Help us improve the Victorian airfreight supply chain

“Companies don’t compete: supply chains compete” is a maxim for domestic and international clients and suppliers in our trading activities. 

The Business Activity Harmonisation Study (BAHS) is an industry-led change management program to identify and address supply chain impediments that are costing Australian businesses money and productivity.

BAHS is about industry changing from the inside out: discovering exact impediments that exist across supply chains; developing realistic solutions to the problems identified; implementing agreed and tested recommendations that will enable efficiency improvements and build a platform for performance measurement.

In recognition of the success of the BAHS Sea Freight project, the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council (VFLC) has been charged with undertaking a similar study into the Airfreight supply chain in Victoria.  

This project will be carried out under the management of a Steering Committee headed by Chair Lil Valente, from Melbourne Airport.  This Steering Committee reports to the Victorian Airfreight Working Group of VFLC.

How will it work?

BAHS is structured around the collaborative relationship between industry and government in Victoria. Industry experts, shippers (importers, exporters and domestic), cargo terminal operators, airlines, freight forwarders, airport operators, unions, regulators and supply chain specialists will be called upon to inject their own experience, in order to ensure:

Accurate identification and weighting of issues

Pragmatic problem-solving and hands-on involvement

Real-world solutions and achievable results.

Under a flexible, industry-driven model we expect to maximise participation and results without time-wasting or duplication.

Stage One

Stage one of the BAHS Airfreight project was structured to allow direct contributions from industry participants. As with the sea freight study, it is recognised that expert knowledge resides in the industry and effective models for change are best derived from within each sector. 

Study method for stage one drew industry involvement via an electronic survey distributed to several hundred supply chain participants; four case studies with selected importers, exporters and domestic shippers; and a series of workshops involving exporters, importers and domestic shippers, freight forwarders, transport companies, government and regulatory bodies, airlines, airports, cargo terminal operators and customs brokers. The workshops encouraged “free and frank” exchange of views about the industry and are instrumental in developing a deeper understanding of the airfreight supply chain.

From these discussions five main areas of concern emerged: inadequate awareness, education and training; a lack of airfreight capacity out of Victoria; under-developed IT systems, data capture and exchange; less-than-optimal terminal infrastructure; and mismatched operating hours unable to meet 24/7 trends. These findings will form the basis for stage two of the study.

Stage Two

Stage Two of the BAHS Airfreight process is the development of solutions to remove or reduce the impacts of the identified impediments. The process will be an extension of the successful Stage One process and will encourage industry participation.

‘Champions’ Strategy

‘Champions’ are appointed by the BAHS Steering Committee to develop options to solve the six refined priority issues from Stage I.

This strategy will ensure ownership and engagement by industry and support the work of the BAHS Airfreight team through a champion advocating on each issue and a small work group to flesh out options.

It will engage members from the Victorian Airfreight Working Group (VAWG) and industry experts to ensure practical options are put before the industry at the industry workshops in April. 

We want you to be involved

All parties in the airfreight supply chain have stakes in a project such as BAHS Airfreight and your input will be highly valued.  If you represent any of the following, we’d like the benefit of your perspective, experience and advice.

Shippers – Importers / Exporters / Domestic


Transport Operators 

Freight Forwarders

Custom Brokers

Warehouse and DC operators

Regulatory Bodies

Peak Industry Bodies and Airfreight Industry Consultants


Related Victorian Government agencies

Cargo Terminal Operators

Airport Operators

Airfreight Industry Technology Services Providers

To register your interest to participate in Stage Two of the BAHS project and access copies of the Stage One report please visit the VFLC’s website.

Image courtesy of

Do you plan to take part in this BAHS project? Comment below or on Twitter @manmonthly.