National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy gets green light


20-year approach targets multimodal efficiency improvements

National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy gets green light
Simon National Carriers chair David Simon led an inquiry into national freight and supply chain priorities

 

Australian transport ministers have approved the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy (NFSCS), which was developed with industry input and integrates different transport modes for the first time.

Federal transport minister Michael McCormack says the NFSCS, and its associated National Action Plan, developed by Australian governments with industry input, positions Australia to meet freight and supply chain demands over the next 20 years.

"Australian freight supply chains [deliver] about 163 tonnes of freight per person around the country each year," McCormack says.

"With our freight volumes expected to grow by more than a third by 2040 and online shopping growth at over 20 per cent a year, we need to increase the productivity of our freight system.

"At the same time, we have to plan for and manage the introduction of new technologies and risks from increasing natural disasters, such as the devastating floods in Queensland last year."

McCormack says the strategy commits to national action in four critical areas:

  • smarter and targeted infrastructure investment
  • improving supply chain efficiency
  • better planning, coordination and regulation
  • better freight location and performance data.

"The Strategy’s governance arrangements provide a mechanism to ratchet up action and ambition from all governments and industry over time in order to lift the performance of the freight system.

"Jurisdictions will report back to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council in November with their implementation arrangements for delivering the strategy."

The Expert Panel commissioned by the Government in March 2017 to lead an inquiry into national freight and supply chain priorities have expressed their support for the Strategy and Action Plan.

"For the first time Australia is taking a truly comprehensive national approach to freight covering all modes," panel member and executive chairman of Simon National Carriers David Simon says.


Read how the strategy inquiry started, here


Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz says the success of the strategy would rely on the ability of governments and industry to work together during its implementation.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee says the Action Plan highlights the collaborative action to improve the national freight system.

"It showcases the extensive contributions the Australian Government is making, such as the $4.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, $32 million to improve agricultural export systems and $5.2 million to settle the design of a National Freight Data Hub," Gee says.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the announcement, but says it will only succeed if the implementation plans due to be presented in November commit to meaningful actions, backed by new investment and deadlines for delivery.

"ALC welcomes the fact that as a result of the Strategy agreed to today, Australia now has a clear set of actions for improving supply chain efficiency which all governments nation-wide have committed to pursue," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"We now need those same governments to follow through with concrete plans for implementation, so that the Strategy can start to deliver tangible benefits for our economy, for consumers and for communities."

 

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