Linfox outlines EV plans, Queensland intermodal strategy


ALC and SEA Electric join electric trials as anticipation for inland rail grows

Linfox outlines EV plans, Queensland intermodal strategy
An image from the Linfox EV trial

 

Linfox has confirmed further trials of electric vehicles (EVs) in conjunction with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and automotive technology company SEA Electric.

In a wide-ranging investment report, Solutions: Investing in progress, the company also discusses the direction for its recently purchased Queensland Intermodal business, strategically positioning it for the future growth of inland rail, and lauds the recent opening of its Asia Pacific control room.

EV trials

As global interest in electric vehicles (EV) continues to grow, Linfox says it is "working to accelerate uptake of the technology in Australia’s road transport sector" with industry partners, including the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and customers Woolworths and Australia Post.

The ALC’s Electric Vehicles Working Group is "focused on setting industry priorities, identifying and navigating the barriers to uptake and supporting legislative and regulatory change".


Linfox looks to flick switch on electric propulsion. Read more, here


Part of that involves the trial of EV technologies at the Linfox-owned Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea, which involves a fully electric truck developed by SEA Electric for Woolworths Online and store deliveries.

"Linfox continues to work alongside the Electric Vehicle Council to engage key global suppliers to ensure the development of cost-effective, non-payload constrained EVs across several weight classes for use in the Australian market," the company says.

The list of EV developments includes:

  • trialling EVs at Linfox’s purpose-built facilities
  • investing in renewable energy solutions to power EVs, including installing 500kW of solar panels in Linfox warehouses
  • implementing EV material handling equipment at Linfox sites, and
  • building EV requirements into new sites.

Intermodal ideas 

Linfox says its recent acquisition of the Aurizon Queensland intermodal business in October, which it will take control of in January 2019, fulfils a decades-long ambition.

It adds it has been "positioning itself to break into the Queensland and Far North Queensland intermodal market and, over the past 12 months, has made these intentions clear".

The acquisition includes more than 500 rail wagons, 1,300 containers, 200 staff, 12 new sites and almost 30 additional services per week.

"This deal has been a long time coming," executive chairman Peter Fox says. "It is a strategic investment for Linfox and is also a strategic investment in Australia. It will strengthen our network and increase competition in the Queensland logistics market."

The acquisition transforms Linfox Intermodal into a national service provider and unlocks a number of opportunities for the company by linking Linfox’s eastern seaboard and north Queensland services.

The advantages of rail are its capacity and economies of scale and this is set to grow with investment in Australia’s inland rail network.

The benefits will flow to the transport of grain, sugar, livestock, meat, minerals and concentrates as they are moved from production, processing and storage facilities and bulk handling ports for export along the eastern seaboard, the company says.

"The benefit to customers will be significant," Linfox intermodal president Ian Strachan says.

"The transaction increases our scale and scope throughout Queensland and provides greater Queensland-based pick-up, delivery and warehousing.

"It will also enhance the broader Australia-wide Linfox intermodal network and strategically position us for the future growth of inland rail."

Ccontrol room

Linfox also recently unveiled its high-tech control centre for its Asia Pacific operations.

The Bangkok-based facility features "sophisticated solutions to enhance safety and security, monitor driver behaviour, ensure compliance and fulfil customer requirements".

"We are extremely proud of the operations centre and how we’ve raised our service offering to our customers in a very competitive market," Linfox Thailand country manager Jeffery Cotterill says.

The centre monitors data provided by the technology on the Linfox fleet, including: GPS vehicle and asset tracking, geofencing, fatigue management, fuel management, automatic driver identification, driver behaviour, traffic and weather monitoring and forecasting,  and fleet surveillance.

 

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