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ALC backs GS1 freight transport label guideline

Integrated freight tracking across multiple carriers seen as one of several advances


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has endorsed a framework aimed at enhancing cargo identification and positioning amongst multiple carriers.

Three years in the making, the Australian Transport Label Guideline is based on GS1 global supply chain standards and best practice gathered via the ALC Supply Chain Standards Work Group, the two organisations say.

It provides guidance to industry on how to physically identify and label logistics and transport units to support efficient transport management processes and is an aspect of a wider industry effort to boost supply chain efficiency.

“This significant announcement marks a major milestone for Australia’s transport and logistics industry,” trade and transport industry manager Bonnie Ryan says.

“The move to introduce freight labelling guidelines based on GS1 standards is foundational for the industry to achieve optimal interoperability and visibility across the supply chain.”

The guideline includes the information required by transport operators and label formats that have been specifically designed to enable integrated tracking of freight across multiple transport carriers, reduce relabelling and duplication, and reduce costs in the transportation chain.

“Improving supply chain visibility and interoperability is critical to the efficient movement of freight and will lead to productivity improvements across the industry,” ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff says.

“With ALC research showing a 1 per cent improvement in supply chain efficiency would boost GDP by $2 billion, the Australian Transport Label Guideline certainly has the potential to help us achieve this goal.”

The guideline includes a roadmap for Australian transport companies to move from current manual processes where they still exist to full automation, such as scanning, electronic transport instructions and transport status notifications via EDI between buyers and sellers of transport and logistic services. 

The promise is that standard identification of transport items of any composition, whether a single carton, a pallet containing many cartons or a bundle of steel, will effectively reduce waste and cost of re-labelling freight as it travels across a multi-leg supply chain journey while providing a common tracking identifier to support end-to-end visibility.

 “This initiative lays the foundation for major improvements in the Australian Transport & Logistics Industry that will be of benefit to all stakeholders,” ALC Supply Chain Standards Work Group chair and OneSteel ecommerce manager David McNeil says.

Toll Global Logistics – Customised Solutions senior IT operations manager Andy Kim underlines the value of the industry companies working together to realise a common goal.

“Through this strong collaboration between the industry and GS1 Australia we have been able to produce a guideline that will be another significant step in improving the productivity and efficiency of the supply chain,” Kim says.

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