Linfox Expansion, $1.5 Billion Boost, Unscrupulous Claim and Braking Guide

The latest from Diesel News this week includes Linfox Expansion, $1.5 Billion Boost, Unscrupulous Claim and Braking Guide, plus Independent Road Charging, ATA/ALC Alliance and Paying On Time.

Linfox is expanding its global footprint with a move into Laos. It has become the first foreign logistics company to operate in the country with the signing of a joint venture with the Lao Logistics Group in Vientiane. The joint venture enables Linfox to provide transport services throughout Laos in partnership with local businesses and people.

“Expansion into the greater Mekong Delta countries of Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia is a key objective of Linfox’s business strategy,” said Gabby Costigan, Linfox International Group CEO. “We see great potential in this region, not only for Linfox, but for the local communities and economies. Laos’ position in relation to its neighbours offers enormous potential as a land link and location to build further trade connections internationally.”

High Volume Productivity

What’s claimed to be a $1.5 billion boost to productivity from new policies approved by ministers at the recent Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) meeting should allow trucks to carry larger – but not heavier – loads. The National Transport Commission (NTC) has developed the new policy settings to help people who transport lighter loads such as cotton, wood chips or hay get their goods to market more efficiently.

“These policy decisions pave the way for changes to the law that will help to reduce the number of trucks on Australian roads and give our nation’s transport industry a productivity boost worth up to $1.5 billion per year,” said Paul Retter, NTC CEO. “Our estimates show that as many as 5,000 fewer rigid vehicles and up to 1,700 fewer B-double vehicles would be needed to move the same volume of freight.”

Independent Road Charging

The Australian Government has released a discussion paper on options for an independent price regulator for heavy vehicle charges. The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Geoff Crouch, said the ATA had long been an advocate for an independent price regulator to set truck charges.

“The Government has made an important step towards that goal by consulting on options for how an independent price regulator can be set up,” Crouch said. “Truck charges need to be set at arm’s length from government so they fairly represent the costs of heavy vehicles on the road network.”

TWU Claim Untrue

“Recent media comment by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, that NatRoad ‘aids and abets unscrupulous employers’ is simply not true, “said Warren Clark, NatRoad CEO. “NatRoad celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018. Through eight decades we’ve represented the best interests of the road transport industry, working towards safety, fair conditions, and industry sustainability.

“NatRoad supports laws to toughen penalties against unscrupulous employers who deliberately withhold wages or deliberately set out to rip off employees. The new chain of responsibility legislation coming into effect in 2018 will help ensure all participants in the transport task are made accountable for bad practice. The road transport industry is competitively disadvantaged by unscrupulous transport operators who do the wrong thing.”

ATA/ALC Alliance

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the ATA have submitted joint Notices of Intention to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to develop an industry-wide ‘Master Code’ for heavy vehicle safety. The development of the Code will be backed by funding from the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, supported by the Australian Government.

Both organisations say this is a significant step towards providing certainty for the industry and promote higher standards when it comes to heavy vehicle safety for everyone on the road.

Braking Guide Published

A comprehensive braking guide to assist industry members’ understanding of current braking combinations has been published. The guide was developed by the ATA Industry Technical Council (ITC), the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA), the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA), the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Australia (CVIAA), Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) and the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

“Understanding brake and stability ratings for truck and trailer combinations that have varying brake technologies is a key to achieving best practice in the trucking industry,” said Chris Loose, ATA Senior Advisor – Engineering. “This guide is a product of many hours of hard work, and is based on the collective experience of operators, suppliers, regulators and industry groups. However it does not replace, vary or modify existing laws and regulations.

“Understanding the guide’s brake and stability ratings for trucks and trailer combinations that have varying brake technologies is key to achieving best practice in the trucking industry.”

You can download the guide on HVIA’s website.

Paying On Time

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) launched a voluntary code of conduct which aims to get businesses to pay their suppliers on time. Whilst the purpose of the code is welcomed, NatRoad CEO Warren Clark called for the Government to mandate 30-day payment.

“The road transport industry is largely made up of small business service providers,” said Clark. “Around 70 per cent of all operators have one truck in their fleet and approximately 24 per cent have two to four trucks. Less than 0.5 per cent of all operators have fleets with 100+ trucks.

“Whilst members will welcome the introduction of a voluntary code by big business, cash flow is king and small businesses should not be treated as temporary bankers for big business. The voluntary code won’t stop the ill treatment of small businesses in the transport industry.’