Regulation key to supply chain productivity: studies

Examination of key supply chains identifies regulatory and economic reform as key to unlocking productivity

An examination of some of Australia’s key supply chains has identified regulatory and economic reform as key to unlocking transport productivity.

While business plans its supply chain operations globally, the National Transport Commission (NTC) admits transport planning remains state-based and involves multiple agencies and levels of government.

The reports, together with a new study on rail productivity, back proposals for a new national transport regulator to unify state-based law.

The NTC examined logistics networks in the meat and livestock, grain and coal industries.

The studies will be used as part of the review into national transport regulations. South Australia is leading the working group examining capacity constraints and supply chain performance

"While governments do some great transport planning, they tend to stop at state and territory borders," NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos says.

"Better coordination of land-use planning and investment for road, rail and ports nationally will help prevent the duplication of infrastructure and ensure efforts to fix transport bottlenecks don’t simply shift the problem further down the supply chain."

The Rail Productivity Review calls for sustainable transport investment to avoid short-term rescue packages for rural lines.

It also supports calls for a ‘user-pays’ truck pricing model, which it says will provide a "commercial incentive" for road owners to improve ‘last mile’ access to destinations like grain silos and sale yards.

Regional rail, particularly, should not be disadvantaged by truck charges, the report says, arguing for greater investment to improve rail links to important terminals.

"New research forecasts a massive increase in traffic along the nation’s major highways and arterial network, more coordinated and integrated long-term approach to policy and planning across all modes to meet those challenges makes sense," Dimopoulos says.

  • Supply Chain Pilots Draft Position Paper: click here
  • Freight Rail Productivity Review Draft Position Paper: click here

More on the supply chain pilot studies in the April edition of SupplyChain Review magazine.

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