freight movement to the airport and port precincts;
- Investing in road and rail improvements on the Burnie to Hobart freight corridor;
- Implementation of the Advanced Train Management System on the ARTC network; and
- Establishing a national electric vehicle fast-charging network to overcome ‘range anxiety’ among freight logistics operators.
“Australia must do everything possible to eliminate capacity constraints in our freight networks if we wish to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market. Securing investment in these priority projects will help to deliver that outcome.”
ARA backs IA’s strong rail focus in Infrastructure Priority List
The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has also welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) 2019 Infrastructure Priority List.
“IA plays an important role in identifying key infrastructure problems and opportunities to ensure investment is appropriately targeted to areas of greatest need,” said ARA CEO Danny Broad.
“The rail projects included in IA’s 2019 Infrastructure Priority List are important nation-building initiatives and are endorsed by the rail sector,” he continued.
“Pleasingly, there are more rail projects and initiatives in the report compared to the 2018 Infrastructure Priority List, with 54 of the 125 projects and initiatives rail-related.
“As Australia’s population grows, rail infrastructure will increasingly become the backbone to meet Australia’s growing passenger and freight needs. To manage the challenges posed in our cities and regions in the long-term, Australia will need to ensure that it continuously invests in rail infrastructure.
“We know that rail is an efficient, environmentally and socially beneficial mode of transport. We also know that rail has lower emissions than road transport, is safer and can help reduce congestion in our cities.
“The significance of these rail projects identified by IA warrants investment from governments at all levels. Our networks of infrastructure and services connect people and communities, support freight transport across the country, help deliver our resources to overseas markets and continue to generate economic growth and employment,” he said.
ATA welcomes updated Infrastructure Priority List
Infrastructure Australia’s updated Infrastructure Priority List illustrates the importance of evidence-based investment decisions, chairman of the Australian Trucking Association Geoff Crouch said.
“The Infrastructure Priority List provides critical focus on the need to invest in safer regional roads and fixing urban congestion,” Mr Crouch said.
“The new project calling for regional road network safety improvements to invest in fixing high-risk sections of regional roads and deliver safer road infrastructure is a critical priority.
“Infrastructure Australia reports that relative to population size, the number of fatalities in regional areas is over four times higher than for major cities.
“This project now requires government support across Australia, and the ATA strongly welcomes the inclusion of a similar new project by the NSW Government to make regional road safety improvements in NSW.
“Governments should also support the call for a roads network optimisation program to address urban congestion.
“First added to the priority list in 2016 but still without a government proponent, Infrastructure Australia has again reconfirmed the need for governments to make multiple, co-ordinated, productivity enhancements to the road network to reduce congestion.
“These investments should be based on data and seek to optimise traffic flows through investments such as intersection treatments, traffic light sequencing, clearways and incident management.”
The ATA also welcomes the continued inclusion and expansion of projects to address major road investment priorities.
“There’s a long list of proposed road, highway and motorway projects which would make a significant investment to improving safety, connectivity and productivity on the road network,” Mr Crouch said.
Future updates to the Infrastructure Priority List should expand the network-based focus on improving roads to include regional and outback highways and corridors.
“The need to make better use and enable more productive connectivity extends beyond our major cities and their rural hinterlands, and Infrastructure Australia should include network optimisation and access for investing in better regional and outback highways in future priority list updates,” Mr Crouch said.
CEVA Logistics Greater China has sent the first-ever TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) truck from Khorgos, China via Kazakhstan to Europe.
The trial run was on 13 November, 2018 and was operated as a joint initiative between CEVA Logistics, the IRU (International Road Transportation Union) and CEVA’s partners Alblas and Jet-rail.
The truck arrived in Poland on 24 November, with no disruption or Customs issues after 11 days on the road. The closing TIR at its final destination was after 13 days on 26 November.
According to CEVA, the new road service will deliver a cost saving of about 50 per cent compared to air options. With a lead time door-to-door of between 10 to 15 days, it will be 30-50 per cent faster than rail.
Customs sealed in Khorgos, the first TIR truck from China to Europe started its 7,000 kilometers journey via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to Poland in the afternoon of 13 November. It was a historic moment when the truck, operated by CEVA’s partner Alblas International Logistics, left Khorgos to cross the border into Kazakhstan.
“This is a day to remember. Together with our partners, we have trialed TIR all the way to Europe today the very first time,” Kelvin Tang, Director Road & Rail at CEVA Logistics Greater China said.
Truck manufacturer Scania launched new models for the Australian road transport industry in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Wednesday night.
Representing the equivalent of $3 billion in research and development, the new range is more than a collection of new cabs, as almost every element of the entire mechanical underpinnings has been examined and improved to deliver a more driver-centric, safer and fuel-efficient truck.
Half a million kilometres of testing with local fleets in the months leading up to this week’s launch concentrated on the trucks’ abilities to handle the uniquely Australian conditions of climate, distance, heavy loads, and even dust.
Advances in Scania’s aerodynamic design have resulted in an improvement in fuel efficiency of two per cent, and an additional three per cent has been achieved through technical improvements in the drivelines. Scania officials were adamant that the combined five per cent reduction in fuel consumption rates should be expected only as the minimum, and in some instances the local pre-production models have delivered significantly better results.
Australia is the first market in the Southern Hemisphere to have the Scania Next Generation Truck launched, and the first deliveries of production models are expected from July this year.
A new seven-litre six-cylinder engine in 220hp, 250hp and 280hp will be available in the Scania P-Range, and the five- and six-cylinder larger engines have all been subjected to significant development. The V8 engines also feature improvements to deliver better fuel and maintenance savings, and will be available in 520hp and 620hp in Euro-5 configuration and 520hp, 580hp, 650hp, and the top output 730hp in Euro-6 emission ratings.
Scania continues to be at the forefront of utilising the benefits of electronic connectivity, with more than 310,000 trucks worldwide (including 3,000 already in Australia) connected, to maximise efficiencies.
“We believe safe and smart transport can be a ‘game changer’ for sustainability in the transport sector,” said Mikael Jansson, Managing Director of Scania Australia. “Our brand vision, as expressed by the elements of the Next Generation Scania launch, not only sets us apart from our rivals but also shows our long-term commitment and vision for the transport industry.”
Image credit: Peter Shields
Blockchain will be one of the key talking points at the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders Summit in Melbourne on 8 May, run in conjunction with multimodal trade event, MEGATRANS2018.
The technology that was created for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is being touted by industry leaders as a potential gamechanger for the transactional database–processes used in freight and logistics.
As cryptocurrency-based applications built on top of the blockchain become an increasing focus, industry leaders are looking to explore the agility new technologies such as blockchain bring to expanding business operations.
It is anticipated that this will be achieved by moving away from databases, to the edge of networks – more specifically a virtual network where information and transactions are stored by nodes, made transparent and secured by a sequential process across a public block. That block becomes the unique chain of record.
It’s a way of facilitating end-to-end commercial transactions without individual arrangements.
Chief Analytics Officer for FreightWaves and Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, Dean Croke, will be among the guest speakers. Disruption, he has claimed, will open the doors of innovation.
“It’s a revolution that will influence all transport and logistics firms, and fits very well with the theme of the conference,” he said.
The event will explore whether blockchain’s competencies in moving representational goods, such as cryptocurrencies – translate into the ability to move physical goods.
Other speakers confirmed for the event include DB Schenker Chief Information Officer, Charlie MacDonald, and Wettenhalls Transport CEO, Mike Lean, who will explain how his transport company is applying 21st-century technologies to its processes.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Businesses in the Australian logistics, supply chain and commercial road transport sectors are invited to submit their nominations for the 2018 Women in Industry awards.
The event will be held at Doltone House in Sydney, 14 June.
Women in Industry nomination categories include:
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
Recognition for individuals who show significant promise within their chosen industry or who have reached new goals at the start of their career.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER OF THE YEAR
This category seeks out Business Development Managers who have created new growth opportunities which allowed their organisation to expand and generate greater revenue.
INDUSTRY ADVOCACY AWARD
Recognition of individuals who have helped shape a positive view of their industry and/or helped to create a policy change which benefits those working in the sector.
SAFETY ADVOCACY AWARD
Safety is of utmost concern and this category highlights those individuals working actively to improve safety for their industry.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
This category recognises those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to developing female talent within their organisation and wider industry.
EXCELLENCE IN MANUFACTURING
This category recognises an individual who has thought ‘outside the box’ to implement an outstanding personal contribution to their manufacturing business and the wider manufacturing community.
EXCELLENCE IN MINING
This category recognises individuals who have made a positive contribution to one of the many facets of the mining industry.
EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING
This award recognises an individual who has shown leadership in engineering, technological excellence and innovation.
EXCELLENCE IN ROAD TRANSPORT
This category recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve and positively impact the Australian road transport industry.
The Women in Industry Awards recognises and rewards the achievements of women working within the mining, engineering, manufacturing, process control industries and commercial road transport industries, and aims to raise the profile of women within industry, as well as promote and encourage excellence.
Stevedore Patrick recently advised road and rail freight operators of plans to increase infrastructure surcharges at its terminals from 12 March.
The new rates are as follow:
Melbourne: $47.50 per box
Sydney: $41.10 per box
Brisbane: $38.25 per box
Fremantle: $7.50 per box
The increases will apply to both road and rail transport operators for full import and export container movements at the terminals, and will be “subject to an annual review,” with any price change to apply from 1 July 2018.
Road operators will continue to be invoiced electronically via 1-Stop.
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has written to members to urge them to pass on infrastructure surcharge increases, saying ultimately consumers must bear the brunt of supply-chain cost increases.
“Operators continue to face unprecedented increases to infrastructure and road-user charges in and around the Port of Melbourne,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“It is vital these and other cost-of-business increases are absorbed through the supply chain for freight businesses to remain sustainable and viable in a competitive trading environment,” he said.
“The VTA has long argued that consumers need to understand that price increases brought about by higher business and transactional costs will ultimately have to be passed on to them because businesses already operating to tight margins will go out of business if they try and absorb the costs,” said Anderson. “Consumers are the ultimate benefactors from receiving goods delivered by the transport industry, and therefore they need to be subjected to the same price increases operators and other participants in the supply chain are required to take on.”
Road Freight New South Wales CEO Simon O’Hara has responded to the fee hikes, calling for oversight, accountability and transparency to guide the actions of stevedores.
“Patrick’s infrastructure surcharge has gone from zero to $25.45 to $41.10 in less than a year,” he said. “That’s a massive increase with little justification.”