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Interested parties eye Asciano's freight rail business


As Asciano talks with Chinese conglomerate China Merchants over the potential sale of a stake in its Patrick ports business drag on, it's understood some American groups are eyeing parts of the company's freight rail business.

North American railroad companies like Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe – which is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment group – are considered world-class operators that know how to run large networks efficiently.

Asciano's rival, Aurizon, has not been shy of its admiration for the North American companies, with Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge frequently citing the "Class 1" railroads as the kind of company he would like to create.

While Asciano chief executive John Mullen has made great strides with the ports and rail group over the past few years by cutting costs and improving efficiency, the company's intermodal business continues to struggle.

Intermodal haulage volumes, as measured by net tonne kilometres, dropped 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 due to falls in freight transported from the west to the east coast. This is partially because rail freight has been losing market share to container shipping, which is cheaper.

But Asciano's bulk haulage division, which moves grains and other commodities, has also been battling falling volumes, which were down 7.7 per cent in the first quarter.

With Asciano's coal haulage business performing well, an American operator such as Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) could snap up the intermodal and bulk haulage business, freeing Asciano to focus on coal.

G&W already owns nearly 5000 kilometres of track in South Australia and the Northern Territory, including the 2200-kilometre Tarcoola to Darwin railway.

Present in every state except Tasmania, G&W provides intrastate haulage of bulk commodities including grain, steel, gypsum and minerals, as well as terminal operations.

Based in the American state of Connecticut, G&W also operates in Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium.

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T&L Christmas Jobs Boost


Demand for workers in the transport and logistics sector is on the rise in the lead-up to Christmas, according to new figures from recruitment firm Labourforce.

The company’s job index for October shows a 4.3 per cent rise overall in employment in transport and logistics, with Victoria leading the way.

The index shows demand for temporary and contract staff increased by 6.9 per cent in October. Labourforce says this is due in large part to the need for temporary labour as Christmas approaches.

Demand for permanent staff is also on the rise, with the index recording a 3.4 per cent increase last month.

"While the surge in Christmas hiring is good news for industry workers, the healthy increase in demand for permanent staff is a bellwether for improvements in business confidence and hiring," Labourforce spokesman Paul Mcleay says.

The figures continue a strong trend for the transport and logistics market. Labourforce says job advertisements have increased by 20.7 per cent in the past six months.

The transport and logistics sector accounted for most of the job advertisements in October (26 per cent), followed by mining, utilities and construction (25.6 per cent) and retail and wholesale at 24.3 per cent.

New South Wales retains the largest share of transport and logistics jobs, but a fall in manufacturing demand has hampered growth.


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Promoting Dynamic Leadership in Supply Chain


New research from American educational non-profit APQC sheds light on which leadership skills are most important to develop and which development techniques will be most fruitful for supply chain professionals.

As part of its 2014 Leadership Deficit study, APQC surveyed 547 business professionals representing a variety of industries and organizations. Analysis of the survey responses shows that organizational leadership is evolving. Current business trends including knowledge work, innovation, globalization and the millennial generation require that organizations take a more dynamic approach to leadership.

Leadership Skills for All Supply Chain Employees

Dynamic leadership involves developing all employees to lead as the situation and their expertise dictates. In an unpredictable, knowledge-intensive and data-infused business world, supply chain functions need to fully tap the intelligence and potential of all employees. Yet few of the organizations represented in APQC’s survey develop leadership capabilities in all employees. Those organizations that do teach a mix of hard and soft leadership skills. The leadership skills that APQC survey participants identified as most important for business success reflect this mix of hard and soft leadership capabilities: results focus, teamwork, collaboration, listening, strategic planning, adaptability, cost focus, analytics and knowledge sharing. Developing these skills is especially important for the supply chain profession, as previous APQC research has shown that supply chain workers face both technical and soft-skill deficiencies.


Dynamic Leadership Infrastructure for Supply Chain Function

APQC conducted interviews with, and wrote case studies on, organizations that embrace the dynamic leadership style. This research shows that dynamic leadership organizations have established cultures, processes and tools that encourage employees to use hard and soft leadership skills. These organizations identify core leadership expectations for their employees. Then, they show employees how to use the core leadership behaviors through continuous storytelling, role modeling and training.

In addition, dynamic leadership organizations give all employees access to people and information that will help them lead. Using knowledge-sharing tools, such as corporate intranet sites and expertise location directories, these organizations help “all-employee leaders” tap the organization’s collective intelligence and use it to guide them in their work. Dynamic leadership organizations also offer much transparency into company information as well as into job and project opportunities. Finally, dynamic leadership organizations hire, promote, recognize and compensate employees who demonstrate the core leadership behaviors in their work. Establishing the infrastructure for dynamic leadership will be particularly beneficial for supply chain as doing so is also a cost-effective way to develop supply chain talent and ultimately close supply chain skills gaps.

Dynamic Leadership Behaviors for Supply Chain Leaders

At dynamic leadership organizations, employees working in formal leadership roles embrace a fluid, inclusive and collaborative style of leading. They set the leadership example by providing information, tools and teaching to help all employees learn to lead. In doing so, they take desired leadership behaviors from being abstract concepts to becoming actionable steps used to carry out work. Dynamic leadership behaviors used by those working in formal leadership roles include:

  • Sharing information and knowledge
  • Being accessible to all employees regardless of role
  • Coaching and mentoring employees
  • Helping employees develop relationships throughout the organization

Matching employees with leadership development opportunities

  • Recognizing employee contributions and expertise as opposed to tenure and experience
  • Encouraging employees to collaborate and make decisions

Supply chain functions will want to consider offering formal training to help current supply chain leaders adopt these dynamic leadership behaviors. Previous APQC research found that supply chain professionals need more leadership development in order to address the demands of a complex, global economy. In addition, formal leadership training for supply chain leaders will also help organizations retain strategic-level supply chain talent, something that APQC research has found to be challenging most supply chain functions.

A Call to Action

Leading supply chain today is a complex endeavor requiring a wide range of leadership skills. APQC’s research shows that organizations with a dynamic mix of leadership skills have significantly more effective leadership practices, report experiencing a smaller leadership skills gap today and show less concern about a leadership skills shortage in the future.


Download the full report here.


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Women in Supply Chains launches their report "Making Women Visible"


The number of women working in transport and logistics is declining, prompting calls for the industry to do more to boost female participation rates.

A new report from the group Women in Supply Chain (WISC) reveals significant barriers are limiting the ability of women to enter the industry and get ahead.

It found that women’s participation rate fell from 24 per cent to 22.9 per cent between 2010 and 2014, despite jobs in transport and logistics growing by 58 per cent over the same period.

It says the male-dominated transport and logistics sector designs jobs with men in mind and does not promote or encourage women to apply.

"Research shows that the industry continues to offer few opportunities for women to enter and participation rates continue to decline in senior management roles," the report says.

WISC wants the industry to do more to reduce gender pay gaps, increase quotas for women on boards and in senior management, introduce mentoring programs, review recruiting guidelines and implement flexible working arrangements.

"While acknowledging that quotas cause some problems, the time has come to institute them. It isn’t acceptable that gender is a barrier to advancement," the report says.

"It has been proven that women are often overlooked when it comes to promotions and other forms of recognition, in favour of their male colleagues."

It adds that between November 2013 and May this year, the gender pay gap for women in transport, postal and warehousing was 16.1 per cent lower than men working in the same industries.

WISC says it believes the gender pay gap can close as more people recognise the important work women do and the role they play in transport and logistics.

"More and more of Australia’s transport and logistics companies would reap the benefits of employing women and using their skills, experience and leadership," WISC chair and National Transport Commission (NTC) commissioner Nola Bransgrove says.

The report says employing women will help companies innovate and develop new ideas and market insights.

"A gender diverse workforce promotes collaboration, tolerance and understanding and drives new innovation and retention of both genders," it says.

WISC lists changes to heavy vehicle rest stops as one strategy to encourage women to get behind the wheel of a truck.

"Women sleeping alone at various rest stops could be requiring upgrades to rest stops, the need to address flexible workplace options and offering training in personnel safety and security should open up recruiting options," the report says.

The NTC, which hosted an event to launch the report, says women play a large role in the organisation’s direction and success.

"Women represent half of our executive and one third of our commissioners, including Nola," acting NTC CEO Michelle Hendy says.


Article by

Brad Gardner

Transport Hall of Fame 2014


Alice Springs is a long way from anywhere, but at the end of August each year, it becomes the centre of the universe for truckies who are inducted into the Transport Hall of Fame.

The inimitable Liz Martin expected a lower than normal turn up this year with the big one coming up in 2015, but over 500 folk turned up to see 96 deserving recipients from around the country, added to the wall.

Unfortunately - as in every year - some of these trucking stalwarts have passed on, but their names will live in the hall for ever more.

The men and women here, offer an insight into varying lives on the road, and service to the industry, of which all Australia should be proud and thankful.

Vince Borg commenced his career in the transport industry in 1954, transporting and road testing new Leyland buses and trucks.

In 1958 he purchased his first truck, a Leyland Comet 75.

An owner driver, he also sub-contracted for KW Thomas and Edmond T Lennon.

Vince upgraded to a brand new International AA180 and 34ft Aiken trailer in 1959.

By 1963 he had three trucks, one of which was travelling Adelaide to Darwin.

His favourite truck of this time was his Commer Knocker because of its reliability and economy, although it was his Leyland Super Beaver that was among the first vehicles to pull a full road train from Adelaide (Grand Junction Rd, Wingfield) fully-laden to Darwin.

Vince carried the first drive-in movie screen to Alice Springs from Adelaide and routinely carried goods that the rail could not handle such as the turbine condensers for electricity generation in Darwin.

Paul (Chappy) Chapman was born at Norwood in 1951.

In 1970 he commenced work for AG & MJ Davey at Narrung in South Australia.

The year 1972 saw Chappy and his future wife, Robyn, buying their first truck, an International ACCO boasting a V8 Cummins. They married later that year, Robyn obtained her licence and together they worked all over Australia.

They started subcontracting interstate for Scotts Transport to Sydney and Newcastle before going to Brisbane with Bell Bros WA and becoming permanent subbies.

In 1976 they moved to Coonalpyn and established a livestock transport business.

The business progressed to three B-doubles, two tippers and a fridge van.

Their passion for the road transport industry encouraged Robyn to write a submission to a transport inquiry in 1983 which led to Paul and Robyn forming the Livestock Transport Association of South Australia (LTASA), providing a voice to the regulators and uniting operators.

Paul was nominated inaugural president serving seven years with LTASA and several years as acouncil member with the Australian Livestock Transport Association, (ALTA).

Paul and Robyn both received life membership with LTASA for their contribution and Paul received life membership from the ALTA.

Norman Lindsay (Croc) Ekman is a stalwart of the transport industry earning the respect and admiration of his employers during his lengthy driving career.

Born in 1944, Norm started working for R J Jones in Mudgee in 1968 driving a Leyland Comet.

Then followed Robert Holms Transport of Dubbo, Ces Swords of Mudgee and John Careers of Dubbo, where he loaded 22,000 bricks on a single from Albury to Dubbo and then distributed them.

Rod Pilon noticed Norm in 1985 when he drove into his transport depot in Dubbo.

Impressed at the way he idled in, shut the truck down, and went around the whole unit, tightening up wheel nuts, checking chains and ropes, Rod commented to the person next to him: "Good operator that bloke."

He started working for Rod a few weeks later, running to Darwin.

And he hauled some big loads - 50 tonne a trailer - for years and the job was done so professionally that the same truck is still in the Pilon fleet on its fourth motor (a 600 Signature) and based in the Mt Isa depot.

Norm moved to Parry Logistics in 2010 and Greg Parry is quoted as saying: "Norman Ekman is truly an old school truckie and gentlemen.

"When I was young I looked up to and respected blokes like Norm and I have enormous respect for the man."

At the age of 70, Norm still does the same miles as drivers half his age, driving B-Doubles incident free and without a complaint.

"When Norm speaks I listen. You're either bound to learn something or laugh at his stories from his past."

John Jongsma, known as Big John Rondon, was born in Holland in 1945 and came to Australia with his family in 1959, getting a job at Lobethal Woollen Mill and working at weekends on a dairy farm where he started driving trucks.

At 16 he moved to Adelaide, where he started with TNT as a dockhand.

He later became a driver and transferred to Broken Hill where he worked all day, then did a changeover at night in a Thames Trader truck with a dog trailer.

Bach then he did not have a truck licence but after being stopped by the local police, eventually took the test.

He spent the next 15 years working interstate for several companies including Fridgemobile.

In 1982 he married his wife, Robbie, and they moved to Brisbane and bought a 141 Scania and RONDON Transport from Ronny Donht - and that is how John earned the nickname, Big John RonDon, as he is known today.

In 1997 the couple returned to Adelaide to be closer to family and John became a relief driver for companies and owner drivers - a role that still keeps him busy today.

Tony Liddle was born at Hatches Creek, NT, in 1940, moving to Alice Springs in '42. In 1957 he got his truck driver's license in his father's Morris Commercial.

With the family, Tony delivered rations and fuel to various remote aboriginal government settlements throughout central Australia.

Later he drove for Rosewall Construction and Len Tuit.

Tony then went on to drive and operate machinery for Ingkerreke on aboriginal outstations around central Australia for a further 13 years before retiring at the age 65.

Tony was, and is, well respected throughout the region - a real gentleman of the road, a professional driver who always got through with the provisions despite the corrugations, rain, hail or bulldust.

Driving the farm truck started Geoff Ryan's life-long love of trucks. Geoff bought his first truck at the age of 17, an Austin with a Perkins diesel in 1951, and commenced carting livestock to the New Market Sale Yards in Melbourne.

He also hauled machinery and carted drum fuel in Victoria.

Geoff's second truck was an Inter R180 with a Black Diamond motor.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Geoff drove long distance haulage across five states. He also did a number of sub-contracting jobs for Finemores Transport.

Life was tough on those long haulage trips with long hours driving and having to camp by the side of the road when severe rain resulted in roads being impassable for days on end.

In 1979 Geoff suffered a serious accident when changing a truck tyre.

The split rim blew apart and threw him over 10 metres across the shed.

He was in hospital with serious back and shoulder injuries for three months and didn't go back to driving for another six.

Geoff ran his trucking business from 1951 until 1982 when he decided to get out of the livestock haulage business.

He drove fuel tankers from Swan Hill to Melbourne for the next five years before deciding to go back to the land to work on local farms in the Quambatook district.

These are but a few of the many men and women who have opened up this country and made it a wonderful place to live for 23 million Australians.

Some were born here, others came from overseas and adopted this land as their home.

Some were 'just' drivers, others ran their own businesses, both small and large. They are all equal in the eyes of the industry and we honour them.


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Australian Freight Industry Award Winners


KEY freight and logistics industry body, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), celebrated the 25th annual Australian Freight Industry Awards on Saturday, September 6, and announced the winners in each of the seven Award categories.

The Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs) Gala Dinner is a very prestigious event on the calendar for the freight and logistics industry.  

VTA CEO, Neil Chambers, said the awards program showcased companies and individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make their work more innovative, efficient and safe.

"This year's Awards program has been very competitive, with over 40 nominations in the seven Award categories, including a new category recognising equipment innovation that enhances operator safety and efficiency," Mr Chambers said.

Noelene Watson from Don Watson Transport was honoured with the coveted 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Personality of the Year Award for her outstanding contribution to the Australian transport and logistics industry over the past 20 years.  Sponsored by the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, the Award was presented by guest master of ceremonies, TV personality Darryl Somers, along with VTA CEO Neil Chambers.

"Congratulations to Noelene for being named the AFIA 2014 Personality of the Year.  Noelene is truly a remarkable character.  Following the sudden passing of her husband Don in 1994 (20 years' ago this month), Noelene was thrust into managing the business, while also raising three children.  Since then, the company hasn't looked back, operating over 85 prime movers and 120 trailers in refrigerated transport across the eastern seaboard of Australia.

"Noelene is extremely active in the industry and is an advocate for greater employment opportunities for women.  She has been a Director of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) since 2004, and this year was elected as Chairperson of the ATA," said Mr. Chambers.

Fred Mohammed from Cranes R Us was recognised as the 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Young Achiever.  The award was sponsored by Containerchain.

"At 31 years' of age, Fred is an instinctive entrepreneur.  Over the past 12 years, he has successfully established multiple businesses, including Cranes R Us based in Richlands, Queensland," Mr Chambers said.

The inaugural winner of the Australian Transport & Logistics Equipment Innovation Award was taken out by Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE).  In presenting the Award, Mr Chambers said BTE has developed a new type of articulated concrete mixing trailer capable of carrying twice the volume of a standard cement mixer truck.

"A technical highlight of the trailer is a lightweight electronic steering system, which is also connected to the trailer's electronic braking system.  The design allows for maximum maneuverability, eliminates tyre scrubbing, and will help to improve fuel consumption and vehicle safety."

An Intermodal Visibility Project undertaken by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Supply Chain Standards Working Group, managed by GS1 Australia, was awarded the Shaun Owen Memorial Australian Transport & Logistics Technology Award.

Sponsored by Transport Certification Australia (TCA), the Award recognises those who have applied innovative/technology systems to their business to enhance productivity or to solve an issue.

Mr Chambers said the project demonstrated the "whole of chain" benefits of improved information flow, traceability and shipment identification using global data standards.

"The participating company, Nestle Australia, has seen significant improvements in productivity, an unprecedented level of supply chain visibility, and a significant reduction in manual processes to track and manage freight across various modes.

"The project holds great promise for effective stakeholder collaboration and performance improvement across many supply chains in Australia," he said.

The Australian Transport & Logistics Best Practice Safety Award, sponsored by Zurich, was won by In Vehicle Camera Systems (ICVS) for its Drivecam technology which utilizes monitored video systems and dynamic feedback to identify and proactively manage diver safety and compliance.

Mr Chambers said the Drivecam system provides reports and online tools necessary for transport operators to manage, coach and train drivers to improve safety.

"The results have been tremendous in reducing collision rates and damage costs, protecting drivers from fraudulent claims, reducing fuel through efficient driving practices, and saving on training costs," he said.

Metropolitan Express Transport Services was honored with the title of Australian Transport & Logistics Business Sustainability Award winner.  Sponsored by Transport Health, this Award recognised best practice in sustainability in the industry.

Presenting the award, Mr Chambers commented that Metropolitan Express Transport Services has taken a distinct approach to actively reduce its impact on the environment and to reduce operational costs.

"Measures introduced include Euro five rates vehicles as a minimum, best practice driver management, and active vehicle routing to optimize deliveries and to avoid road congestion."

The Australian Transport & Logistics Investment in People Award was presented to Simone Turner, CEO at ASIXA. 

Mr Chambers said ASIXA had made a commitment to deliver holistic training with over half of its workforce having completed industry-specific qualifications.

"ASIXA not only encourages staff to develop and grow internally, it also has an active mentoring program in place and internal promotional opportunities have been realised.

"Congratulations to all finalists and winners of this year's Australian Freight Industry Awards - the VTA was proud to recognise and reward each of you in front of your industry peers this evening.

"The VTA would like to acknowledge the generous sponsors of the Awards program, including our Major Sponsors: TWUSUPER, Viva Energy (Shell) and Freightliner (Daimler Trucks); our Program Sponsors: Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC), Victoria University and the National Transport Commission; as well individual Award Sponsors: Logical Staffing Solutions, Transport Certification Australia, Containerchain, Zurich, Transport Health, and the Victorian State Government for their continued support of the Australian Freight Industry Awards." 


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Heavy Vehicle Stress and Road Trauma Guide updated


Trans-Help Foundation has released a revised version of a self-help guide that is more user-friendly.

CEO Dianne Carroll says the Heavy Vehicle Stress and Road Trauma guide, which is available for download from the foundation’s website, includes tips and advice for drivers when dealing with stress and road trauma.

The original version was released two years ago.

"The response has been fantastic," Carroll says.

"We actually send it out to companies and we also give it to the police to pass on to the driver and we recommend it through the social media so if we pick up on a driver that’s been suffering stress or road trauma we forward the booklet to them."

Up to eight drivers call the foundation for help each day.

Copies of the guide have been sent to Kalari transport whose driver was involved in a truck explosion last Friday in south-west Queensland, Carroll adds.

The truck was carrying more than 50 tonnes of ammonium nitrate for mining company Orica when it crashed and rolled in Charleville.

The blast destroyed two firefighting vehicles and two bridges, and blew a hole in the Mitchell Highway.

The truck driver, two fire officers and two passers-by sustained serious injuries.

"All I know is he’s not in a good place," Carroll says of the driver.

"We’ve contacted the company and they have received the booklet to pass on to any of their employees that would have been affected by this and also information on to the family for them to contact us when they’re ready."

For more information visit


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Toll cost cutting success sees profits soar


Toll Group’s savings and efficiency effort have paid off, its annual results show.

The company reported a sharp rise in net profit after tax attributable to shareholders, which leapt 239 per cent and more than $200 million to $286 million, despite sales revenue barely rising more than 1 per cent to $8.8 billion.

"Restructuring and cost improvement initiatives together with new contract wins more than offset the generally challenging market conditions experienced during the year," the company says.

Given the continuing challenging business environment and the success of its moves so far, the company pledges to continue down the same path with a view to an additional $40-$50 million in savings.

"Cost reduction programs across the Group started to deliver a lower cost base," managing director Brian Kruger states.

"Our ability to implement these types of programs has been facilitated by a realignment of our core operating divisions, improved labour productivity, lower handling and linehaul costs and a Group focus on driving continuous improvement and innovation.

"While we have seen the benefits of recent investments in our core Australian businesses in improving our cost base, we recognise that a continued focus on productivity and efficiency is necessary in the current environment to drive earnings growth.

"A highlight of this result was the strong free cash flow of $355.1 million generated by the Group, a $126.1 million increase on the prior year.

"The balance sheet remains strong, with gearing (net debt to net debt plus equity) at 31 per cent ensuring sufficient balance sheet capacity to fund a range of growth initiatives."

Kruger highlighted recent investment is fleet and depots with a view to what Toll expects  to be  "a strong demand for logistics services in Australia in the medium and long term".

Amongst the divisions, Toll Global Logistics performed well, with revenues up nearly 7 per cent, the company noting that Nationwide Transport Logistics buy had strengthened the Contact Logistics Australia arm’s position in over dimensional and heavy haulage services "over multiple industry sectors".

Also on the road, Toll Ipec took a hit from Victorian retail softness and a decline in resources-related Western Australian time-sensitive freight, while Melbourne and Sydney depots suffered capacity issues.

While the domestic forwarding arm was in the black, it was also busy with contract gains, including Big W, Fisher & Paykel, Best & Less and Mars Petcare, along with the Linfox Trans Bass acquisition, and losses such as Coles far north Queensland.

Specialised and domestic freight revenues were down marginally as it looks for gains from new fleet, the expanded Sydney depot and new work for Compass in Queensland and Westrac in NSW.

Meanwhile, Toll Liquids had the new Shell national contract and the Origin Energy gas contract to crow about.

On its energy use, the company says it is "increasing the use of alternative fuels, such as natural gas electricity and biofuel, across our operations, where possible" and "assessing vehicle aerodynamics fluid dynamics, lightweight materials for our fleet" along with the application of environmentally sustainable designs in existing and new facilities.

Despite that, fuel, oil and electricity costs continue to rinse, from $375 million to $392 million.

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Synnex opens $45m Logistics Centre in Sydney


Synnex has unveiled its $45 million logistics centre which utilises the distributor’s own automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) for accelerated and more accurate decision making for itself, vendors, and resellers.

The 10,600 sqm facility was opened on Wednesday by visiting Synnex and Mitac Group chairman, Dr Matthew Miau, and Federal Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull. It is located in Lidcombe, a growing commercial and industrial hub in Western Sydney.

Also in attendance was Synnex Australia CEO, Kee Ong, Auburn City Mayor, Hicham Zraika, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet, and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia representative, Katharine Chang, alongside more than 200 vendors and business partners.

The centre is fully-automated, meaning every item is registered, analysed, and shipped by the ASRS, which is backed by custom enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI) software.

Turnbull branded Synnex’s presence in Lidcombe as “the future of distribution and logistics.”

He said, “We fail to remember that the progress in logistics, in the actual handling and delivering of materials, is just as revolutionary… as the digital revolution.”

Speaking with ARN at the launch, Dr Miau said, “In distribution we value three things: visibility, velocity, and value. The three V philosophy is very important, but it all boils down to an understanding of a lot of data.”

“The heart of a business operation is the ERP system, but to understand all that data, you need good BI,” he said.

“With our system we have on-time, correct data in front of us to make good business decisions and judgements, and then we add a lot of value to this analysis. That’s what keeps us ahead of competitors.”

“We can share this information with resellers; they will be moving faster and making wiser decisions.”

Dr Miau said that the processing will increase throughput; the facility will ship more than 10,000 items each day.

Growing distribution by growing economy

The logistics centre is expected to have a profound impact on Synnex’s Australian business which was valued at $1.6 billion, prior to the facility’s launch.

While the potential impact cannot yet be quantified, Synnex is supporting the centre by increasing headcount by more than 100, adding to its 400 existing employees in Australia. New staff will be spread across the full spectrum of roles, from logistics management to sales and marketing.


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Overcome Supply Chain Sustainability Challenges


Operating within a sustainable supply chain means that the life cycle of your business will be considerably strengthened. Without it, it won’t.

Sustainability is all about operating a business that is enduring, productive, safe, environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Join leading companies at the 2014 Sustainable Supply Chain Solutions Conference, who will share their experiences on meeting challenges and finding solutions to issues that enable them to be sustainable.

  • New and emerging issues affecting Australia’s trade future
  • South Australian freight and infrastructure strategies
  • Future reforms for Australian infrastructure
  • Port privatisation
  • Global safety issues
  • An international perspective on cargo handling
  • Meeting the challenges of a global campaign against port development
  • Environmental regulation of freight in Australia – the future
  • Future energy systems, logistics and supply chains
  • Reducing environmental impacts and increasing productivity in the aerospace and aviation industry
  • Sustainable shipping – now and for the future
  • Sustainable port development – planning for the future
  • Innovative approaches to major rail transport projects
  • Applying a new way of thinking to sustainable supply chain planning and design – Iron Road
  • Adding value to oil, gas and mining supply chains through Northern Australia’s gateway port
  • Growing export markets by transhipping through shallow ports
  • Developing a new common user deep water port for bulk mineral exports

Full Conference Program available here.

Don’t forget to register for the Flinders Port Holdings Gala Dinner and Cocktails on the 29th October, half day Industry Tour on Friday 31st October and The Day at the Races on 1st of November.

Take a look at the topics and quality speakers presenting at the conference. Register now.

Visit for more information.

Support from speakers and sponsors is terrific so if you are interested in joining them please contact Ian Lovell, Conference Coordinator on 0400 708 182 or Send Ian an email

2014 Transport & Logistics Green Light Day


Almost everything that we purchase has at some stage been transported by air, sea, rail or road and stored before or after its distribution. The supply chain is best described as the different steps and methods through which products and services are delivered from suppliers to consumers in the most efficient manner possible. This involves the interaction of producers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and suppliers that are involved in the sale, delivery and production of goods or services.

The Australian transport and logistics (T&L) industry is responsible for the way Australia moves products, services and people, and covers nine broad areas: aviation, freight forwarding, maritime, ports and stevedoring, postal, rail transport, road transport, warehousing and logistics, and wholesale. The supply chain includes ports, roads, railways, freight terminals, airports, and material handling centres.

The traditional image of the transport and logistics industry has been one of physically demanding jobs and heavily industrialised workplaces. Today’s scene is different. The T&L industry is a technologically advanced, dynamic and vibrant industry with a diverse range of career opportunities and a highly skilled and professional workforce. The T & L industry workforce is expected to grow significantly, with a forecast of job openings of 151,100 for the period 2013-17. This is on top of an existing workforce of 797,000 across 165,000 businesses.

The first ever ‘Green Light’ Transport and Logistics Day was held on Friday, 26 August 2011. The event aimed to raise awareness of the transport and logistics industry and promote the benefits of choosing transport and logistics as a career. This annual event is now in its fourth year and each year, school students have the opportunity to discover the many diverse opportunities that a career in the T & L industry can provide.

Transport for NSW, on behalf of the NSW Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group (TLWAG) will be holding the next ‘Green Light’ Transport and Logistics Day on 22 August 2014. Green Light Day will consist of open day events at:

  • The RAAF Base, at Richmond.
  • Fighterworld and RAAF base, Williamtown.
  • National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA) and the Transport Management Centre, Eveleigh.
  • Trainworks Rail Heritage, Thirlmere.


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Barossa Pathway to Employment Expo


The 9th Barossa Pathways to Employment Expo took place on the 6th of August at TAFE's campus in Nuriootpa. Over 1,000 participants attended on the day looking to gather all the infor-mation they could get on pathways to employment from repre-sentatives of about 30 industries.

The SA Freight Council was on hand to deliver a presentation on the Rail industry and the many exciting positions that com-bine to ensure the continued efficiency, maintenance and de-velopment of the industry.

It is the ability to obtain accurate information on such a large variety of career options in the one location that contributes to the continuing success of the Expo.

Year 10 students that outlined an interest in an industry were given an opportunity to sit down in a small group for a 20 mi-nute information session and hear firsthand the opportunities available as well as ask any questions they had on the indus-try. There were 6 such presentations throughout the day.

This gave the an opportunity to students to gain a comprehen-sive understanding on different career opportunities as well as making connections with local employers.

SAFC's presentation on career pathways into rail at the Expo has been made public and can be accessed through our Ca-reer's Information website The LINC (click here).

New T&L Board Game looks to transform Supply Chain Learning


Business on the Move, an innovative new board game designed to teach young people of all ages about the importance of today’s supply chain in global commerce has been officially launched in the UK market.

Designed to inspire, excite and educate young people from the age of 9 to 19, and even beyond, the game requires players to move different products from China to their UK customers by land, sea and air, quickly, profitably and responsibly. Playing the game takes them through various scenarios common in real life where they are faced with the prospect of taking important and timely decisions.

Devised by two former Business Studies teachers, Andy Page and Pat Smedley, Business on the Move is a versatile supply chain game that could be used by teachers across age groups, school subjects and ability levels to impart important lessons. Business on the Move has already won an award under the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Inspiring Enterprise initiative and from the UnLtd charity, which supports social entrepreneurs.

The game has been extensively trialled in more than 30 schools as well as businesses, proving its relevance to today’s commercial world as well as the classroom. To date, nearly 600 young people, teachers and supply chain professionals have played Business on the Move, with another 15,000 young people projected to play over the next 12 months. Andy and Pat’s vision is to have over 100,000 people play the game by 2020.

The supply chain game has the backing of 50 sponsors from across the business spectrum, including banks, major retailers and logistics service providers, allowing over 1,800 of the 2,800 games produced to be distributed free-of-charge and with training to some 500 schools across the UK.

Maureen Barwell, HR Director from one of the Platinum-level sponsors CHEP UK & Ireland, comments that they are impressed by the way Business on the Move manages to combine the sophistication of the supply chain with the simplicity and fun any game needs to work.

Sue Green, Programme Manager at Skills for Logistics describes Business on the Move as an excellent learning tool that, through real world examples and game play, raises awareness of the global supply chain and helps inspire and attract young people to the exciting career opportunities available in the modern logistics sector.

The national launch of Business on the Move at the headquarters of the National Union of Teachers in central London, featured pupils from Ashmead Primary School in Lewisham, students from Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls in Islington and apprentices from Norbert Dentressangle playing the game, and demonstrating to more than 100 invited guests from across the supply chain just how to run a successful business.

The launch event also featured a guest panel chaired by Derrick Potter, Executive Chairman of Potter Logistics, discussing questions about the game, its potential and the roll-out to schools and training providers from September across the UK. Members of the Panel included Steve Agg (CEO of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport), Max Hyde (President of the National Union of Teachers), Grace Breen (Policy Adviser at the Confederation of British Industry) and Robert Cooper (Stakeholder Manager at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills).

The positive response of companies has resulted in two thirds of the production run already pledged to go into sponsors’ nominated schools free-of-charge, leaving only 950 games left for sale when the first production run of the game arrives in mid-August.

Paul Downey, Chief Executive of TIR Training, a leading logistics training provider in the UK sees Business on the Move as an exciting way of engaging with young people and promoting careers within the logistics sector.

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Barossa Pathways to Employment Expo


The 9th Barossa Pathways to Employment Expo is to take place on Wednesday 6th August 2014. The always popular Expo, developed in conjunction with Regional Development Australia Barossa and Barossa Lower North Futures, will be held at Nuriootpa TAFE SA and will cover a wide range of industry pathways with spe-cialised speakers covering Transport, Heavy Equipment, Mining Industry and Rail.

The Expo is divided into two community sessions, one at 10:00 am and one over lunchtime. This is where community members, unemployed, underemployed, people looking for a career change, parents, school teachers, workplace practise students and Year 12's attend to "roam the expo." These ses-sions enable participants to source information from the induttry specialists and ask questions specific to their pathways.

The Expo also has two school sessions throughout the day. Each session consists of 3 targeted presentations. Students pre-register for the expo with their top three options and are timetabled into sessions according to their interests.
For those interested in Transport and Logistics careers the topic of presentations will cover "Did you know that the Transport Industry involves much more than driving trucks?" & "Rail: Getting your product to market cheaper, greener & the roles required."

As well as the presentations there will also be an interactive workshop where students can participate in hands on practicable experiences with working models including a forklift.

More information on the expo can be found at and remember to check out SAFC's careers website for all

SA Skills for All Funded Training Place Update


DFEEST recently held an industry forum to update participants on their Skills for All program. The forum was scheduled to update attendees on changes to Skills for All’s Funded Training Place Allocations system due to budget cuts.

Just prior to the forum the Department released a Skills for All discussion paper on the possible directions and available options for funded training places allocation system going for-ward which directed the forum.

The discussion paper looked for industry and stakeholder views on measures to improve the overall transparency of the funded training places allocation system. To determine the training profile and number of funded training places six key principals will be utilised by DFEEST to ensure public funds are allocated to greatest effect.

The publication of the training profile and the number of new funded training places is intended to deliver a level of certainty to the market by providing detailed information, up front, about the volume of training to be funded by Government in a given period e.g. a year, six months or a semester.

In an attempt to best apply DFEEST’s six Key Principles to deliver on State priorities and strategic industry requirements, the discussion papers proposed three individual models that could be applied to the Funded Training Place Allocations process; A Global Model, a Training Package Model and a Course Level Model.

Each model has strengths and challenges that need to be considered and the Department is examining the response to their survey following the discussion paper to determine their model going forward. A consultation outcomes report is to follow.

New Australian Dangerous Goods Codes Released


In June the National Transport Commission (NTC) released the latest version of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, providing an updated technical resource designed to keep the transport industry and the public safe.

NTC CEO Paul Retter said the latest edition of the code (7.3) would be of particular interest to heavy vehicle drivers, com-panies that use and transport dangerous goods and those who provide training on how to move dangerous goods safely.

“Everyone who uses Austral-ia’s roads and other transport networks has a responsibility to keep themselves and the travelling public safe,” Mr Ret-ter said.

Mr Retter said it was very important that people reading the code read it in conjunction with the specific dangerous goods legislation that applies to their state or territory.

Mr Retter said that the code had been updated to reflect the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations (17th edition). New amendments include:

Better clarifying the description of a dangerous good

  • Adding new materials to the list of dangerous goods
  • Requiring minimum sized markings on large packages of dangerous goods
  • Providing clearer requirements on how and where transport documents are kept on a vehicle transporting dangerous goods
  • And many others.

He said the new amendments also better aligned Australia’s dangerous good requirements with those in place overseas.

“This edition is good news for Australia’s importers and ex-porters as Australia’s dangerous goods requirements are now much more in line with those overseas. This cuts red tape and gives them much greater certainty,” Mr Retter said.

To download a copy of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code edition 7.3 click here.


Hays sees Logistics Recruitment Demand in SA


Some may fail to see South Australia as a logistics recruitment demand focus but the analysts at Hays say the market there has opened up somewhat.

Firms are looking to fill lower-to- middle-manager roles, such as logistics, shift operation and inventory managers and import/export coordinators, but there are some for shop floor roles, mostly reach stackers.

"In South Australia, many manufacturers and defence firms have been forced to reassess their contracts in response to increases passed on by transport companies," the authors of the Hays Quarterly Report of hiring hotspots and recruitment trends say.

"This has led to some key movements in the industry, which in turn has generated job opportunities as smaller firms grow rapidly to deliver their service.

"Employers continue to focus on temporary assignments when they recruit, although positions at the supervisor and above level are usually offered on a permanent basis. Most vacancies are reactive and are the result of contract wins.

"It is also becoming common to engage a candidate in a three to six month temporary assignment before offering them a permanent role.

"Overall, the quality of available candidates is decreasing as the top talent secures roles."

 More broadly, in the procurement space, there is demand for particular skills but prospective employers are approaching the task conservatively.

"Even when they intend to create a permanent role, employers will often recruit initially on a temporary basis while they wait for headcount approval," Hays says.

"In most cases, the temporary candidate will be offered the permanent role, provided they have proven to be the correct fit."

Purchasing and contracts experience is valued here, while employers in Western Australia’s mining and oil and gas industries are looking for candidates with SAP, Pronto or Oracle skills.

"Indirect category managers are sought to assist in strategic development for new projects. We are also seeing demand for category management expertise in the financial services industry in response to transformations," Hays says.

"Both generalists and specialists are sought, with the key requirement being demonstrated true end-to-end category management methodology and experience."

Meanwhile, looking at recruitment as a whole, Hays regional managing director Nick Deligiannis believes that while the jobs market demand is growing somewhat, employers can still afford to be choosy.

"Given the release of new financial year budgets, vacancy activity will increase further as employers recruit the skills they need to drive their department forward," Deligiannis says.

"But the days of employers recruiting people just because they have the right technical skills are over.

"If you want a new job this financial year you need to match all the requirements on an employer’s wish list. Anything less and you won’t get an interview.

"For jobseekers, this means you need to highlight how your skills match the job description and be able to demonstrate your suitability in an interview through examples. Researching the organisation and speaking to your recruiter about the role will help you prepare for this."


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Green Light Day


The Green Light Day event is a NSW-based industry and government supported awareness day to highlight the wide range of opportunities and experiences the transport and logistics industry can offer. This year it is scheduled for Friday 22 August 2014.

Green Light Day is an initiative consistent with raising the awareness of the diverse career opportunities in the transport and logistics industry sectors with young people facing their first career choice. TLISC actively supports the event through its involvement with the NSW Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Group.

The day generally consists of a site visit with guest speakers from a range of industry sectors. Invited schools participate in the day at nominated sites – this year venues at Newcastle, Richmond, Sydney and Thirlmere will be hosting students from neighbouring schools.

The day was positively received by participating schools in 2012 and 2013. Highlights have included the guest speakers who not only describe a role in transport and logistics sectors but share their personal career journey and subtly reassure the students that there are many paths to a rewarding career.


Article from TLISC's June 2014 newsletter

UK Logistics Body Suggests New Initiative to Raise Maths Standards for Students


Skills for Logistics (SfL), the skills sector council for the freight and supply chain industry in the UK, a sector employing 8% of the British work force, has supported the development of a scheme it says could be used nationally to raise mathematics standards among students in an engaging way, according to John Redmond, Assistant Principal at Lutterworth College. The college will be running a Numeracy Day on Friday 20 June, with 48 Year 10, grade C-D borderline GCSE students. The day will be based on the successful SfL ‘Made in China’ logistics days, which were previously supported and delivered by SfL’s team. However, math’s teacher Cath Stephenson and careers teachers within the college will now run future events.

In addition to delivering two Made in China enterprise days, SfL has been working closely with Lutterworth College by attending careers events and open evenings. The first employer group meeting for SfL’s Lutterworth LLCN (Local Logistics Community Network), hosted by Lutterworth College in February of this year, was attended by a bevy of freight community heavyweights and logistics employers: Office Depot, Norbert Dentressangle, DHL, Unipart Logistics, Caterpillar, George/Asda and CML Logistics.

SfL is also is a strategic partner of Lutterworth College’s new Sir Frank Whittle Studio School. Opening in a brand new state-of-the-art building in September 2014, the studio school will provide 14-19 year-olds students with a distinctive academic and vocational education. Every student will benefit from a personal coach and high quality work experience with the school’s business partners.

Studio schools are a government initiative designed to focus on teaching workplace skills as well as academic studies, with the help of local business partners. Logistics will be offered at Lutterworth along with other business studies including engineering, retail and leisure.

Made in China is a curriculum resource aimed at 14-16 year olds. It supports mathematics, communication, problem-solving and enterprise in the curriculum and brings alive some important logistics concepts within a ‘real world’ setting.


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Toll to cut 100 jobs


TOLL Holdings has flagged further cost savings initiatives at its upcoming annual results after revealing plans to save up to $12 million a year by merging some of its businesses and abolishing a division.

From July 1, Toll will have five divisions instead of six to reduce crossover and increase collaboration, which will lead to the loss of 100 jobs from the head office of the company’s Domestic Forwarding business and Toll Intermodal.

The majority of the positions will go from the Intermodal business as the specialised contract-driven parts of the operation will merge into the Toll Global Logistics division.

Long-serving directors Paul Ebsworth and Wayne Hunt will leave as part of the restructure.

“We have strong businesses, particularly in Australia, but it is critical that in the current challenging market we reduce complexity and costs, improve our productivity and build on our strengths,’’ Toll chief executive Brian Kruger said.

“This restructure will help mitigate near-term ongoing margin pressures as well as ensuring that we maximise the leverage that our company has to any improvements in the external environment.’’

But Toll flagged that other cost-saving initiatives would come with the annual results in August. Toll’s costs fell by $30m in the first half.

While analysts such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it did not expect further material cost reductions, “we think these measures will be taken positively”.

“Toll as been criticised for not being vigilant enough on costs given the weak economy, so this should assuage some concerns,’’ the broker said yesterday.

Toll reiterated previous guidance that underlying earnings before interest, taxation and amortisation for fiscal 2014 was expected to be in line with 2013, while EBIT would be ahead of the prior year.

Toll shares rose more than 4 per cent in the wake of the announcement, having fallen more than 7 per cent so far this year.

“The reiteration of guidance is positive in that it demonstrates Toll has been able to offset a challenging operating environment with some contract wins and cost,’’ Goldman Sachs said. But it added: “While this is encouraging, the backdrop for Toll remains one of subdued activity levels, margin pressure, and risk relating to the retender of Singapore government contracts.’’


Article by Damien Kitney