Industry council to advise on Victoria’s freight rail network

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan has announced the establishment of a Rail Freight Advisory Council to share information and make recommendations to improve Victoria’s rail freight network.
The council will be chaired by former president of the Victorian Farmers Federation Peter Tuohey and provide advice to V/Line on the requirements of the rail freight industry to deliver a customer focused, safe and efficient rail freight network.
Mr Tuohey’s expertise and knowledge of the freight and farming industries will be vital in identifying the requirements of the entire supply chain and finding solutions to issues, the Minister said.
“With the Murray Basin Rail Project underway to revitalise our freight network, this group will look at the entire supply chain from farm to port and recommend ways to make it easier for farmers to transport their produce.”
The group will start by reviewing V/Line’s proposed heat restrictions for this summer.
Going forward, the group will provide regular communication and consultation across the entire rail freight industry, including farmers, freight train operations and V/Line.
It will provide advice to V/Line on operational requirements, restrictions and rail freight project delivery, including the Murray Basin Rail Project currently underway.
“This group will enable regular communication across the entire rail freight industry, including farmers, freight train operators, port managers and V/Line,” Mr Tuohey said.

Mainfreight expands Australian network

Transport and logistics company Mainfreight is developing its regional network in Australia, opening new branches in Bendigo, Victoria; and Toowoomba, Queensland.
“Our commitment to delivering exceptional customer service across all areas of the supply chain has seen our investment in our network and facilities continue to increase,” the company said in a statement.
“Over the last three years we have completed over a dozen significant building projects in Australia’s capital cities both in our domestic and international businesses.
“Further development is now taking place in other major cities – these investments are designed to optimise productivity and increase service levels for our customers.”
Mainfreight has projected that its new facility under construction in Newcastle, New South Wales, is due to be completed by early 2018. The 5,800m2 facility with 4,200m² of raised dock will reportedly allow loaders to have better line-of-sight when loading goods. The site will also include four rear loading docks and 7,200m² hardstand.
Mainfreight has also commented on its site extension in Albury, New South Wales.
“We originally moved into this depot in 2012 and the last five years have seen our team and operations expand so much that we are now increasing the site by over 50 per cent.
“Completed in August 2017, the extension includes 1,000m² of hardstand and provides excellent access for B-doubles and other large vehicles.”

SmartFreight shipping software on show at MEGATRANS2018

As a provider of cutting-edge shipping management software, SmartFreight is an ideal fit for the inaugural logistics and supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018.
The company’s comprehensive software solution provides versatility, transparency, accountability and efficiency for its users within the supply chain – complementing MEGATRANS218’s own aim to provide a vital link between the industries comprising Australia’s supply chain.
Connecting the Australian and international supply chain, the trade show will bring together those who plan, implement and control the efficient and effective forward flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and point of consumption.
MEGATRANS2018 takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10–12 May 2018 and will play host to an array of delegates involved in the wider national and international supply chain industries.

VTA welcomes investment in key freight route upgrades

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed a series of road infrastructure spending announcements from the Victorian Government that will improve roads on key freight routes in the state’s southwest.
Roads minister Luke Donnellan confirmed reconstruction works would soon begin on Stage Two of the Portland Ring Road and roads in the Green Trial, and a deteriorated section of the Princes Highway at Heywood would be rebuilt.
This followed a recent announcement that roads surrounding the Henty Employment Precinct would be upgraded to accommodate high-productivity freight vehicles.
The Victorian Government’s $17 million investment on the three improvements is expected to create vastly improved productivity outcomes for the transport industry, as well as stimulate the local economy.
“Roads in the state’s southwest have been neglected for too long, so we welcome the Victorian Government’s commitment to make these important upgrades, which will improve productivity for freight operators working in the area,” said Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA.
“The VTA has lobbied for some time now for many infrastructure improvements and it’s encouraging that Minister Donnellan has listened and acted on the concerns of the industry,” he added.
“Regional Victoria makes an important contribution to the state and national economy, and investing in better and more efficient road networks will ultimately pay dividends throughout the economy and the supply chain.”
The Portland area represents an important growth opportunity for the southwest due to its deep-water port servicing the Green Triangle.
“We are fortunate to have a deep-water port half way between Adelaide and Melbourne and the infrastructure improvements announced by the government will certainly make that port more appealing and accessible for transport operators,” said Anderson.

Grain Harvest Management Scheme boon for VIC freight operators

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed the establishment of the state’s first Grain Harvest Management Scheme, which is expected to provide a productivity and safety boon for farmers and grain transport workers.
The scheme will allow heavy vehicles to increase their load by five per cent during the grain harvest season from 1 October to 30 April 2018, when delivering grain to receivers who are also participating in the scheme.
Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA, said the extra five per cent tolerance during the grain harvest season would give operators flexibility to be able to safely transport more grain.
“As an industry group, we welcome the scheme and the positive outcomes it will inevitably create for operator safety and productivity,” said Anderson.
“Provisions made for bigger loads mean fewer trips for operators, which will improve their profit and safety margins.”
VicRoads Director of Heavy Vehicle Services Eric Henderson said that the focus of the scheme was twofold – supporting farmers to be more productive during the grain harvest and boosting heavy-vehicle safety.
“This is the busiest time of year for farmers and this scheme will ensure they spend less time on the road and can get back to business sooner. Time savings also increase the focus on safe driving,” said Henderson.
To participate in the scheme, vehicles must comply with the uniform national standards for vehicles built after 1 January, 2002. Vehicles must also not exceed their manufacturer ratings.
VicRoads will evaluate the Grain Harvest Management Scheme after the first year.

eStore Logistics opens Melbourne warehouse

eStore Logistics has announced the opening of a new 13,000m2 e-commerce warehousing and order fulfilment facility located in Melbourne’s West.
The new facility features 12,500 pallet positions, 18,000 pick bin locations, state-of-the-art security and more than 45 high-resolution video surveillance cameras with 24/7 recording.
This new warehousing facility has been designed specifically for storage, dispatch of goods for e-commerce and omni-channel retail clients.
E-commerce order profiles will be serviced from the facility as well as full case and split case picks for wholesale and direct to store requirements.
The company explained in a statement that the facility had been designed to provide a flexible operation that could be scaled up based on seasonality, business growth and new clients.

Ceva Logistics celebrates milestones

Ceva Logistics is celebrating two anniversaries in Australia this month, marking ten years of operations as Ceva Logistics, and the first anniversary of its new Australasian headquarters in Truganina, Victoria.
Ceva was born in Australia from the merger of Australian transport company, Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT), and Eagle Global Logistics in August 2007.
Ceva is celebrating the milestone achievements with customers and staff across the country, starting with a staff event at Truganina hosted by Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Carlos Velez Rodriguez.
“We are delighted to be able to celebrate two landmark achievements at the same time with our colleagues and customers,” said Velez Rodriguez.
“I’d particularly like to pay tribute to our staff, be they working at this site or others in the Australia & New Zealand cluster, for their dedication and hard work in making this company the success it is today. A number of them have been with us for many more than the ten years we are marking today and we salute them all.”

Delivery startup Passel partners with VIC retailer

Pookipoiga, a gift shop in Melbourne focusing on sustainable and ethical goods from local artists and social brands, has partnered with Melbourne crowd-sourced delivery startup, Passel.
By employing the services of people willing to complete a delivery on their way home in exchange for a $10 gift voucher, Passel provides affordable and convenient three-hour deliveries, avoiding the need for professional or part-time couriers.
Until now, Pookipoiga had relied on the post or, in some cases, hopping on a bike or public transport to make deliveries, Passel reported in a media statement. From Monday 25 September, Pookipoiga’s clients in Melbourne will be able to access Passel’s three-hour deliveries, year round.
“Passel is efficient and able to convey messages personally with locals,” said Sree Nellerichal, Founder, Pookipoiga. “They have the ability to make the delivery experience memorable. A lot of our customers are buying last-minute gifts. Previously, we know they have chosen not to buy because we can’t deliver until the next day, or even after the weekend. Who doesn’t want to provide exceptional value and a variety of options to customers?”
Marshall Hughes, Co-founder and CEO, Passel, added, “Pookipoiga is a perfect client to work with. They are acutely aware of the likes of international giants such as Amazon and know that it is not enough just to compete by offering more of the same. Affordable three-hour delivery sets a new benchmark for Australian retailers.”
Pookipoiga is the first of Passel’s partnering retailers to be announced, the company reports that several others will soon and it expects to be operating out of most of Melbourne’s major retail precincts and shopping centres in time for Christmas.

L-R: DFE Founder, Sam Catania, DFE Managing Director, Joe Catania, and DFE National Operations Manager, Jason Elliot.

Direct Freight Express opens $36m depot in Keysborough, Victoria

Road carrier service, Direct Freight Express (DFE), has announced the opening of a new $36m facility in Keysborough, Victoria, to complement its direct linehaul operations.
The company has reported that the new site was necessary due to business growth and increased travel times and traffic across the greater Victorian metropolitan and regional areas.
DFE has said the depot is fitted with state-of-the-art tilt tray automated sortation systems that can sort up to 4,500 cartons per hour. The company has also reportedly invested in six-sided camera technology that detects side-by-side cartons.

Supply chain coaching day to reveal industry secrets

Business management consultancy firm Logistics Bureau has released details of its upcoming supply chain coaching days, to be held in Melbourne and Sydney.

The Supply Chain Leaders Insights conference series was kicked off last year by Logistics Bureau founder Rob O’Byrne, who is passionate about bringing supply chain education to a broader audience.
“We’re not a conference company, so we don’t need to make a profit doing this,” he said. “We do this as part of our ‘give back’ programme to the industry.
O’Byrne shared that the full-day interactive seminars will provide up-close access to more than 20 logistics experts from across the industry.
The fully catered event will take place on Tuesday 17 October in Melbourne, and Thursday 19 October in Sydney.
Over 200 delegates are expected to attend the full-day sessions of coaching, sharing and networking.
Tickets cost $57 using the promo code ‘LMH’, and all ticket sale proceeds go to charity on the day, with delegates allocating the funds to six worthy charities on the day.
“It’s a conference, but not as you know it,” said O’Byrne. “For a start, there’ll be far fewer PowerPoints – it’s all about small-group coaching to maximise the opportunities for learning and sharing.
“Participants will be able to choose the sessions that best suit their needs from 20 running concurrently throughout the event, the one-hour sessions will be a blend of teaching, coaching and Q&A. Delegates will gain from new knowledge and valuable networking opportunities.”
Find out more about the event, book tickets and see how the events went last year, head to the Supply Chain Leaders Insights website.

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