Manufacturing News

Efficient intermodal freight critical for future economy: ALC Forum 2012

The need for efficient, effective and seamless intermodal freight in Australia has never been more important in the face of a burgeoning national freight task, supply chains that are increasingly global, a growing import task and rising congestion in our major cities.

The ALC Forum 2012, running from 28 to 30 March at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, will discuss what more can be done to support and facilitate the growth of intermodal freight in Australia to ensure this critical component of the supply chain plays a more prominent role in meeting Australia’s freight task.

The ‘Making Intermodal Freight Work’ panel session will involve leading industry figures, including:

  • Linfox Logistics president commercial, Tania Whyte
  • QR National vice president for strategy and business development, Ken Lewsey,
  • Asciano director of Pacific national rail, Chris Keast
  • Department of Defence commander joint logistics, Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib AM, CSC
  • Toll domestic forwarding divisional director, Paul Ebsworth

Chair of the Intermodal Session, Tania Whyte said the discussion at the ALC Forum will be timely given a growing sense among industry that intermodal freight needs to be given a higher priority by both industry and government.

“We all recognise that intermodal hand-offs are one of the major cost factors in our supply chains, so there is a real prize for streamlining those interfaces, be they ports or rail terminals,”  Dr Whyte said.

“One part of the answer is investing in the right infrastructure in the right place to achieve a smoother and more continuous flow of freight through and between our cities.  Another part is ensuring that planning authorities factor freight flows into their thinking.  And lastly of course, there is a lot that we as industry participants can do to make intermodal handovers more efficient.

“We are an island nation, heavily reliant on our ports for both import and export.  At the same time, concerns about carbon, safety and congestion mean we should be looking for ways to shift more freight by rail, especially on the eastern seaboard.

“Making intermodal freight work is going to become even more important, and will bring benefits for the Australian economy and our communities,” she said.

Dr Whyte said she expected the ALC Forum 2012 discussion to focus on Australia’s short term intermodal freight priorities; what government needs to do to meet an expected growth in demand for intermodal facilities and where industry can play a more active role.

To download the ALC Forum 2012 program or to register for the event, click here.

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