Port of Melbourne backs MEGATRANS2018

The Port of Melbourne, Australasia’s largest maritime hub for containerised, automotive and general cargo, has partnered with newly launched transport and logistics trade event, MEGATRANS2018, for its debut in 2018. Read more

German logistics group to enter Australian market

German logistics specialist the Rhenus Group signed an agreement to purchase Australian freight forwarding company O’Brien Customs and Forwarding Pty Ltd on 16 June, as part of its expansion strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Melbourne-headquartered O’Brien family business handles air and sea freight consignments and provides customs and warehouse services. It was initially founded as a customs clearance firm in 1996 and has been offering air and sea freight transportation in addition to customs services for seven years.
The Rhenus Group is planning to expand the firm’s current operations in future with its network and its services, including domestic traffic, support for imports/exports, buyers’ consolidation as well as warehouse and integrated logistics solutions.
“The takeover of O’Brien and the founding of the national company to be known as Rhenus Logistics Australia enable us to cover the whole of Australia with our services,” said Jan Harnisch, COO, Ocean Freight – Asia, Rhenus. “As a result of the acquisition, we’re gaining experienced employees with local expertise for the global operations of the Air & Ocean business unit at Rhenus Freight Logistics too.”
 
Image source: Wikipedia

Entries open for 2017 Australian Freight Industry Awards

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is now accepting entries for the 2017 Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs).
“Now in their 28th year, the AFIAs have grown to become one of the most coveted accolades in the Australian freight industry, and are intended to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding achievements of participants in the transport sector,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“Last year, judges assessed more than 40 entries across a range of categories, and we’re hopeful of receiving even more entries in 2017, showcasing the many great things transport industry participants have achieved.”
Six awards will be contested this year and organisations have been invited to nominate for one or more of the following categories:

  • Investment in People
  • Best Practice Safety
  • Application of Technology
  • Waste & Recycling
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Personality of the Year

“Participating in the awards, through submitting one or more entries and attending the awards presentation with your staff, is a great way to support our industry and its people,” said Anderson.
The deadline for entries is Monday, 14 August. Criteria and entry forms are available by contacting the VTA on 03 9646 8590.
Award winners and finalists will be announced at the annual AFIA presentation celebration on Saturday, 2 September at the Palladium Ballroom at Crown, Melbourne.
 

Cloud software company wins New Zealand Post contract

Australia and New Zealand cloud software company PrimeQ has won a major contract with New Zealand Post designed to improve parcel and mail monitoring and deliveries.
PrimeQ will help the parcel service to deliver over 560 million items each year by automating its transportation and warehousing requirements through the Cloud.
PrimeQ will install, deliver and support cloud-based transport management system (TMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) software from Oracle.
“New Zealand Post will be able to monitor deliveries in real time, creating a better customer experience via the Cloud,” said Andrew McAdams, CEO, PrimeQ.
“PrimeQ’s installation of a state-of-the-art TMS will use the power of data to track the transportation of letters and parcels at every step of their journey and improve planning of bulk pick-ups and deliveries.
“PrimeQ is also consolidating and upgrading New Zealand Post’s WMS to better service e-commerce businesses seeking to outsource their warehousing and deliveries.”
Design work on New Zealand Post’s new TMS and WMS is now complete, with final configuration and pilot testing due to commence in the coming weeks.
“Our work with PrimeQ will contribute to improved parcel and mail deliveries across the country,” said Alan Court, General Manager – Transport and Logistics, New Zealand Post.
“It will also support the growth of New Zealand Post’s third-party logistics business, using the benefits of the Cloud.”
McAdams said PrimeQ would support New Zealand Post to become the first organisation in New Zealand to transfer a WMS into the Cloud.
“This is a major win for PrimeQ off the back of our rapid expansion in New Zealand and will create significant benefits for New Zealand Post,” he said.
“By replacing New Zealand Post’s legacy system with cloud-based Oracle solutions, PrimeQ can offer lower capital costs and rapid implementation times while creating greater delivery efficiencies.
“We will go live within six months, compared with 12 to 18 months for an on-premise system.
“Oracle has established a three-year SaaS subscription with New Zealand Post that includes technical support.”
PrimeQ is the only business in Australia and New Zealand to focus solely on Oracle cloud business solutions and services.

Linfox evolves with e-commerce

Transport giant Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a new array of fulfilment services to its portfolio that range from storage all the way through to product repairs.
Known for taking a proactive approach on new technology and shifts in market demand, Linfox has embraced the global e-commerce boom by adding a comprehensive range of fulfilment services to its portfolio.
“The market is moving towards online retailing and omni-channel systems, which is something traditional supply chains can’t necessarily support in a cost-effective way,” John Pucek, General Manager – Operations Development at Linfox, told Logistics & Material Handling.
“That’s why transport businesses like Linfox are evolving into much more multi-faceted organisations. Our new fulfilment operation in Sydney is the latest example of that evolution.”
The Sydney facility is designed to provide comprehensive fulfilment services for e-commerce operations – ranging from basic storage, ‘pick and pack’ and dispatch services through to product customisation, kitting, reverse logistics, repairs and even order track and trace services.
“We’re also developing our own, enterprise-grade e-commerce solution for the consumer goods market,” he said.
“A company will be able to purchase a fully managed service where we provide the e-commerce platform, a management team and online store management. We even do all the content management, and it will be integrated into our fulfilment.”
The service is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses trading between $120–300 million. “Rather than having to invest in their own e-commerce platform, they can get the complete package from us,” he explained – adding that the company launched the fulfilment and e-commerce projects at a strategy level in January 2016.
“We secured our first customer, consumer electronics company Belkin, in November 2016, and then went live in April this year,” he said.
Initially, Linfox will continue to focus on the consumer electronics market, he added, and it was recently announced that the company’s second confirmed customer is audio company Sennheiser. Next up are health and beauty. “The service offering suits many industries, but they’re the two current strategic targets,” he shared.
“We want to be a real partner of consumer goods organisations and retailers,” Pucek added – highlighting the evolutionary leap Linfox has taken from its beginnings as a transport operation.
“We’re hoping to be more so a partner than a 3PL – we want to be more integrated with them to help them grow their businesses, and now we’re looking at the other channels for which they want to grow their business and how we can support them by investing in the technologies for them.”
Pucek said that as consumers and small businesses demand better choice in how and where they receive their products, the market will continue to see change and innovation when it comes to last mile delivery.
“The challenge for traditional operators will be to bend and flex with consumer demand,” said Pucek.
“Linfox is investing heavily in our systems to provide small businesses and end consumers with greater visibility throughout the fulfilment supply chain.”

How will transport succeed in a ‘higher expectation’ future?

What will transport look like in the future? Will people and governments ever accept driverless B-doubles careering through city streets? Will we see flying delivery vans? Near-instant drone deliveries, or delivery by particle beam, Star Trek- style?
Change won’t be smooth. Driverless trucks might be available, but the regulators will be well behind. All of these innovations raise serious questions about safety and security, which will become political as the regulators and the public weigh up the pros and cons.
Rather than focus too heavily on what might be coming, we need to step back and consider the principles which will drive future developments.
The big picture tells us transport is often a source of great angst in the supply chain, as it’s one of business’s greatest costs. It also tells us that both B2B and B2C customers are becoming more savvy, and expecting more.
Our ability to succeed in this ‘higher expectation’ future will come down to applying timeless principles of successful delivery transport: the ability to offer personalised service, efficiently.
We need to continually ask: are we able to meet or even surpass the consumer’s expectations? Already, supply chain innovation from global behemoths such as Amazon is having a knock-on effect across many industries. We all need to put ourselves in the mindset of the ‘want-it-now’ shopper.
Consumers see innovations like next-day or half-day delivery, or parcel delivery tracking, and it becomes a standard expectation. Can same-day delivery become same-hour delivery? If consumers come to expect it, we will need to figure it out.
A key principle is that the wrong transport option fundamentally affects a product’s cost viability to market and the customer experience, both of which determine future sales. This applies to driverless vehicles, drones or standard delivery methods. If driverless trucks require a babysitter driver for safety reasons there may be some efficiency gains regarding fewer accidents and better fuel efficiency, but will there be big savings? How do we measure the performance? No matter what the method, you need a mentality to continually question and analyse to get results.
Unfortunately, many organisations fall over at the first step – not fully understanding their transport costs since many variables need to be accounted for. While technological tools are available, the knowledge to use these tools to their potential is often missing. Without this crucial starting point, it’s difficult to keep tabs on how your transport costs can be reined in and performance improved.
Greater efficiency and responsiveness is key, which means greater flexibility across the supply chain is needed. Technology plays a key role – in transport we are seeing supply chains across the board benefit from telematics and RFID technology to track deliveries. QR codes are good for inventory and protecting against lost or misplaced goods and play a big role in customer service by automatically updating customers on a parcel’s delivery status. It’s now a standard expectation among both B2B and B2C customers.
We can expect more data-driven decision-making in a quest to become more efficient. New technologies such as blockchain, a distributed ledger system, may introduce greater transparency and security for contracts.
You don’t necessarily need to be first to the market and take undue risks, but you do need a finger on the pulse to understand the changes and be open to new ways of doing things.
We can expect refinements in areas aside from technology, including more specialists in the market, more collaboration with clients, 3PL providers being more integrated and accountable, and collaboration between specialist suppliers across the supply chain.
This may include insourcing specialist teams which include back-up personnel for when you have absentees or when you need to increase resources quickly, working untraditional hours to increase delivery efficiencies, re-evaluating whether outsourcing the warehousing, transport and other supply functions is better than doing it in-house. While insourcing is nothing new, it remains underutilised by many.
With mounting pressure to be faster and more traceable, and the competitive pressure of global markets encroaching on traditional local areas, companies will increasingly avoid running an entire end-to-end service themselves. Partnering with the correct suppliers who specialise in areas of the supply chain will be just as critical to a client’s success in the future as it is now. The delivery method – whether it be a plane, drone, train, truck, driverless car or pushbike – is still inefficient unless the cornerstones such as correct processes, systems, management and KPIs are in place.
The good news is that many of the solutions which make you more efficient are becoming more accessible. Insourcing a dedicated transport team makes you more responsive, and gives you more flexibility with costs, while telematics technology is now available to everyone via smartphone, whereas previously it was only accessible to the larger freight companies.
A healthy supply chain benefits business like a healthy cardiovascular system benefits an individual. It’s inseparable from business success. Whether the crucial transport delivery happens via flying van or particle beam will be fascinating to see.

Walter Scremin, General Manager, Ontime Group.
Walter Scremin, General Manager, Ontime Group.

Walter Scremin is General Manager of national delivery transport company Ontime Group, which provides tailored, agile delivery transport solutions to a range of clients including SMEs and large listed companies.
Walter is passionate about measuring performance and leveraging technology and has overseen several technology projects including Ontime’s unique Fleet X-Ray analysis software, a telematics tracking system and smartphone app designed to track vehicles and deliveries.

VTA relocates to Webb Dock

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has announced it is moving from its premises in Fishermans Bend in Port Melbourne to a modern new office space two kilometres away, at Webb Dock.
From Monday, 26 June, the VTA and the Victorian Waste Management Association will be located at Mirrat House, Webb Dock.
“After almost 20 years at Fishermans Bend, the opportunity arose to relocate to new premises with modern features and amenity that is much better-suited to our staff and membership,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“The new office features training rooms and facilities that are better equipped for the types of programs we are offering, and cater to various sizes and configurations in line with the growing number of participants we are experiencing.
“We can also better support members that may require use of some of our facilities, with plans to make offices, meeting and training rooms available to members by arrangement.”
“We look forward to welcoming members and other visitors to our new home next week,” Anderson added.

Northline opens SA’s first intermodal cargo hub

Transport and logistics provider Northline has opened a new purpose-built $23 million, 10,440m2 facility in Adelaide, with a direct access cargo link to rail operator Pacific National.
The facility is strategically positioned alongside the Kilburn railhead, in close proximity to Adelaide’s north-south road corridor, which is currently being upgraded with a $2.5 billion Federal and State government investment
The new Adelaide depot facilitates B-double movements, and will be a customs-compliant Quarantined Approved Premises (QAP).
Northline’s investment in Adelaide is the final stage of a three-year, $98 million investment in new transport and logistics facilities in four states and territories.
The company has also opened new depots in Darwin, Brisbane, Townsville and Sydney as well as moving into a dedicated depot in Mackay.
Craige Whitton, CEO, Northline, said the new state-of-the-art Adelaide transport and logistics facility is an investment in the efficiency and effectiveness of our customer’s supply chain.
“Northline recognises the need for a multi-modal solution to meet customer’s needs which has led us to bringing road and rail closer together as well as ensuring easy access to Australia’s major seaports for import/export.
“With investments made over the last three years, Northline now has one of the most modern networks of transport and logistics depots across mainland Australia.”
Pacific National, a partner of Northline, welcomed the company’s investment, recognising the need for greater collaboration between road and rail transport providers.
“Northline’s facility represents the first intermodal cargo link operation in South Australia, said Andrew Adam, General Manager of Pacific National Intermodal.
“The benefits of the direct movement of rail containers between the rail terminal and Northline’s facility is already being shown with a reduction of trucks on the road and an overall improvement in supply chain efficiency.”
Northline is also seeing increasing demand for warehousing space within its facilities, and the new Adelaide facility boasts 3,500m2 of warehousing space with modern high-bay racking, along with a 440m2 wash bay and container servicing area. The facility is also located on a 30,000m2 hard stand.
The facility is the third such development facilitated for Northline by the Gibb Group.

Melbourne attracts nation’s biggest-ever transport and logistics show

Supported by the Victorian State Government, Melbourne will soon play host to the most ambitious transport, logistics and supply chain event ever staged in Australia.
Aptly named MEGATRANS2018, it will make its debut from 10 to 12 May 2018 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and will cover the entire supply chain from point of origin to point of sale – including the wider infrastructure and logistics industry.
According to Show Director, Simon Coburn, MEGATRANS2018 is a direct response to megatrends such as population growth, urbanisation, congestion, demographic change and sustainability. “Transport and logistics are not about transporting goods from A to B anymore – they’re evolving constantly and involve much more complex services,” he told CRTNews – adding Australia could be on the brink of a logistics revolution.
“Whole new markets will emerge under our nose as we embrace the sharing economy, Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence, while others will become obsolete overnight. MEGATRANS2018 is Australia’s response to what could be the biggest industrial revolution of this generation – after all logistics touches every single industry serving the Australian people.”
Urgently needed supply chain and logistics solution
Honouring the size and scope of the “tectonic shift” that is to come, Coburn said MEGATRANS2018 will bring together stakeholders from all sectors affected by it – ranging from road, rail, air and sea transport through to logistics management, warehousing, materials handling and infrastructure development.
The three-day expo will thus provide a “platform for everyone involved in planning, executing and documenting the flow and storage of goods” between the point of origin and point of consumption.
Spread across a 30,000mfootprint, MEGATRANS2018 will distinguish between four distinct functional areas, including Logistics & Material Handling; Warehousing & Storage; Road Transport, Air, Sea & Rail; Infrastructure; and Technology, explained Coburn – adding that the highly topical issue of safety features prominently across all sectors and modes of transport and will be a key focus area of the show.
“As the borders between industries blur, new, multi-dimensional concepts have to rise to the challenge, and MEGATRANS2018 is leading the way.”
Providing a forum for industry interaction
Coburn added the show was meant to facilitate in-depth discussions on how global megatrends will affect Australian supply chains, uncovering new business trends and exploring new, innovative technologies along the way.
As such, MEGATRANS2018 will provide the stage for not only the largest exhibition of its kind in Australia, but also a variety of international and domestic conferences by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) and the Victorian Transport Association (VTA). MEGATRANS2018 will also host the Global Shippers Summit.
The show will also feature site visits of Australia’s leading supply chain infrastructure, Industry 4.0, a technology showcase, key industry networking events, ministerial and government department round tables.
Nationwide support from key leaders
In line with that, MEGATRANS2018 has already garnered the support of an array of industry partners and associations, including the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA), the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA), the Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), which represents over 800 employers and businesses across the entire transport and logistics industry and will host its annual Freight Outlook at the show.
The Victorian State Government has officially endorsed the event as well and is actively supporting it, prompting VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, to reemphasise just how important the event is for the future of both the local Victorian and the Australian economy.
“MEGATRANS2018 will be the essential trade event for companies looking to be at the forefront of innovation, technology and industry collaboration. To be in partnership with MEGATRANS2018 is an incredible opportunity that will bring increased value for all attendees.”
ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff, said MEGATRANS2018 was a timely opportunity to unite a range of highly fragmented industries and create synergies that could benefit everyone in Australia: “The Australian Logistics Council is focused on improving supply chain efficiency across the freight logistics industry and ensuring increased value and economic benefits for our members and the broader community.”
“As such, we are excited to support MEGATRANS2018, knowing it will play a vital role in connecting industry players to create collaborative opportunities and facilitate thought leadership engagement.”
Already a success
Coburn told Prime Creative Media that with such outspoken support from both industry associations and governments, MEGATRANS2018 has created a buzz from the get-go. Leading fleets and 3PLs have already come on board in support of the event, with more enquiries coming in by the day.
“The initial feedback has been overwhelming and clearly shows that MEGATRANS2018 will meet and exceed expectations in delivering a comprehensive and unique platform for the wider Australian infrastructure sector,” he said.
“As an exciting new trade show, the scope of which hasn’t been done in Australia before, MEGATRANS2018 will be a hub for industry representatives across the entire supply chain,” he explained.
“We’re inviting everyone to be a part of this game-changing expo format – from hands-on decision makers in the supply chain and logistics industry to CEOs, COOs, regulatory bodies, urban planners and government on all levels. Now is the time to bring everyone together and start connecting the dots.”
Key facts
When? 10 – 12 May 2018
Where? Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
How big? All 20 bays of the Centre; 30,000m

Porsche SE acquires PTV Group

Logistics software provider Planung Transport Verkehr AG (PTV Group) has been acquired by Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) in a deal worth more than €300 million ($450 million).
PTV Group develops software and provides expertise for transport planning and logistics. The acquisition is part of a long-term investment strategy and Porsche SE reportedly considerable growth potential in the optimisation of the flow of people and goods.
Vincent Kobesen, CEO, PTV Group, said, “We have now found the right strategic investor for our company. This allows us to remain independent and helps us reach our ambitious goals for the upcoming years.”
Those goals includes growth in new markets – over 2,500 cities already use PTV products, including many Australian cities. On a daily basis, over one million vehicles in Australia and around the world make transport runs planned with PTV.
PTV Group’s management team will continue to manage business operations to prepare for further anticipated growth.

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