VTA to set up industry think tank

By: Jason Whittaker


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is moving to take a lead role in dealing with ballooning costs in the trucking

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is moving to take a lead role in dealing with ballooning costs in the trucking industry by setting up a think tank.

VTA Chief Executive Phil Lovel has announced it will deal with a diverse number of issues ranging from taxation to fuel, environmental issues, compliance costs and customer demands.

The grand initiative is a departure from the business-as-usual approach, with the VTA looking to the industry’s best and brightest, rather than politicians, to develop ways to solve myriad issues afflicting operators and owner-drivers.

"We don’t think either the politicians or the community in general understand the increasing burdens on the industry," Lovel says.

He criticised politicians for wasting time arguing over meaningless points rather than addressing the big issues "burdening the freight and logistics industry".

"They have lost the plot; they are only concerned about themselves," Lovel says.

Lovel plans to have all facets of the supply chain in a room discussing innovative ways to tackle bottlenecks, with the outcomes to be taken to the industry. By having everyone work together, Lovel argues the think tank can achieve "significant savings".

Issues to be discussed will include payload optimisation, aerodynamics, productivity, lobbying governments, congestion and curfews.

Lovel dismisses claims it will be a talkfest, saying the think tank will be devoted to coming up with practical outcomes companies can implement to increase their bottom line.

"It’s not a talkfest; it’s a doing fest," he says.

High on the list of discussion will be pushing councils to overturn truck restrictions on local roads because of heavy vehicle noise. Lovel says the VTA is talking to local governments and they are prepared to work at reaching an agreement to increase access to more routes.

The think tank will also be pushing for customers to be more flexible in regards to delivery times, such as accepting trucks late at night or over the weekend.

Lovel urged stakeholders to take part in discussions, saying it is vital they work together to create tangible benefits.

"We know the freight and logistics industry is the backbone of this country. It’s about time we pulled together," he says.

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