VIC commits to Inland Rail freight corridor

The Victorian Government has signed up to the Inland Rail Project, a direct rail freight connection between Melbourne and Brisbane hoped to jump-start the state’s Regional Rail Revival program.
Victoria is the first state to officially commit to the Inland Rail Project, signing a bilateral agreement with the Federal Government. This pledges them to a long-term lease with the Australian Rail Track Corporation and supports the extension of the northeast inland rail corridor, in addition to changes to the North East Rail Line. This development will allow for the moving of double-stacked freight containers between Melbourne and Brisbane and is expected to return $16 billion to the national economy.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said it was a positive step forward on a project that will create both jobs and investment opportunities throughout regional Victoria.
“I’m pleased to reach agreement with Victoria, the first state to get behind Inland Rail which will improve freight travel times for local farmers and producers and support thousands of jobs,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “Once complete, Inland Rail will create thousands of jobs nationwide and return $16 billion to the national economy during the delivery phase and in the first 50 years of operation.”
While Inland Rail is a freight project, it will also extend benefits to passengers, releasing funds for much-needed upgrades via the Victorian Regional Rail Revival program.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects Jacinta Allan thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for “acting quickly, so we can now get on with the job of upgrading track, stations and signalling throughout regional Victoria, to run modern trains and get people home sooner.”

ARTSA Global Leaders Summit to address blockchain

Blockchain will be one of the key talking points at the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders Summit in Melbourne on 8 May, run in conjunction with multimodal trade event, MEGATRANS2018.
The technology that was created for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is being touted by industry leaders as a potential gamechanger for the transactional database–processes used in freight and logistics.
As cryptocurrency-based applications built on top of the blockchain become an increasing focus, industry leaders are looking to explore the agility new technologies such as blockchain bring to expanding business operations.
It is anticipated that this will be achieved by moving away from databases, to the edge of networks – more specifically a virtual network where information and transactions are stored by nodes, made transparent and secured by a sequential process across a public block. That block becomes the unique chain of record.
It’s a way of facilitating end-to-end commercial transactions without individual arrangements.
Chief Analytics Officer for FreightWaves and Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, Dean Croke, will be among the guest speakers. Disruption, he has claimed, will open the doors of innovation.
“It’s a revolution that will influence all transport and logistics firms, and fits very well with the theme of the conference,” he said.
The event will explore whether blockchain’s competencies in moving representational goods, such as cryptocurrencies – translate into the ability to move physical goods.
Other speakers confirmed for the event include DB Schenker Chief Information Officer, Charlie MacDonald, and Wettenhalls Transport CEO, Mike Lean, who will explain how his transport company is applying 21st-century technologies to its processes.
Tickets can be purchased here.
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Deputy PM addresses logistics industry at ALC Forum

In his first speech to industry since being appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, told the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Forum this week that the free trade agreements with countries such as Japan, South Korea and China will have a positive effect on local logistics industries.
“Recently we concluded the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement , TPP 11, that is also going to provide benefits with wheat, sugar, rice, beef, sheep meat, wine, industrial products – all those types of products that are carried on the trucking companies around this nation. Getting goods to market in a timely and effective way is so important these days,” McCormack said. “We now need to take advantage of them with better logistics.
“We also need to make sure we improve the roads, not only from a road safety point of view but so we can get the trucking companies – those people who provide the lifeblood of our transport industry – to get product to port, get product to supermarkets, and making sure that our regional capitals and our capital cities can survive and thrive into the future.
“Because without regional Australia, and without those trucking companies, quite frankly metropolitan cities wouldn’t last. Your businesses form part of the fabric that holds together our economy, and in doing so collectively you contribute almost 10 per cent to GDP and over one million jobs. That is why the coalition government is focused on providing the sort of infrastructure that this sector needs.”
McCormack revealed the background to his decision when considering what portfolio to take in in conjunction with his role as Deputy PM.
“I chose Infrastructure and Transport because it is the nexus of what the National Party and regional parliamentarians want to be able to do and do well, and it’s such an important and critical aspect of government. That’s the portfolio I chose and not just because of regional Australia but indeed for the national interest.”

New Transport Minister talks regional, infrastructure priorities

The new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, has spoken to Logistics & Materials Handling about his new role, Australia’s upcoming big-ticket projects and the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
“Small regional communities hold a special place in Australia,” he said. “Our vital supply-chain sector, road and rail, accounts for approximately 10 per cent of GDP and plays a pivotal role in supporting enhanced productivity and economic growth.”
He noted that investment in national roads, railways, improved port access, intermodal links, and the upgrade of hundreds of ageing bridges would have long-term benefits for all those using Australia’s transport networks, including public transport and heavy vehicles.
“I look forward to working with the freight and logistics sector to build on the progress that has been made through partnerships with all levels of government and industry to deliver a sustainable, safer and reliable freight network,” McCormack added.
He also shared his excitement for receiving the final report of the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities from the Expert Panel, which is likely to be unveiled at the ALC Forum, which is taking place this week.
“It is pleasing to hear of the strong interest and support the Inquiry process has received from industry, and I look forward to working with my state and territory counterparts to address priorities raised through the development of a national freight strategy,” he said.
“Acting on these priorities will not only help drive the productivity improvements necessary to sustain and raise Australia’s standard of living and economic growth, but will also help to improve safety and environmental outcomes of the national freight sector.”

Women in Industry nominations now open

Businesses in the Australian logistics, supply chain and commercial road transport sectors are invited to submit their nominations for the 2018 Women in Industry awards.
The event will be held at Doltone House in Sydney, 14 June.
Women in Industry nomination categories include:
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
Recognition for individuals who show significant promise within their chosen industry or who have reached new goals at the start of their career.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER OF THE YEAR
This category seeks out Business Development Managers who have created new growth opportunities which allowed their organisation to expand and generate greater revenue.
INDUSTRY ADVOCACY AWARD
Recognition of individuals who have helped shape a positive view of their industry and/or helped to create a policy change which benefits those working in the sector.
SAFETY ADVOCACY AWARD
Safety is of utmost concern and this category highlights those individuals working actively to improve safety for their industry.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR
This category recognises those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to developing female talent within their organisation and wider industry.
EXCELLENCE IN MANUFACTURING
This category recognises an individual who has thought ‘outside the box’ to implement an outstanding personal contribution to their manufacturing business and the wider manufacturing community.
EXCELLENCE IN MINING
This category recognises individuals who have made a positive contribution to one of the many facets of the mining industry.
EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING
This award recognises an individual who has shown leadership in engineering, technological excellence and innovation.
EXCELLENCE IN ROAD TRANSPORT
This category recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to improve and positively impact the Australian road transport industry.
The Women in Industry Awards recognises and rewards the achievements of women working within the mining, engineering, manufacturing, process control industries and commercial road transport industries, and aims to raise the profile of women within industry, as well as promote and encourage excellence.

Nationals appoint new Transport, Deputy Prime Minister

Barnaby Joyce has been replaced as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport by the new Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack.
The new minister was sworn in on the morning of Monday 26 February after Joyce announced he would be stepping down from his position in the Cabinet.
McCormack declared his intention to run for the leadership of the National Party on Friday, 23 February, and was formally elected. National MP George Christensen contested the challenge, but said in a media statement later that he “looks forward to working with the new leader while representing the people of central and north Queensland.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement that he was delighted to welcome the appointment of McCormack as the new leader of the National Party.
Darren Chester, who until recently was Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, welcomed McCormack and thanked Joyce for his efforts.
“I welcome the election of Michael McCormack as leader of the Nationals,” said Chester. “His determination, professionalism and work ethic make him an ideal leader of our team.
“I want to acknowledge former leader Barnaby Joyce and recognise his many achievements as Deputy Prime Minister. Under his leadership, the Nationals delivered policies and projects that made a different in the lives of regional Australians.”
The road transport industry welcomed the appointment, including the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Geoff Crouch.
“Michael McCormack will bring great drive and determination to the infrastructure and transport portfolio,” said Crouch.
“I have known Michael for more than 20 years. He is a proven advocate for small business, and regional and remote Australia. I’m confident he’ll bring this drive and determination to supporting the road transport industry.”
Crouch said that Minister McCormack had demonstrated an understanding of the importance of the road transport industry, having said in Parliament [on 14 March, 2012]: “If it needs to be carried, carted, dumped, hauled, moved, shifted or transported, there is every likelihood a truck or trailer will be the most economical, fastest and most reliable way of getting it from point A to point B.”
Crouch said the appointment of Minister McCormack was an opportunity to focus the transport agenda on improving safety and boosting productivity.
“Trucking is critical to connecting Australians with goods and exports, as Michael McCormack knows well,” said Crouch.
“But road transport must be safe, and must keep Australian businesses competitive in global markets.
“The ATA looks forward to engaging with the Deputy Prime Minister on the need for independent and expert safety investigations of heavy vehicle accidents by the [Australian Transport Safety Bureau – ATSB – ed.] on implementing the new laws on Chain of Responsibility, and ensuring our fatigue laws and rest areas are focused on saving lives.
“We also need to enable economic opportunity by boosting productivity, improving road access, building better and safer roads and eliminating over-regulation,” he said.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) said it is pleased that McCormack will also assume the role of Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
“It is pleasing that the second most senior figure in the Government will retain portfolio responsibility for this crucial area, given the importance of developing transport infrastructure to support national supply chain efficiency and build Australia’s export capacity,” said ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“As an industry leader on freight and supply chain policy, ALC always seeks to have a cooperative and productive relationship with the key ministers in portfolio areas that impact our industry,” he said.
Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson also welcomed the appointment. “The Victorian Transport Association wishes to congratulate Michael McCormack on his election as Leader of the Nationals, and his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport,” said Anderson. “We have worked closely with his predecessors in these vital portfolio areas, and we look forward to working with the Minister and his team to develop policies and solutions that improve conditions for freight and logistics operators throughout Australia.”

VTA, RFNSW advise operators on infrastructure surcharge hike

Stevedore Patrick recently advised road and rail freight operators of plans to increase infrastructure surcharges at its terminals from 12 March.
The new rates are as follow:
Melbourne: $47.50 per box
Sydney: $41.10 per box
Brisbane: $38.25 per box
Fremantle: $7.50 per box
The increases will apply to both road and rail transport operators for full import and export container movements at the terminals, and will be “subject to an annual review,” with any price change to apply from 1 July 2018.
Road operators will continue to be invoiced electronically via 1-Stop.
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has written to members to urge them to pass on infrastructure surcharge increases, saying ultimately consumers must bear the brunt of supply-chain cost increases.
“Operators continue to face unprecedented increases to infrastructure and road-user charges in and around the Port of Melbourne,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.
“It is vital these and other cost-of-business increases are absorbed through the supply chain for freight businesses to remain sustainable and viable in a competitive trading environment,” he said.
“The VTA has long argued that consumers need to understand that price increases brought about by higher business and transactional costs will ultimately have to be passed on to them because businesses already operating to tight margins will go out of business if they try and absorb the costs,” said Anderson. “Consumers are the ultimate benefactors from receiving goods delivered by the transport industry, and therefore they need to be subjected to the same price increases operators and other participants in the supply chain are required to take on.”
Road Freight New South Wales CEO Simon O’Hara has responded to the fee hikes, calling for oversight, accountability and transparency to guide the actions of stevedores.
“Patrick’s infrastructure surcharge has gone from zero to $25.45 to $41.10 in less than a year,” he said. “That’s a massive increase with little justification.”

VISA Global Logistics joins MEGATRANS2018

Award-winning Australian international logistics company and freight forwarder, VISA Global Logistics, is joining inaugural supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018, to showcase its service offerings.
VISA Global Logistics CEO, Simon Hardwidge, said that MEGATRANS2018 is not just about equipment suppliers, it embraces the entire freight and logistics chain.
“As a global enterprise with dealings with importers, exporters, retailers and manufacturers, VISA Global Logistics is seizing an important opportunity to represent at MEGATRANS2018 to demonstrate how we add value to our clients,” said Hardwidge.
“As one of Australia’s largest privately-owned international freight forwarding companies, we have an extensive global network that continues to grow.
“Last year alone, the company acquired offices in India, Spain and the Netherlands while opening new facilities in Italy. In order to remain competitive, and to look to the future, it is vital for businesses in the freight and logistics space to push innovation and share ideas.”
VISA Global Logistics was awarded the Freight Forwarder of the Year Award at the 2017 Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards.
MEGATRANS2018 aims to bring together leaders and stakeholders in the wider Australian and international supply chain, including those in the transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling and infrastructure sectors.

Storage, telematics and communications specialists sign on for MEGATRANS2018

Headland Machinery, specialist in quality, reliable automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, will showcase its wares and market offerings at MEGATRANS2018 this May.
With a strong history of supplying and servicing machinery to a range of industries across Australia and New Zealand, the Australian-owned and operated business is a welcome fit to the inaugural supply chain and logistics trade event in Melbourne.
Also joining the line-up is vehicle and logistics technology specialist Caltex Telematics.
Caltex Telematics’ fully integrated technology to provide insights on the performance of both vehicles and drivers. The company’s systems are configurable and can identify potential issues early to help keep fleets running safely and efficiently on the road.
Simoco Wireless Solutions will bring wireless solutions and communications technologies expertise to MEGATRANS2018.
The business specialises in building communications networks for industry sectors where reliability, integrity and clarity are of utmost importance, including utilities, transport, government infrastructure and public safety.
Find out more about exhibiting at and visiting MEGATRANS2018 here.

Victorian Roads Minister to address 2018 VTA State Conference

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has announced that Luke Donnellan, Victorian Minister for Roads, Ports and Road Safety, will address its State Conference.
The VTA has invited around 40 high-profile speakers from the Victorian and national freight and logistics industry, including Sal Petroccitto, CEO, NHVR; Duncan Elliott, CEO, North East Link Authority; Chris Koniditsiotis, CEO, Transport Certification Australia; and David Hodgett, Shadow Roads and Ports Minister, to share insight on critical industry issues.
“Our members are in business to facilitate the efficient movement of goods through the supply chain, but to do this it is essential for them to be profitable and successful,” Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“As an association we make no apology for helping members to succeed, which is why the conference is being developed with sustained profitability and success – and how to achieve it – as a core theme.”
The event, themed Profit or Perish: Achieving Sustained Success in Transport, will take place in Lorne, 18–20 March.
Anderson said the association was thrilled that Minister Donnellan had accepted the invitation to address the gathering of members and other industry participants.
“Minister Donnellan is a great friend and supporter of the VTA and his attendance at our conference reflects the immense contribution of Victorian transport operators to the state and national economy,” he said.
“With more than $40 billion earmarked for Victorian infrastructure spending over the next five years, roads, transport and related issues will loom large in this current election year.”

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