Australia Post has announced a four-year partnership with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) with a focus on safety on the roads.
The announcement coincides with National Road Safety Week, and includes a $200,000 sponsorship pledge for the rebranded Volvo ATA Safety Truck.
According to Australia Post, the partnership will have a focus on educating drivers on how to share the road safely with heavy vehicles through hands-on informative, small group presentations and virtual reality technology.
Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer Bob Black said the new arrangement showcases Australia Post’s focus on road safety education, especially among younger drivers.
“We are always looking for ways to keep our people and communities safe. Every year over 1,200 people are killed and 35,000 seriously injured on our roads,” Bob said.
“Last year we experienced 768 road injuries across our workforce nationally. That means every workday three posties are injured in motor vehicle accidents – that is three posties too many.
“This is an important partnership to help end road incidents and trauma – especially involving heavy vehicles which are a big part of our network.”
Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire said the ATA was thrilled to have Australia Post’s support for this educational and behavioural change campaign, with the new truck set to be on the roads in October 2019.
“Official estimates show that about 80 per cent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver. 25 per cent of occupants involved in a casualty crash with a truck are aged 26 years or younger, however this age group only represents only 10 to 15 per cent of the driver population,” Mr Maguire said.
“Australia Post’s support for this project demonstrates a commitment to road safety and a shared vision of zero fatal or serious injury crashes on our roads.”
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.”
The trucking and logistics industry has welcomed the announcement that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will be appointed as the new Infrastructure and Transport Minister.
“Barnaby Joyce has a wealth of experience and understanding of regional Australia, and understands the importance of roads and transport to communities’ right across Australia,” said Geoff Crouch, Chair, Australian Trucking Association (ATA).
“Trucking is an enabler of opportunity, allowing businesses to reach domestic and international markets, consumers to purchase goods, farms to sell their produce, and construction materials to enable new developments.”
The Deputy Prime Minister will be responsible for a significant transport agenda in 2018.
“The Government has announced a $75 billion infrastructure program, plans for progressing road pricing reform, launching a new national freight and supply chain strategy, and important reviews into safety accreditation schemes, the National Road Safety Strategy, and the National Land Transport Network,” said Crouch.
“It’s a significant to-do list and the ATA looks forward to working with the Government to ensure the views of the trucking industry are well represented.”
Crouch also welcomed the reappointment of Paul Fletcher as Minister for Urban Infrastructure, and now also with responsibility for cities.
“Paul Fletcher has shown a commitment to engage with trucking operators on the details of heavy vehicle reforms, and we look forward to that continuing,” said Crouch.
“There is a pressing need to enhance a new national agenda on land transport safety and productivity, and the ATA looks forward to engaging with Barnaby Joyce, Paul Fletcher and the Australian Government to make this a reality,” he said.
“We look forward to working with Barnaby Joyce, in building a safe, efficient and effective road transport industry for future years,” said National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO, Warren Clark.
“We welcome a fresh perspective to a portfolio which is a vital component of building Australia’s productivity, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
“We hope to meet with the new Minster shortly, to discuss the prominent issues facing today’s trucking industry, including issues which need urgent attention such as: A lack of national consistency in regulatory requirements and enforcement, access restrictions for high productivity vehicles, and traffic congestion in urban areas.
“We’d also like to extend our appreciation to outgoing minister Darren Chester, for his contribution to the Road Transport Industry in his time as Minister. We admired his energy, intelligence and commitment to the portfolio,” he said.
Crouch paid thanks to the service of outgoing Transport Minister, Darren Chester.
“The trucking industry thanks Darren Chester for his work as Transport Minister and in particular his commitment and passion for road safety,” said Crouch.
“It has been an enormous honour and a privilege to serve in Cabinet in the best portfolio possible, infrastructure and transport,” Darren Chester said in a statement.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been part of policy and project decisions which will change lives and save lives across our nation.
“I’m proud of the work my team and I have done on behalf of the Government and I’m sorry we won’t get to finish some of the jobs we’ve started,” he said.
The Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL) at Deakin University is keen to hear from the supply chain and logistics industry about pallet usage.
“Researchers at CSCL are hoping to establish a regular Australian pallet survey about user requirements and usage patterns nation-wide,” said Dr Hermione Parsons, Director of CSCL.
“We found that Australian information on pallet usage is not readily available, and we have nothing in Australia that compares with the US Pallet Survey, for example,” she added.
“Pallets may not seem a very glamorous topic for research but they are crucial to Australian supply chains.
“We are hoping to pick up on trends such as ‘less-than-pallet-load’ requirements, as freight becomes much more granular, and the trends in requirements for pallet tracking.”
The Australian Trucking Association is encouraging its members, as well as other key industry manufacturing and transport and logistics peak bodies, to take the anonymous five-minute online questionnaire.
Former Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair David Simon will sit on expert panel supporting the Australian Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Inquiry.
The Hon. Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, announced the appointment on 17 May, in a speech about transforming Australia’s freight and rail network.
Current ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said the appointment shows that the Australian Government recognises the importance of trucking operators to moving the national freight task.
“Trucking operators are critical to the national supply chain, and increasing the productivity of trucking makes the supply chain more competitive, reducing costs for consumers, industry and exporters,” said Crouch.
“The ATA and its member associations are working on the issues and proposals that need to be made to the inquiry to boost productivity and safety for our industry.
David Simon is the Executive Chairman of Simon National Carriers and was Chair of the ATA from 2010 to 2014. He also served as a member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) project implementation board and the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment reform board.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has stated that it feels that some of the money earmarked for the $8.4 billion Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project could be better spent on investment in Australia’s coastal shipping sector.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said that while the MUA agrees Australia should be trying to get trucks off the roads, the sea offers the best alternative.
“Port infrastructure already exists in Australia and coastal shipping leaves the lowest carbon footprint when it comes to moving goods around our coast,” Crumlin said.
“This package from the Government looks a lot like pork-barrelling by the Coalition to protect their inland seats through regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland as they desperately try to stave off the threat from One Nation and other parties.”
“A strong domestic shipping fleet makes absolute sense from a national security, fuel security, and environmental standpoint,” Crumlin added.
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) is warning that a huge increase in port access fees by DP World Australia and Hutchinson will result in higher injury and fatality rates in trucking and the loss of jobs.
The Union has called for ship owners to bear the costs, as clients at the top of the supply chain.
The fees at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ports will heap further financial stress on transport where margins are already tight. The price hike in Melbourne will go from $3.45 to $32.50 per container; in Sydney a new charge of $21.16 will apply for the first time; while in Brisbane fees will go up 30 per cent.
Drivers will come under even more pressure to work long hours, speed and skip mandatory rest breaks while vital maintenance on vehicles will get delayed, the Union wrote in a press statement.
“We are already seeing an increase in deaths and injuries at the moment – last year one out of every three workers killed was a transport worker while deaths from rigid and articulated trucks went up,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon. “We do not need more pressure on transport, we need accountability among the clients which are ultimately responsible for safety in the supply chain.”
The TWU also criticised the imbalance in payment terms for trucking companies – DP World insists on payment within seven days while trucking business can wait up to 120 days for payment. “The Federal Government abolished payment terms for truck drivers when it tore down the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal last year. Its silence is deafening on this burden which is now being placed on drivers at the ports,” said Sheldon.
The TWU fears the price hike will put thousands of owner-drivers out of business. “These small trucking businesses are already subsisting on tight margins and they have among the highest rates of bankruptcies for any businesses. This fee should not be passed on to those at the bottom of the supply chain,” Sheldon added.
The TWU supports industry calls for the ACCC to investigate the fees.
“The TWU will support any owner-drivers taking direct action against the ports over the coming weeks in a similar way to the port blockades of the 1980s and 1990s. We will support drivers standing up to this level of extortion,” Sheldon added.
Phillip Stanton has been appointed Truckline’s new National Operations Manager and he plans to modernise behind-the-scenes procedures for the company’s spare parts systems to deliver better speed and service for trucking customers.
“My goal is to strengthen the way our branches are supported from the back end, which will help our front line staff really deliver on our customers’ expectations,” says Stanton. “We understand time is money – our customers’ trucks need to be on the road, not in the workshop. When they need a part they know they can count on us regardless if their truck is American, European or Japanese.
“We have more than 25,000 products in stock, and more than 80% of our inventory is held in our branches, which means we lead the industry in parts availability. But I believe we can do even better.”
Truckline is a Queensland-based retailer of aftermarket truck, trailer and on-road diesel vehicles parts. The company has a national network of stores and two parts distribution centres, one in QLD and a new one in WA opening in January 2017.
Stanton, who was appointed on 4 October 2016, has more than three decades of experience across small domestic and large multi-national automotive and heavy equipment OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) dealerships.
Truckline’s National Manager Mick Henderson says that in previous roles Stanton has been instrumental in warehouse and system design and implementation from the ground up, achieving four-figure growth as a result of his meticulous approach.
“Phil is a high achiever and a stayer – in the past 25 years he’s been at senior management level with just two companies in the automotive industry,” says Henderson. “That gives him a deep understanding of how to best optimise a business with very stable foundation like Truckline. Phill’s expertise in inventory management and warehouse operation is instrumental in helping us build long term relationships with our customers. During the company’s 60 years servicing the Australian trucking industry, we have built a reputation of always finding the right quality part, at the right price, as fast as possible for our customers.”
International oil and gas services company ASCO Group has continued its recent success in the Australian market by winning a major contract to transport waste generated by the oil and gas industry for Toxfree Solutions.
Delivered through ASCO subsidiary Bonnie Rock Transport, the contract requires the pickup of oil and gas generated waste at the Toxfree depot in Karratha and transport to Perth using double and triple road trains, prior to distribution to appropriate recycling and waste facilities throughout the metropolitan area.
ASCO Australasia CEO Matt Thomas said the long-term contract underpinned ASCO’s organic growth strategy since the company acquired Perth-based Bonnie Rock Transport in May 2014.
“Toxfree is one of Australia's leading integrated waste management and industrial service providers,” Thomas said.
“For ASCO, this is an important win and a great boost to the Bonnie Rock business.”
Thomas said the success demonstrates the benefits of ASCO’s international experience combining with Bonnie Rock Transport’s local skills set to deliver a customer-focused service to the client.
Bonnie Rock Transport General Manager Ron Currie said the team had hit the ground running to clear a large shipment of waste from Toxfree’s Karratha facility.
“We were able to mobilise quickly to get the job done safely,” Currie said.
The Toxfree contract win follows the recent announcement by ASCO that it had been awarded management of BP’s Adelaide supply base for the planned Great Australian Bight drilling program.
In addition, ASCO subsidiary Brisbane-based Oniqua, a global leader in MRO materials management optimisation for asset-intensive industries, has been named by CIO Review magazine as one of the 20 Most Promising Oil and Gas Technology Solution Providers.
A new video by Mettler Toledo shows how its pallet dimensioning system has helped a major American less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking company work more efficiently, speed up business decisions and provide better service to its customers.
Saia LTL Freight has automated pallet dimensioning using the CSN840 system from Mettler Toledo, enabling the trucking company to provide its customers with best-in-class service with high speed and accuracy.
The CSN840 pallet dimensioning system enables Saia to invoice accurately based on space, allowing their customers to receive the benefit of fair pricing while Saia reduces its operational ratio. In addition, the LTL company now has access to accurate measurement data that is critical to revenue recovery. Customers appreciate invoicing that is always accurate and software integration that facilitates informed business decisions.
The new video describes how the automated pallet dimensioning has helped Saia meet operational key performance indicators, recover revenue and reduce its operational ratio. The video also explains the system’s ease of installation and use, with no negative impact on operations.
Mettler Toledo is a leading global manufacturer of precision weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial and food retailing applications.