Supply chain efficiency without major spending possible say QTLC

096The Queensland Transport and Logistics Council (QTLC) has developed a forward-looking plan to improve supply chain efficiency in the state, without major infrastructure spending.

More effective movement of freight will be vital to maintain much-needed growth in industry sectors on which the future prosperity of Queensland relies.

Responding to an identified a lack of useful data on supply chains and freight flows , the QTLC engaged Pekol Traffic and Transport to pull together available reliable data and has unveiled a comprehensive snapshot of the logistics landscape in Queensland.

With an overarching objective to help the State Government develop improved supply chain policy and freight investment, the QTLC has identified opportunities to address supply chain efficiencies for the benefit of Queenslanders, industry and the Queensland economy.

The Sunshine State’s economy is built on industries dependant on freight movements, like agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction. As a result, the state’s supply chains account for 25 percent of Australia’s demand for freight services. Economic growth is set to put further demand on an, already stretched, infrastructure.

The QTLC plan clearly identifies and precisely targets the efficiencies possible within the constraints of the existing freight system, to help Queensland cope with an increasing demand.

The plan is published in a QTLC report called “Strengthening Queensland’s Supply Chains” in which a number of strategic and operational recommendations are laid out, intended to make Queensland supply chains more efficient, productive and sustainable.

“This project presents industry viewpoints about how the Queensland and Local Governments can reform policy settings and adopt innovation to increase supply chain efficiencies for the benefit of all,” says QTLC Chairman, Neil Findlay.

“The QTLC intends to submit the report to the Queensland government and work with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, as the lead agency, to achieve the objectives of the recommendations.”

Supply chain efficiency is vital to the Queensland economy, which generates a freight tonnage larger than both New South Wales and Victoria. At the same time, the constrained investment outlook for the state means large infrastructure improvements have been put on the back burner.

The QTLC report has come up with a number of smart improvements to use the current infrastructure in a more effective way and highlights areas where real efficiency gains can be obtained in both the short and long term.

Overall, 52 recommendations are laid out in the comprehensive report, coming up with pragmatic and informed solutions to allow Queensland to get the best economic outcome from the current supply chain structure.

“The report acknowledges Government’s constrained funding environment, so generally does not advocate major infrastructure projects,” says QTLC CEO, Rebecca Michael. “Accordingly, recommended actions are focused on those of a low cost, innovative, systemic nature with multiple supply chain benefits, unlocking latent efficiency and capacity in the existing freight system”

The recommendations range from the appointment of a Deputy Director General to prioritise supply chain efficiency across government departments, to changes in the way freight corridors on road and rail are co-ordinated and prioritised, as well as streamlining of planning and permission procedures to unblock bottlenecks, at the same time as reducing the administrative burden on government and industry.

The report also identifies the need to develop a Queensland Strategic Freight Model, gathering data to predict future freight flows, giving the state better targeted and prioritised infrastructure spending in the future. This data will also aid in creating vital priority freight routes around the state.

Other recommendations include the development of user pays investment methodologies to address supply chain blockages. Low cost infrastructure investment trials are also recommended, as well as reforms to address first and last mile access issues and heavy vehicle permit processes which hinder efficient freight routes.

The Strengthening Queensland’s Supply Chains Report can be viewed at www.qtlc.com.au .

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