2018 ALC Forum identifies industry priorities

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has reported that more than 280 leaders, policymakers and professionals representing all parts of the supply chain gathered for the 2018 ALC Forum, which was held in Sydney 6–8 March.
“As the most significant annual gathering of industry professionals involved in the nation’s freight logistics industry, this year’s event was held at a crucial moment, as the Federal Government continues developing the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, ahead of its expected release in November,” the ALC shared.
The Forum featured speeches by several senior political decision-makers, including the first major industry address by new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP; and contributions from the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP; and the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP.
Three members of the Expert Panel advising the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities shared insights about some of the major issues they have identified, and discussed what industry’s next steps should be.
Over the two days of the Forum, attendees identified a number of opportunities for ensuring the ultimate effectiveness of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The first of which is the development of a clear set of industry benchmarks and/or key performance indicators (KPIs) to allow industry, governments and regulators to better identify which aspects of the supply chain are performing well, determine those which are experiencing difficulties, and permit the development of effective policy responses.
It was also noted that governments at all levels must be encouraged to ensure planning systems properly account for freight movement, particularly in CBD and inner-urban areas. Attendees also called for the adoption of a “holistic and consistent” National Corridor Protection Strategy to protect critical freight infrastructure and employment lands from the impact of urban encroachment, particularly around ports and airports; the collection of more and better data about freight movement, the removal of legislative and regulatory barriers that prevent opportunities for data-sharing that can enhance the efficiency, safety and visibility of our supply chains, whilst still protecting commercial and user privacy; and certainty for investors by encouraging governments across all jurisdictions to develop a transparent, independent and long-term approach to prioritising infrastructure investment.
The ALC will reportedly use these priorities and others identified as the basis of its advocacy program over the months ahead, while continuing its work with industry, regulators and governments to ensure the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy delivers the policy reforms needed to enhance supply-chain efficiency and safety.

Infrastructure minister commends rail progress

Speaking at the recent Rail Futures Conference held in Melbourne in mid-September by the Rail Freight Alliance, Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, commended the efforts being made to bolster Australia’s rail capability.
“If we look back at the past 50 years of rail freight here in Victoria, it has been a story of decline – at least, up until recently,” Chester said, adding that as a result of the closure of regional lines and the abolishment of freight gates, goods were increasingly being transported by road rather than rail.
“There is now record investment going into rail freight,” he added, citing government support secured for the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project, $8.4 billion earmarked for the Inland Rail project, the $58 million Victorian Port Rail Shuttle and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“Since becoming Minister, I have been pleased to oversee a $20 billion investment in rail,” he said. “These projects will ease urban congestion, grow the regions and create thousands of new jobs.
“The freight and logistics industry identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent…Our government has secured three Free Trade Agreements, and we are building the infrastructure to capitalise on that.”
Chester added that work is continuing on the Inquiry into National freight and Supply Chain Priorities, designed to inform the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“The inquiry will set our understanding of what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, and how we can take advantage of them,” he said.
“It is these investments that are going to set up our nation for the next 100 years. I am proud to be playing a part in delivering these game-changing projects, in partnership with the community.
“These are the projects our kids and our grandkids will thank us for – in the cities and in the regions.”

E-commerce driving supply-chain complexity

E-commerce is forcing supply chains to get smart to cope with rising demand, logistics industry veteran Ingilby Dickson told Logistics & Materials Handling.
“Online offers can’t work without slick and smart supply chains,” he said. “As such, planning has stepped up to be critical in delivering customer-driven outcomes.”
He added that cost-to-serve understanding and technology – whereby business costs are used to calculate the cost of servicing a customer – are not just enablers, but core engine room–driven processes.
“These are in strong demand for the new omnichannel and/or direct online offers, to make commercial sense and create strong customer loyalty,” he said.
Dickson’s industry expertise has been gained over a career working for various major corporations including BlueScope Steel, Goodman Fielder and TNT. He now stands on the Boards of various large organisations in Australia.

Ingilby Dickson.
Ingilby Dickson.

He tells Logistics & Materials Handling that his first exposure to logistics processes happened far from a warehouse. “It all started in the military, with a focus on planning-driven processes to get equipment, food and weapons to the front line” he said. “It was far more than transport, it was true end-to-end accountability.”
Over his career, Dickson has seen the term ‘logistics’ expand to encompass supply chain functions such as inventory, cost, service, and also the horizontal accountability across organisations between sales, and manufacturing and distribution. “It’s now a focus on constraint-based optimisation for the net benefit of the whole organisation,” he said. “The result is that ‘supply chain and logistics’ is now recognised as an important and necessary function in all modern business practices.”
As the logistics task has become more sophisticated, so too have the skills required to lead the business function, said Dickson. “The required leadership qualities have changed considerably,” he added. “Senior supply chain managers now need skills to coordinate and plan across a business and be able to manage internal conflict to ensure customers and shareholders win.
“As such, smart and astute leaders with strong commercial skills are needed – leaders of supply chains need to have courage to challenge across a business and lead the best whole-of-business outcomes.”
Dickson is passionate about sharing his expertise at industry knowledge sharing sessions, such as the Supply Chain Leader Insights events, held this year in Melbourne (17 October) and Sydney (19 October).
“Events like Supply Chain Leader Insights are crucial as we need our leaders to share and help others in traditionally thinking organisations see the light in order to drive supply-chain improvements,” he said.
Find out more about the Supply Chain Leader Insights events, book tickets ($57 using the promo code ‘LMH’) and see videos from last year’s event at the Supply Chain Logistics Insight website.

Logistics Hall of Fame honours Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of e-commerce company Amazon, has been inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame.
The Logistics Hall of Fame honours figures that have made significant efforts to promote the further development of logistics and supply chain management.
Bezos joins key logisticians including Gottlieb Daimler, credited with investing the truck and pioneering modern freight transport; Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds, inventors of assembly-line production; and James E. Casey, Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS), among others.
Bezos has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics,” the Logistics Hall of Fame team wrote in a blog post, adding that he can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector.
According to the jury responsible for selecting deserving individuals, Bezos was the first to realise that software and logistics are crucial in the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading.
“Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole,” the blog post said. “Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.”
Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, said: “Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics.”
Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on 9 November.

ARA submits advice for national supply-chain strategy inquiry

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its submission for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities – the Ten Point Plan to Creating Greater National Freight and Supply Chain Efficiencies.
“The ARA supports the development of a national freight and supply chain strategy to guide long-term decision-making and investments by both government and industry,” said Danny Broad, CEO, ARA.
“With Australia’s freight task expected to grow by more than 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, combined with our national population expected to increase to 30.5 million by 2031, it is critical that we act now to ensure that we are able to meet the freight needs of tomorrow.
The ARA identified 10 areas in need of attention to enable greater efficiency and productivity for rail freight, including linking future infrastructure funding to the delivery of reform, committing to a competitively neutral policy approach to ensure domestic rail freight markets can operate as far as possible on a level footing with other modal choices, a national framework for corridor protection and equitable access pricing for road and rail.
“Other areas for improvement also include maximising efficiency on the existing network, addressing ‘externalities’ that impact upon the Australian community negatively, supporting technology developments, addressing jurisdictional inconsistencies and continuing to identify ways to address challenges associated with different track owners,” he said.
The submission can be viewed on the ARA’s website.

ALC releases final submission for freight strategy Inquiry

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has released its final submission to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities: Freight Doesn’t Vote.
The submission makes 41 recommendations relating to all transport modes operating in the Australian freight logistics sector, as well as whole-of-industry issues.
“[The] ALC has long advocated for a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC. “We are proud to release a comprehensive submission that clearly reflects industry’s priorities and offers practical suggestions for policy reform.
“The content of Freight Doesn’t Vote has been informed by an extensive process of industry engagement – including ALC Forum 2017 in March, dialogue with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and extensive consultations with members and the broader industry.
“The submission calls on the Commonwealth Government to play a greater role in protecting against urban encroachment and preserving critical freight transport corridors – a position that has also been endorsed by Infrastructure Australia (IA).
“It recommends reviewing a number of regulatory practices that inhibit the efficient movement of freight, such as curfews and bans on freight vehicles. It also identifies opportunities for the Federal Government to incentivise good planning practices and encourage the take-up of new technologies that can deliver better outcomes.
“The submission does not shy away from recommending initiatives that may be politically challenging – particularly around greater Commonwealth involvement in planning, as well as road pricing and investment reform.
“However, the reality is that Australia’s economy is being transformed by population growth, by technological change and by the changing behaviour of ever-more discerning and empowered consumers. Our supply chains must be equipped to deal with that reality.”
The full submission can be viewed on the ALC’s website.

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.”

Highlighting the industry’s view

With the Federal Government having announced the composition of the expert panel that will advise on the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, the real work of shaping its content is now well and truly under way.
It’s not indulging in hyperbole to say that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get this right. Australia’s rapidly growing population coupled with changing patterns of consumer behaviour – especially with the growth of e-Commerce – will impose significant additional demands on the freight and logistics sector.
Indeed, the National Transport Commission (NTC) estimates that Australia’s freight task will grow by some 26 per cent in the next decade alone. When you think of the capacity constraints that are already evident in some of our major cities, particularly growing traffic congestion, such forecasts can appear daunting.
Although it will require a significant degree of hard work on the part of the freight and logistics industry, I am nonetheless confident that we can come up with solutions that will allow us to meet this burgeoning demand.
We know that industry is willing to play an active role, and we know that the Federal Government’s agreement to develop a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy shows decision-makers are willing to listen to industry’s advice.
Thus, our immediate challenge is to make certain the advice we provide is the right advice, which will help ensure the Strategy that emerges is the right one for our industry and the right one for the Australian economy.
I think there has been an encouraging start on this front.
At the beginning of March, the ALC held its annual Forum in Melbourne, and the entire focus of the event was discussing the content of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
Of course, we are not starting with a blank piece of paper. Many of the attendees at the Forum are leading figures within Australia’s freight and logistics industry, and throughout their many years of collective experience they have garnered insights and evidence that will prove invaluable in terms of getting policy settings right.
Although ALC Forum 2017 was the first industry-wide gathering since the Prime Minister’s announcement last November that the Government would develop the Strategy, the discussions revealed there is already a remarkable degree of consensus across the industry about what is required to make it effective. This is a strong basis from which to work.
To help synthesise the industry’s conversations to date, the ALC has produced a Working Paper that summarises the views of industry to date about the contents of the Strategy.
Some of the major themes addressed in that publication are as follows:
Urban encroachment issues
In the lead up to the 2016 Federal Election, the ALC prepared a document called Getting The Supply Chain Right, which highlighted the freight and logistics industry’s most pressing priorities for an incoming government.
One of those was urban encroachment, and the lack of buffer zones, land separation setbacks and design mitigation measures around sensitive use developments, which can significantly hamper the efficient operation of freight-related infrastructure.
At the time, the ALC noted that the national freight supply chain will be unable to support Australia’s growing demand if facilities and infrastructure continue to be prevented from realising their optimal capacity, due to restrictions imposed on their use or operating conditions.
This includes things like night curfews for airfreight and port facilities, restrictive speed limits and the banning of heavy vehicles from key routes that provide access to freight facilities.
These things are often pursued by governments in search of an electoral boost. However, their long-term impact is to simply build inefficiencies into the supply chain, which ultimately results in higher consumer prices.
As industry ‘insiders’, we understand that there is a symbiotic relationship between good outcomes for freight efficiency and good outcomes for the community.
The problem lies in the fact that this is vastly underappreciated by the public at large, and even at times by decision-makers within government.
This is how we end up with poor planning outcomes, such as the failure to preserve freight corridors, and insufficient consideration of freight operations when pursuing ‘urban infill’ objectives surrounding new residential developments.
The freight and logistics industry needs to better ‘sell’ the fact that corridor preservation equates to improved safety, liveability and efficiency outcomes.
Technology issues
There was a broad consensus among participants at the Forum that not enough is being done to make use of data, both in terms of improving safety and efficiency across the supply chain, and also when it comes to effectively planning the nation’s freight infrastructure.
Of course, the top priority must be safety in the supply chain. Regrettably, Australia’s approach to safety in the trucking industry is lagging significantly behind that of other comparable nations. In particular, several participants at the Forum noted that Australia’s trucking industry is making insufficient use of telematics when it comes to making business decisions.
The ALC will continue to pursue a national telematics law, permitting the use of data about vehicle performance, equipment and driver behaviour that can be used to enhance road safety, improve efficiency within the logistics industry and identify problems with driver behaviour.
Technology also offers a potential way to overcome the impact of ever-more restrictive planning and vehicular access policies when it comes to CBD freight delivery. One detailed presentation discussed using urban consolidation/distribution stations. These can provide for multi-modal routing systems using bicycles, walkers and electronic vans to facilitate freight delivery.
It is far more efficient than using large vehicles to deliver small loads – especially given that an increasing number of large-scale residential developments do not incorporate delivery zones or provide access facilities for freight vehicles.
Rail issues
There is very strong support within the industry for construction of the Inland Rail, at last providing a port-to-port rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane. This project has had a long gestation, but with the increasing demand for freight resulting from free trade agreements and the growth of e-Commerce, encouraging more freight onto rail is vital.
Constructing the Inland Rail will help to cut freight transport times, reduce road congestion and promote cheaper consumer prices. There are also considerable economic benefits for regional communities along the route.
However, there are also opportunities elsewhere in the sector to make greater use of short-haul rail. This includes pursing projects like the duplication of the rail line at Port Botany, which will help achieve NSW Ports’ target of moving three million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) by rail by the year 2045.
Pursuing a rail connection between the Port of Melbourne and three of Victoria’s inland ports will also be important in promoting supply greater supply chain efficiency and addressing road congestion.
This issue is especially important in the context of Asia’s rapidly expanding middle class, whose appetite for the type of high-quality agricultural goods Australia produces will be a source of growing demand on our freight and export infrastructure. We must be mindful not to cede our competitive edge in this area by failing to have a supply chain that operates safely and efficiently from paddock to port.
The next steps
The ALC believes that a dynamic Strategy requires a dynamic consultation process to guide its development, and accordingly the ALC will be continuing to engage closely with industry over the coming weeks and months to make sure we get the right outcomes.
However, from the conversation thus far, it’s already apparent that there are some clear expectations from industry.
Existing freight infrastructure needs to be made to operate efficiently, through making sure planning instruments not only identify and preserve the industrial lands to provide the jobs and logistics facilities of the future, but also ensure new residential developments do not encroach on infrastructure and prevent its effective utilisation.
It will also be necessary to establish some form of mandatory system of data collection that will allow better decision making and improved outcomes in safety, planning and investment decisions, all of which will help boost productivity.
We will need to move towards hypothecation of levies, fees, taxes and charges raised for the purpose of developing an identified piece of infrastructure – so that money raised is invested properly and not put back into consolidated revenue.
The construction of Inland Rail must continue to be treated as a priority, ensuring rail as a modality has a clear place in moving freight in the Australian supply chain.
Great Commonwealth leadership needs to promote supply chain safety and efficiency – this includes helping the public at large understand the importance of supply chain efficiency, as well as incentivising state jurisdictions to consider freight needs in their planning instruments by making Commonwealth funding support subject to conditions such as having corridor preservation strategies in place.
Finally, the establishment of a specific Federal Department of Planning and Infrastructure will allow the Commonwealth’s expertise in these areas (including the development of funding mechanisms) to be concentrated and properly able to be used as resource, by industry and by other jurisdictions.

ALC releases 2017 yearbook: Future Freight Networks

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has published its official 2017 yearbook: Future Freight Networks. The document details the Council’s advocacy efforts throughout the year, the policy positions it took to government, and the major events held to support its policy agenda.
Future Freight Networks features a comprehensive summary of the 2017 ALC Forum, which brought together 300 key industry leaders, policy makers and stakeholders in March to debate and discuss the critical and significant infrastructure policy issues on the national agenda.
The publication also includes editorials, advertisements and interviews from a range of supply chain industry participants.
“Thank you to those companies for their contribution to the yearbook which illustrates the enormous breadth and depth of our industry,” the ALC said in a media release.
The outcomes of the 2017 ALC Forum contributed to the ALC’s recently released working paper – Charting The Course For A National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (Working Paper 2, June 2017), launched at Parliament House on 21 June.
The Working Paper is supported by a new video (see below) outlining the importance of getting the content of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy right, both for the freight logistics industry and for the Australian economy as a whole.
To obtain a hard copy of Future Freight Networks or Charting The Course For A National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, contact the ALC.

Tickets on sale for the 2017 Women In Industry conference and awards

The Women In Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their sector.
New for 2017, the awards event will be joined by an all-day conference.
The conference will feature previous Award winners and industry leaders from across the mining, manufacturing, engineering and road transport industries. It will focus on the latest technologies and innovations, industry trends and will look at the different ways that success as a woman in industry can be defined.
Speakers at the conference include Jennifer Conley from the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, Lyn George from AUSTENG and Kirsty Liddicoat from BHP Billiton.
In focus on the day will be emerging industrial trends, success drivers and strategic change, and afternoon break-out sessions will give attendees the chance to join peers and get in-depth insight into industry-specific issues.
The conference will be a great learning, sharing and networking opportunity for attendees, whatever their gender!
The awards ceremony will celebrate outstanding individuals in 10 categories:

  • Social Leader of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Business Development Manager of the Year
  • Industry Advocacy Award
  • Safety Advocacy Award
  • Mentor of the Year
  • Excellence in Manufacturing
  • Excellence in Mining
  • Excellence in Engineering
  • Excellence in Road Transport

“The Women In Industry Awards are always such a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who have gone above and beyond in their industry,” said Events Manager, Lauren Winterbottom. “This year, the conference will provide an extra opportunity to appreciate the expertise, influence and results that women are contributing to Australia’s industrial scene.”
The conference will take place from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Thursday 22 June 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The awards evening will then kick off at 7.00pm at Peninsula, Central Pier Shed 14, Docklands.

Tickets to the conference are $550 + GST each, or attendees can purchase a conference/dinner combo ticket for $650 + GST.
All tickets can be purchased from www.womeninindustry.com.au

See more details and buy tickets for both events on the Women In Industry website.
The 2017 Women in Industry conference and awards are supported by Logistics and Materials Handling, along with Australian Mining, PACE, Manufacturers’ Monthly, Prime Mover, Trailer and Diesel.

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