WiseTech Global acquires German customs solution provider, znet

WiseTech Global, a logistics software group founded in Sydney with offices in Australia, China, New Zealands, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States, has recently acquired znet group, a provider of customs solutions across Germany.
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Wiesbaden, znet provides automated customs solutions to over 500 customers including Abbott, Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey, Nippon Express and UPS.
“WiseTech and znet possess a shared commitment to provision of high productivity logistics execution solutions to the German-speaking and broader European markets.” said WiseTech Global CEO, Richard White. “We welcome the znet team to the WiseTech Global family and will work together to deliver even better solutions for customers.”
znet CEO Werner Tholl added, “At znet, we have a long track-record of innovation, having worked extensively on the development of automated customs system with ATLAS connection and pioneered mobile customs handling in Germany. Now as part of the WiseTech Global group we will be able to accelerate our innovation and provide more powerful and extensive capabilities for customers.”
Remaining under the leadership of CEO and former customs officer Tholl, znet operations will be integrated within the WiseTech group. znet will continue to deliver its zara, zafir and zecur products in Germany and all customers will be able to access WiseTech’s CargoWise One global logistics execution platform.

Sydney Qube intermodal terminal agreement reaches financial close

The agreement between Moorebank Intermodal Company and the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) for the development and operation of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Precinct has reached financial close.
SIMTA is owned by Qube Holdings, one of Australia’s largest freight logistic companies, following the acquisition of Aurizon’s interests in the land and project on 23 December 2016. Qube will develop and operate the open access freight terminal and warehousing precinct under a 99-year lease on the combined Commonwealth- and Qube-owned sites.
In June 2015, Moorebank Intermodal Company signed the agreement with SIMTA for the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Precinct, which merged the SIMTA and Commonwealth intermodal terminal proposals into one. Moorebank Intermodal Company will continue to be the Commonwealth entity responsible for facilitating the precinct’s development.
Dr Kerry Schott, Chair of the Moorebank Intermodal Company, said the precinct would deliver significant benefits to southwest Sydney and the broader New South Wales economy. “During construction, over 1,300 jobs will be created and once operations are at full capacity the site will employ approximately 6,800 people,” she said. “Together with the recently announced Commonwealth investment in airport infrastructure at Badgerys Creek, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal will be a major economic contributor to south-west Sydney.”
The precinct will increase the proportion of shipping containers travelling by rail, remove thousands of heavy-truck movements from Sydney’s roads and the nation’s highways every day, and increase the capacity and efficiency of Port Botany.
Moorebank was identified as a priority location for a freight terminal in 2004 and, in October 2016, was included on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list for national infrastructure projects. The site has a direct rail link to Port Botany and the interstate rail freight network which, along with its proximity to major motorways, makes it ideal for an intermodal facility.
The precinct will include an import-export (IMEX) freight terminal with eventual annual throughput capacity of 1.05 million TEU, and an interstate terminal with capacity for 500,000 TEU.
Qube Holdings’ Managing Director, Maurice James, said the Moorebank precinct would transform the freight and logistics supply chain along the east coast.
“The Moorebank development is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity and Qube is pleased to have reached agreement with Moorebank Intermodal Company to deliver this important piece of national infrastructure,” he said.
“Linking one of the nation’s busiest ports by rail to an inland facility with the sheer scale and location benefits of the Moorebank site is a game changer that will deliver huge long term benefits to both business and consumers,” he added.
Stage one of the project, which received planning approval in December 2016, will see the construction of the IMEX terminal with initial capacity of 250,000 TEU, rail links to the Southern Sydney Freight Line, and container processing areas. The first stage of the interstate terminal will follow with subsequent stages to be developed in line with demand, subject to future planning approvals.
The Commonwealth will invest around $370 million in the development, including funding the rail connection between the terminal and the Southern Sydney Freight Line and land preparation works.
Qube will develop, own and operate the terminals and has the development, property and asset management rights for associated warehousing. The precinct will include up to 850,000sqm of integrated warehousing when fully developed.
The IMEX terminal is expected to start operating in late 2018, and the interstate terminal in early 2020.

DHL eCommerce launches new fulfilment centre in Australia

DHL eCommerce, a division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has announced the launch of its Australian fulfilment centre in Sydney to support booming purchase volumes amongst Australia’s online shoppers.
“Nearly 75 per cent of total online spending by Australians goes to domestic retailers, with the value of e-commerce purchases expected to grow by nearly 50 per cent between now and 2020,” said Damien Sheehan, Managing Director Australia, DHL eCommerce. “As demand rises, online retailers need to overcome the traditional problems associated with shipping orders Australia-wide – particularly the significant distances between major cities that they need to traverse – if they want to maintain their competitive edge.”
“The addition of our Australian fulfilment centre gives our customers a far simpler, streamlined approach to managing inventory and last-mile deliveries, allowing them to focus squarely on satisfying their customers both during the check-out and shipment process,” he added.
The fulfilment centre will provide Australian merchants with fast, flexible shipping that consolidates inventory management and last-mile delivery from Sydney to major cities and regional hubs around Australia. The centre operates on the same service level agreements, management platforms, and customer support as all other parts of DHL eCommerce’s global fulfilment network, allowing Australian e-tailers to expand their sales into markets like the US, Mexico, Hong Kong, India and Europe with minimal onboarding time and hassle.
“E-commerce has gone borderless, and order fulfilment needs to do the same,” said Charles Brewer, CEO DHL eCommerce. “Our Australian facility adds another node to our standardised global network of fulfilment centres, eliminating the need for e-commerce merchants to hunt for new logistics partners as they look to expand their global reach.”
The centre’s design accommodates front-end integration with a range of marketplace and web-shop platforms, as well as multichannel order management and last-mile solutions. All of the centre’s services operate on a pay-per-use model with no capital spend or fixed costs.
“With cross-border e-commerce growing at an average of 29% per year until 2020, cost-efficiency and scalability are the critical issues for Australia’s online retailers,” said Malcolm Monteiro, CEO Asia Pacific, DHL eCommerce. “Whether it’s extending into new channels, offering more delivery options, or simply increasing inventory and warehouse capacity, Australian brands need fulfilment solutions that keep the operations lean no matter the delivery distances and volumes involved.”

ALC urges thorough analysis of Very Fast Train proposal

Any proposal to build a Very Fast Train (VFT) from Sydney to Melbourne should be passed straight to Infrastructure Australia (IA) for a thorough cost-benefit analysis, according to Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director of the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
Kilgariff was commenting on a reported proposal by Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA), an Australian-based consortium that says it has secured almost 20,000ha for new development sites along the rail corridor. CLARA says it will present an unsolicited bid to the Prime Minister within the first half of this year, funded by ‘value capture’.
Kilgariff said infrastructure funds were too scarce to commit to any significant project unless it had the full scrutiny of Infrastructure Australia. “There is a real risk that funds which ought to be devoted to worthwhile projects, such as Inland Rail, will be squandered on the VFT project,” he said. “ALC firmly believes that major projects need to have an independent detailed cost-benefit analysis.
“To date, all VFT proposals have failed any rigorous cost-benefit analysis. If anything the VFT case will become weaker in the light of the approval of Sydney’s second airport.”
“IA’s Infrastructure Priority List has identified Inland Rail as a Priority Project, noting the long-term benefits to potential users of the project, users of alternative infrastructure, and the broader economy,” Kilgariff added. “The trouble with committing to a VFT is that it would divert funds from more worthwhile projects, such as Inland Rail, at a time when the Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne passenger corridor is reasonably well-served.”
Kilgariff said there were also grounds for caution and scepticism about plans to ‘value capture’ increases in land prices to fund infrastructure – as shown in the ALC submission to the Federal Government discussion paper Using Value Capture to Help Deliver Major Land Transport Infrastructure last year.
“Proponents often couch big infrastructure proposals as ‘no cost to government’, but inevitably taxpayers are asked to contribute and they are entitled to demand value for money and wise allocation of resources,” he said.
CLARA has reportedly secured 50 per cent of the land needed to build eight new cities along the train line, with the company’s chairman and co-founder Nick Cleary said the project was driven by the prospect of turning cow paddocks into prime property, according to The Australian. “This is a real estate plan as opposed to a railway plan,” he reportedly said.

Western Sydney Airport to begin operations by 2026

The Turnbull Government has provided a ‘Notice of Intention’ to Sydney Airport Group, setting out the formal contractual terms for Sydney Airport Group to develop and operate Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.
Under the contract, Sydney Airport Group would be required to build the airport to the required standard including a 3,700 metre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It sets out key milestones, with earth moving works to commence by late 2018 and airport operations to commence by 2026.
“2016 has been a critical year for getting the essential regulatory and contractual preconditions in place for delivery of Western Sydney Airport,” said Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher.
As part of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport being privatised in 2002, Sydney Airport Group was granted a Right of First Refusal to build and operate Western Sydney Airport.
The Notice of Intention specifies the Commonwealth’s terms for developing and operating the Western Sydney Airport ­– if Sydney Airport Group accepts the Notice of Intention these will be the terms of the contract between the Commonwealth and Sydney Airport Group governing the construction and operation of Western Sydney Airport.
All of the costs of building and operating the airport would be met by Sydney Airport Group in return for all of the economic benefits of ownership of the airport over 99 years.
Should Sydney Airport Group choose to decline the opportunity to build and operate Western Sydney Airport, the Government will be free to develop and operate the airport itself, or to offer the opportunity to other private sector companies on substantially the same terms as those offered to Sydney Airport Group.

Six key pharmaceutical packaging market trends for 2017

With the pharmaceutical packaging market set to be worth $80 billion by 2020, it’s big business. According to the team behind processing and packaging trade exhibition Auspack, there are six big emerging trends to keep an eye on as we move into 2017.
First, plastic bottles use is on the up. With the decline of glass pharmaceutical bottles, plastic bottles are quickly becoming the most popular pharmaceutical container globally and sales are estimated to hit $20.6 billion by 2020.
The second trend to keep an eye on is the continued growth of blister packaging. It is expected to soon become the second best-selling pharmaceutical packaging, thanks to the growing popularity of unit dose formats and built-in track-and-trace technology.
Use of pouches is reducing in the pharmaceutical industry due to their limited use, though they are gaining ground in other markets.
Market research firm Freedonia has predicted that prefillable syringes will become the fastest growing aseptic packaging type, with growth of 11 per cent per year.
Brands will continue to search for the balance between impactful and earth-friendly branding. The market for OTC pharmaceuticals is highly competitive so, for brand owners, packaging has to provide maximum shelf impact and include eco-friendly options to cater for environment-conscious consumers
The final trend expected is a surge in serialisation. With regulation requirements set to get more stringent, pharmaceutical manufacturers are stepping up their serialisation strategies and, for processors wanting to export to overseas markets, it’s never been more important.
Auspack 2017 will take place 7–10 March at Sydney Showground at Sydney Olympic Park. Find out more on the Auspack website.

Report claims congestion costs Australia $3.3 billion annually

More than $3 billion worth of time is being lost per year due to traffic in Australia’s busiest cities, according to research conducted by TomTom.
The  TomTom Traffic Index Report has found traffic in Australia’s 10 busiest cities is increasing overall travel times by 25 per cent, on average. This is extending the time commercial drivers spend on the road by an average of 25 minutes per day across Australia’s major metros, costing those businesses in excess of $7.15 per day or $3.37 billion per year, as a result of wasted labour costs.
Christopher Chisman-Duffy, Sales Manager at TomTom Telematics ANZ, says, “Traffic congestion is a fact of life for every driver. As we reveal the latest Traffic Index results, we can see that the problem is not going away.”
“In fact, traffic congestion in Australia has increased by an average of 4 per cent over the last eight years, with Sydney being the most congested city in Australia and the 30th most congested city globally. There is a clear need to overcome the congestion challenge to recapture those lost hours.”
The report has also found morning peak hours (8am-9am) to be the worst time to travel, increasing overall travel times by an average of 42 per cent. This is followed by evening peak hours (5pm-6pm) where travel times increase by 41 per cent.
“Organisations that rely upon a mobile workforce know that success depends upon optimising the time spent doing billable work. Congestion means there is a greater chance the driver will become stuck, wasting billable time, burning fuel, missing targets and potentially disappointing customers,” says Chisman-Duffy.
“Telematics solutions can help businesses to overcome these issues, as they help keep your mobile teams out of traffic jams. Not only can they help to ensure drivers receive the best route, based on anticipated congestion spots and collected data from other devices, they can also enable the back office to better plan around congestion. By providing a platform that monitors potential traffic problems, fleet managers and planners can operate a smart scheduling and dispatch service, using the best placed driver for each job, every time.” concludes Chisman-Duffy.
Australia’s Top 10 Most Congested Cities in 2015

City Congestion Level Extra Travel Per Year (Hours) Cost per vehicle per day No. of Commercial Vehicles Cost to Business
Sydney 36% 151 $11.24 375,669 $980.79M
Melbourne 29% 120 $8.93 420,025 $871.47M
Hobart 29% 109 $8.36 37,364 $70.42M
Perth 27% 102 $7.78 281,340 $496.17M
Adelaide 25% 93 $6.92 128,482 $206.60M
Brisbane 25% 100 $7.49 336,412 $581.66M
Gold Coast 23% 81 $6.05 72,035 $100.88M
Newcastle 21% 79 $5.76 16,866 $23.04M
Canberra 17% 70 $5.19 31,502 $38.13M
Wollongong 15% 49 $3.75 2,518 $2.13M
Australian Average 25% 95 $7.15 This is a total figure: $3.37bn

Terrapinn: Over 1,000 rail leaders head to Hong Kong for Asia pacific rail 2016

Asia's rail industry is poised for serious growth. With over 6,500km of rail projects currently planned or announced in Asia, billions are being invested into the region.

But there are still challenges to overcome –we need infrastructure upgrades, we need to improve cost management of these mega projects, and of course, we need to deliver on passengers' increasing expectations as we move into the age of the smart digital railway.

Returning for the 18th year in Hong Kong this March 2016, Asia Pacific Rail will bring rail leaders from across the globe together under one roof to tackle these challenges head on. In 2016, the event will be bigger and better than ever before, with more content, more speakers, more networking, a larger exhibition and over 1,000 attendees. 

The two day conference will feature exciting innovations in metro, high-speed rail, mainline passenger and freight, all focused on the theme of enhancing operational excellence and passenger experience to improve your bottom line.

Sharing their insights are senior leaders from MTR, London Underground, Auckland Transport, China Railways, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Hyperloop Technologies, Myanmar Railways, Heathrow Express, SMRT Corporation, Seoul Line 9 Operation, State Railway of Thailand, Sydney Trains, Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation.

Alongside the senior level conference, the exhbition will feature over 35 exhibitors, 20 technical seminar presentations and up to 1,000 attendees walking the floor. Product demonstrations, networking and seminar presentations will be providing visitors with a one-stop shop gaining insights and updates on the industry.

BCS Group wins Toll parcel facility contract

Technology company BCS Group has won the contract to build a specialised sortation system for Toll’s new express parcel sorting facility.

Toll Group is currently building the 53,000 square metre facility in the new Bungarribee Industrial Estate in Sydney’s west.

The project will implement a combination of BCS Groups’ hardware solutions and smart software products Freightflow and SYM3 to provide transparency of the sites operations, as well as tracking and accurate loading information.

The project will enable Toll’s parcels to be sorted and processed at approximately four times the rate as the current system allows on a system that maintains ultimate parcel integrity.

BCS CEO Brad Jackson said the company developed specific modular freight management software with customisable sortation and handling for freight, parcel and distribution hubs.

“Freightflow can be deployed on both low and very high volume operations because of its scalable modular architecture, virtualisation technology and software performance,” Jackson said.

“The combination of the Freighflow and Sym3 which can be linked to multiple sites contributes dramatically to operational visibility and understanding, which is the key to optimising operations at not only a hub level but at a national level,” he said.

BCS has previously delivered one of the largest freight handling systems seen in Australasia in 2009. That project was in Auckland and is capable of sorting just under 20,000 parcels per hour.

Jackson said the Toll contract was a milestone for the company.

“Traditionally, the BCS Group core business was in automated airport solutions and our many logistics projects in recent years has gradually been balancing the ledger.

“We made a business decision last year to scale our operations preparing for these large logistics projects and our innovative industrial intelligence solutions have definitely allowed us to offer a unique value added solution which has helped us get across the line.” 

ARTC urges locals to stay safe around track works

The Australian Rail Track Corporation is asking residents along the North Melbourne to Albury section of the rail corridor to stay vigilant around the railway this holiday period as it undertakes a range of work.

The standard gauge track will be closed from 28 December to 31 January with further works taking place from now until mid-January.

ARTC’s executive general manager interstate Tim Ryan said despite many rail services not operating over Christmas and January, the North East Victorian rail corridor will busy with the ARTC undertaking a range of upgrade and maintenance work.

"With trains not operating during the Regional Rail Link shutdown period we’ve scheduled a range of works because it is a great window to get in and undertake them more safely and efficiently than we would otherwise be able," Ryan said.

"That means that there will be a greater number of work vehicles and workers around the track than usual and we ask residents to take care when travelling near the rail corridor for their own, and trackworker, safety.”

Most of the work will take place in daylight hours between 6am and 6.30pm, while some overnight work will occur at various sections of the track.

Ryan said some of the works will require road closures for short periods of time, but there will be traffic management in place and local residents will be informed.

"The work we are undertaking to rebuild this section of track is an important part of our major program to repair the line between Melbourne and Sydney," Ryan said.

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