Australian cold-chain industry forms food-waste advocacy group

Australia’s first advocacy group to improve compliance and standards in the handling of food at all levels of the cold chain has been established at a meeting in Queensland.
The inaugural session of the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) on 7 August 2017 brought together representatives from the manufacturing, food transport, refrigeration and cold chain industries.
The Council has reportedly been established in response to mounting community pressure about the costs and environmental damage of food wastage, with the AFCCC positioning itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain.
“The new Council is not about promoting an industry – we want to change the industry for the better, said Interim Chair, Mark Mitchell.
“One of our priorities will be to apply whatever pressure is needed in industry and in government to make sure the existing Australian standards for cold chain food handling are properly followed.
“There’s lots of rhetoric in government programs, associations and among food handlers and suppliers about commitments to food waste reduction and cold chain compliance, but little, if nothing, is being done at any level about improving the cold chain, and ensuring that standards are followed. Australia’s track record in efficient cold food handling, from farm to plate, is far from perfect.”
The interim directors of AFCCC are Stephen Elford General Manager Australia New Zealand, Carrier Transicold; Mark Mitchell, Managing Director, SuperCool Australia Pacific; Peter Lawrence, Technical Director ANZ, Thermo King; Kyle Hawker, Transport Manager, Simplot Australia; Adam Wade, National Transport Leader, Lion; Kevin Manfield, General Manager – Products & Markets, MaxiTRANS Australia; plus a nominated individual representing the transport industry.
The AFCCC asserts that on average, Australians waste 860kg of food per person annually, with at least five per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from food wastage.
Mitchell noted that Australian industry is well placed to attack the issue.
“Performance across the cold-food chain can be improved with better equipment and handling processes as well as with improved monitoring and assessment to determine where the weaknesses lie,” he said.
The new advocacy group’s first priorities will be contributing to both the development of the National Food Waste Strategy and becoming part of the CRC designed to address food waste and fraud.

VISA Global Logistics signs deal with Gebrüder Weiss

Freight forwarder VISA Global Logistics (VGL) has entered an agency agreement with international transport and logistics company, Gebrüder Weiss (GW), to become its exclusive agent in Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to its core business of land transport, air and sea freight logistics, GW operates several highly specialised industry solutions and subsidiaries under the umbrella of Gebrüder Weiss Holding AG, based in Lauterach. Austria.
VGL’s global reach has now further extended to cover GW’s worldwide network in over 150 locations, including: Canada, USA, Japan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

UC Logistics launches compliance app for freight operators

Perth-based UC Logistics has launched a new transport platform to enable heavy-haulage providers to meet Australia’s strict compliance standards.
The online business-to-business platform, iFR8, allows clients to receive and compare quotes and book freight movements with ‘premium’ Australian transport providers, and gives drivers constant reminders of their Chain of Responsibility obligations.
Urszula Kelly, Founder and Managing Director, UC Logistics, said the company launched the transport platform after hearing concerns that those already in the marketplace had been launched by companies taking no responsibility for ensuring their service providers, putting their goods at risk of loss, damage or delay by operators unaware of their legal obligations when receiving and transporting goods.
Kelly said several companies contacted UC Logistics Australia about their worries, asking them to come on board with their apps.
“When we asked how they ensure their providers comply with the law, they didn’t have an answer,” she said. “This prompted us to develop our own platform – iFR8, which is distinctly different from the others.
“We engage only premium quality heavy haulage providers who are accredited, adequately insured, qualified and extensively experienced in their field.
“We take safety and compliance very seriously and spend a significant amount of time on screening operators that want to work with us.”
The platform offers one contact point for all logistics requirements, regardless of whether the job takes one provider or many, so clients no longer need to speak to numerous suppliers to manage multiple quotes and jobs.
In addition, it provides a digital paper trail of all freight movements through a web portal and mobile app.
Kelly noted that some of the smallest companies provide the best service at the best rates, adding that iFR8 allows them to compete on a level playing field.
“iFR8 offers equal opportunity for all providers – regardless of how small their fleet,” she said.
“We welcome collaborations with suppliers of the highest quality, who meet our strict prequalification requirements and who have a proven record of providing ‘beyond expectations’ customer service.
“There are many ‘wannabe’ transport businesses out there at the minute, this is why it makes perfect sense to promote suppliers that are passionate about the safety and passionate about the transport industry in general – we are excited about collaborating with them.”

IA appoints former Toll executive to board

Infrastructure Australia (IA) has announced a renewed board, featuring representatives with experience across many areas of infrastructure.
Julieanne Alroe, the new chair of the board, is CEO and Managing Director of the Brisbane Airport Corporation and has served on the IA board since June 2015.
Former senior Toll executive Andrew Ethell has also joined the board, along with Reece Waldock, former Director-General of the Western Australian Department of Transport; Deena Shiff, former senior Telstra executive; and Dr Peter Wood former Evans & Peck executive.
“I am really pleased that the diverse experience of the new appointees – across telecommunications, trucking and logistics, state government transport delivery and consulting engineering – will complement the skills of the continuing board members,” said Paul Fletcher, Minister for Urban Infrastructure.
“I warmly thank outgoing board members Mark Birrell, Gerard Blood, Michael Carapiet and Peter Watson for their service. I particularly want to note the outstanding contribution of Mark Birrell, as chair and previously a board member.
“The Coalition Government has established a stronger role for Infrastructure Australia and Mr Birrell has overseen significant projects, including the Australian Infrastructure Audit—the nation’s first comprehensive examination of infrastructure across the energy, telecommunications, water and transport sectors—and the delivery of the first 15–year Australian Infrastructure Plan.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the new appointments, particularly the appointment of the ALC’s former Deputy Chairman and Honorary Fellow, Andrew Ethell.
Ethell served on the ALC’s Board from 2008 until 2017, and was Deputy Chairman for almost that entire period.
“This appointment recognises Andrew’s considerable expertise across the policy issues of vital importance to Australia’s freight logistics industry,” saidMichael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“We likewise welcome the appointment of Julianne Alroe as the new Chair of IA, as well as the appointment of Deena Schiff and Reece Waldock to the Board, and welcome the continuing service of Nicole Lockwood, given her expertise in freight logistics matters.
“[The] ALC also acknowledges the contributions of the outgoing IA Board members. We especially thank outgoing Chairman, Mark Birrell, who has been a reliable ally for our industry over many years.”
“ALC has been one of IA’s most vocal supporters. As the nation’s independent infrastructure umpire, we believe IA plays a critical role in advancing the infrastructure projects Australia needs to promote economic and employment growth,” he said.
“These include transformational projects such as Inland Rail, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal in NSW, the Western Sydney Airport and, of course, recommending the development of a comprehensive National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which is being undertaken by the Federal Government.
“Andrew Ethell’s wealth of experience and close involvement in issues affecting the freight logistics sector will add an important perspective to IA’s deliberative processes.”

ALC says freight “crucial” to city development

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has stressed the importance of efficient and safe supply chains in its submission to the House of Representatives’ enquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.
“The essential items most Australians take for granted – our food, household appliances, clothing, medications and cars, to name just a handful – are generally not grown or manufactured close to the cities where most of us live,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
“Because of this, it is critical that as the Australian Government develops and implements their cities policies, adequate attention is given to the way freight moves in our cities.
“While urban renewal has become a policy priority for state and local governments, the reality is land-use changes, made to allow further residential and commercial developments, are increasingly impinging on the efficiency of Australia’s supply chains.”
Kilgariff added that operations at nationally significant infrastructure facilities including Port Botany, Fremantle Port and the Port of Melbourne are currently, or are at risk of, being constrained due to urban encroachment.
“A truly safe and efficient supply chain needs to be able to operate round the clock, so that freight movement is able to occur at all times and operators can take advantage of off-peak road traffic volumes,” he said.
“[The] ALC’s submission also discusses the importance of corridor protection. For example, a recent study by Infrastructure Australia (IA) found that, with adequate corridor protections in place, $66 million could be saved when a future freight rail line is constructed to the Port of Brisbane.
“A discussion on CBD freight delivery, the separation of passenger and freight infrastructure and insufficient integration of new and existing transport infrastructure also forms part of [the] ALC’s submission.”
The ALC will be appearing before the Committee to elaborate on its submission at a Public Hearing in Canberra on Friday, 11 August.
 
 

Freight forum focuses on urban NSW supply-chain strategy

At the Sydney Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Forum, held in late July in Eastern Creek by the Hargrave Institute and Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Sydney, a select group were invited to discuss urban freight supply chains in Sydney, the performance of the current freight system, and its projected future performance.
Simon O’Hara, General Manager of Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) shared several key takeaways from the event, noting that the value of products moved by freight in New South Wales is $200 billion, transport can make up 30 per cent of the final cost of commodities, freight’s value to the New South Wales economy is $66 billion, it accounts for 12 per cent of the state’s gross product and, perhaps most important of all, it is expected to double over the next four decades.
Freight challenges discussed included urban encroachment, last mile, rail access competition, freight facility access and heavy-vehicle regulations, he shared.
“There were discussions around disruptors to road freight like connected and autonomous vehicles, truck platooning and m2m (machine to machine)/telematics,” O’Hara added.
He stated that the increase of volumes at Port Botany and Port Kembla was also in focus. “The figures for the increase are extraordinary with a tripling of container volumes out to 2045,” he said. “It is worth noting 80 per cent of import containers through Port Botany are delivered with a 40km radius of the Port and will continue for the next 40 years.
“This means container volumes which sit at 2.3 million (TEU) stretch out to 7.5 TEU at the lower end or 8.4 million TEU at higher end by 2045.
The increases are projected based on strong population growth in Sydney and the Illawarra region.
“Importantly, infrastructure plays a key role in the requirements for this freight task through Sydney and Western Sydney,” O’Hara added. “Protected and efficient freight corridors are needed, as is a connection of Port Botany to WestConnex.”

Past winner Kalari encourages industry to submit entries for AFIAs

With just under a month until entries to the 2017 Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIA) close, the winner of last year’s Best Practice Safety category has called for the industry to get behind the event by submitting an entry.
Kalari, one of Australia’s most innovative and prominent specialist bulk logistics providers, won the much-sought-after Best Practice Safety AFIA in 2016, with Managing Director Peter O’Shannessey saying the award was recognition of the company’s efforts to enshrine safety within its culture.
“It was very clear to me that everyone in the organisation owned and were proud of the award,” O’Shannessey said. “The shared success was a very positive contribution to our team culture and Zero Harm goal.
“Our customers understand and appreciate that an Australian Freight Industry Award is not easily achieved. The award served as objective evidence of Kalari’s commitment to continuous improvement and relentless pursuit of best practice in safety.”
Kalari’s award followed a concerted effort to provide a safe and incident-free workplace, which included eliminating hazards and recognising fatigue as an important area of focus.
The company held face-to-face safety days with employees around the country over 12 months leading up to the award win, with a fatigue consultant attending each session to equip teams with tools to carry out personal fatigue risk assessments, and to recognise and manage fatigue of colleagues.
Kalari had also installed Guardian proactive technology across its fleet to help tackle driver fatigue and distraction using driver-facing sensors.
VTA CEO Peter Anderson said Kalari set a terrific example for other operators to follow.
“Safety is the most important thing for any operator to get right, and it’s important that the many safety success stories happening right throughout the industry are acknowledged, which is where the AFIAs make a real difference,” he said.
“We invite all members of our industry to share their success stories by nominating for an AFIA. It is more important than ever for us as an industry to create awareness in the general community of the many positive contributions we make.”
Entries for the 2017 AFIAs are now open across six categories, closing 14 August. For an entry form, please contact the VTA on 03 9646 8500 or reception@vta.com.au
The winners and finalists will be announced at a presentation celebration in Melbourne on 2 September.

Slow IT uptake for transport and logistics

A new survey has revealed that transport and logistics businesses are lagging in IT uptake, though the sector has ample opportunity to improve and develop.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Business Use of Information Technology and Innovation in Australian Business (2015-2016) report found that 31.9 per cent of businesses in the ‘Transport, Postal and Warehousing’ sectors introduced IT innovation in the period, while 12.9 per cent continued established innovation plans.
Only 27.2 per cent of transport and logistics businesses reported that they had placed orders via the internet, while 21.6 per cent received online orders.
A fifth of the businesses surveyed reported having a social media presence, while a quarter were found to have a web presence.
For those transport and logistics companies who launched innovation processes in the period, one in five noted that the process change focused on goods and services, 16.8 per cent focused on operation processes and 15 per cent on organisation or managerial change.
 

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.”
 

LeadWest calls for solution to empty container problem

LeadWest, the advocacy group for Melbourne’s west, has called for the Andrews Government to urgently progress development for an inland rail terminal for freight to relocate shipping container parks, and get dangerous and polluting truck traffic off roads in Melbourne’s west.
While truck bans have been announced on Francis, Somerville and Buckley streets as part of the West Gate Tunnel project, LeadWest has estimated that the majority of the 10,000 truck trips along those streets involve the transportation of shipping containers which are being transported to and from the port to empty container parks located in Tottenham, Brooklyn, West Footscray and Yarraville.
The Western Interstate Freight Terminal (WIFT) is outlined in the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne to be built in Truganina and has been in pre-feasibility stage for years without progress, the group noted.
LeadWest has called for the WIFT to be developed urgently so container parks and associated traffic can be relocated to a more appropriate location.
“As this type of trucking usually involves slim profit margins, often the vehicles are old and poor quality, worsening the impacts on communities,” the group said in a statement. “Developing the WIFT and associated freight activity centre would enable container parks to be relocated and the transport of both full and empty containers to the port occur via rail.”
Craig Rowley, CEO, LeadWest said, “Empty shipping containers are almost the biggest export from the Port of Melbourne.
“Empty shipping containers are stored in container parks in Brooklyn and Tottenham and then trucked in their thousands to the Port of Melbourne along residential streets.”
Speaking to Logistics & Materials Handling, Peter Anderson, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) noted that empty containers will be necessary so long as Australia has a working port, since the country imports more containerised goods than it exports.
“As the port continues to grow we need to strike a better balance between road and rail to enable those movements,” he added. “An intermodal hub is essential for this balanced to be achieved.
“The VTA has put forward a number of sensible solutions to the government to reduce the impact of heavy-vehicle movements on local roads, such as multi-user discounts on tolls, efficiency rebates for low emission vehicles.” and specialist training for drivers operating in the area.
 

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