VTA think tank calls on government to drive efficiency

The VTA wants government to introduce a number of measures to drive urban freight efficiency in the trucking industry

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is pushing the State Government to implement a number of productivity measures following the first meeting of the VTA’s Industry Think Tank.

According to the VTA, more than 30 industry leaders met to discuss issues hampering the trucking industry, with most agreeing the main issues concern the urban freight task.

The think tank, which held its first meeting on August 27, called for high productivity vehicles to be introduced at the Port of Melbourne, Somerton, Altona, Laverton and Dandenong.

The group called for simple solutions such as sequenced traffic lights, the removal of break-down lanes to widen the road, greater access for deliveries and education programs about fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance.

The VTA wants the Government to run trials with transport companies to determine the extent these initiatives will have on efficiency.

VTA Chief Executive Phil Lovel, who also chairs the think tank, says the industry is finding it hard to operate in the face of increased running costs because of the lack of efficiency gains available to it.

Unless some or all of the measures are introduced, Lovel claims "the public is about to experience some real price increases" because operators cannot absorb higher running costs.

"We need to get together to find new ways of doing business, and to take more cost out of moving goods," he says.

The think tank also looked at long term issues, including rail freight initiatives, connecting Melbourne’s road network and improving intermodal freight linkages at Victoria’s ports.

"The Industry Think Tank will pursue these issues to achieve some immediate wins and to advocate future change," Lovel says.

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