Maritime | Maritime and Transport | Other | Rail

What are some of the biggest challenges facing intermodal in Australia today?

20 Oct 2015, by Informa Australia

Sydney Ports Corporation - DP World - Port Botany © Brendan Read : mobile 0407 899 189 www.brendanread.com
Sydney Ports Corporation – DP World – Port Botany © Brendan Read : mobile 0407 899 189 www.brendanread.com

In the lead up to our 15th AusIntermodal Conference in Sydney in November we managed to catch a few minutes with Neil Chambers one of the Director of the Container Tranport Alliance Australia (CTAA). Neil was kind enough to tell us some more about CTAA, discuss some of the biggest challenges facing intermodal in Australia today and let us in on what he is most looking forward to about chairing a day of the AusIntermodal 2015 Conference.

Tell us a bit more about your background and about CTAA as an organisation

Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) was established in December 2014 to provide consulting, business support and advocacy services dedicated to the landside container transport logistics industry, Australia-wide.

Our clients include container transport operators, empty container parks, intermodal operators, freight forwarders, importers and exporters, and allied professionals servicing the sector. We assist companies to improve their operational productivity, safety, technology advancement, regulatory compliance and workforce development in a demanding business environment.

My business partner, Gerard Langes, and I have over 50 years of combined experience in shipping, stevedoring & maritime operations, landside logistics and industry advocacy, in Australia and overseas.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing intermodal in Australia today?

International container landside logistics activities are arguably the most complex and challenging supply chains in existence.   In one sense, it’s a fantastic sector to service, as container trade growth will continue as Australia’s economy grows and changes shape. Yet, it’s a tough sector – it’s highly competitive and margins are low, with profitability relying so much on strong operational relationships and “savvy” business decisions. It’s also a highly regulated market, requiring a constant balance between safety compliance, future innovation and productivity improvements.

As Australia’s containerised freight task grows, one of the biggest challenges will be for the industry to work smarter. We need to use the most appropriate vehicle types, including Higher Productivity Freight Vehicles, streamline intermodal interfaces, encourage a competitive and reliable rail sector, deploy future technologies to improve operational outcomes and information visibility, and ensure that the workforce has the right skills, training and attributes to succeed.

Container safety, compliance and risk management is a major issue for the container transport logistics industry chain. How can container transportation become safer, increase compliance and manage risk effectively?

The variety of parties involved in each container shipment, from country of origin to final destination, heightens the risk of safety breaches and compliance lapses. How is the container packed?; is the gross weight declared accurately?; have dangerous goods been classified and segregated properly?; have there been opportunities for tapering or theft? Is the handling and transport equipment fit for purpose?; do all parties understand and adhere to their safety and compliance obligations along the chain?

There’s always a need for better dialogue between regulators and the industry to ensure that applicable safety laws are appropriate and adequate, and to ensure that continued guidance, awareness and training in safe transport outcomes can be delivered.

You will Chair Day 1 of the upcoming AusIntermodal Conference, what are you most looking forward to about the event?

There is an impressive line-up of quality speakers on Day One, including a panel session on intermodal challenges. I’m looking forward to facilitating as much interaction between the speakers and the audience as possible. My objective is to ensure that no one leave at the end of the day thinking “I wish I would have asked that question I had on the tip of my tongue!”

To find out more about CTAA you can check out their website here. If you are keen to see the agenda for the AusIntermodal Conference or Register to attend you can find everything here.

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