Border Express boss takes home top gong

Border Express Chairman Max Luff has been named the Australian Freight and Logistics Personality of the Year

By Ruza Zivkusic | September 6, 2011

Border Express Chairman Max Luff has been named the Australian Freight and Logistics Personality of the Year.

Luff, who has been in the transport industry for almost 60 years, was given the award at the 22nd Australian Freight Industry Awards in Melbourne on Saturday.

The transport veteran, who started as a casual driver in Bega, NSW, while studying to become an English and history teacher, went into business with his future father-in-law in 1958 and established Albury Border transport.

He later sold the business to Ansett Border Express, which they then sold to TNT Express.

Luff went into business to establish Border Express with his four sons. He was a little surprised when finding out he had been nominated for the award.

"I had no idea it was coming – probably somebody within our own company has nominated me or I might have been the only one nominated," he says.

Victorian Transport Association CEO Phil Lovel described Luff as a devoted family man who has built a successful transport business and continues to have a real love and passion for the transport industry.

"He is a true personality and character of the freight and logistics industry in Australia," Lovel says.

Luff says he still enjoys getting out of bed for work and believes he’ll never retire but "fade" away from the business.

"I think if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you’re going to fail and not stay in the game. I’ve always been interested in what’s going on. When I got into the business 50 years ago, the big difference now and then is the regulation and compliance," he says.

"The big difference is the way things are being policed, it forces you to become very professional. You have to accept these things and put your own process in place to run business in today’s climate, which is more regulated."

Noske Logistics won the Freight Innovation/Technology Award, with VicRoads taking home the Best Practice Award. Victoria University received the Freight Industry Promotion & Careers Award.

Over 1,000 guests attended the awards night but Lovel says he is disappointed that no nominations were made for the environment category, which was cancelled.

"A reflection of current times but certainly disappointing since I know some companies could have applied," he says.

"Nonetheless, we were very pleased with all the other nominations, which demonstrated how some companies and individuals have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make their work more innovative, efficient and safer for the betterment of the industry."

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