2018 ALC Forum identifies industry priorities

Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, Australian Logistics Council.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has reported that more than 280 leaders, policymakers and professionals representing all parts of the supply chain gathered for the 2018 ALC Forum, which was held in Sydney 6–8 March.

“As the most significant annual gathering of industry professionals involved in the nation’s freight logistics industry, this year’s event was held at a crucial moment, as the Federal Government continues developing the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, ahead of its expected release in November,” the ALC shared.

The Forum featured speeches by several senior political decision-makers, including the first major industry address by new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP; and contributions from the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP; and the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP.

Three members of the Expert Panel advising the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities shared insights about some of the major issues they have identified, and discussed what industry’s next steps should be.

Over the two days of the Forum, attendees identified a number of opportunities for ensuring the ultimate effectiveness of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The first of which is the development of a clear set of industry benchmarks and/or key performance indicators (KPIs) to allow industry, governments and regulators to better identify which aspects of the supply chain are performing well, determine those which are experiencing difficulties, and permit the development of effective policy responses.

It was also noted that governments at all levels must be encouraged to ensure planning systems properly account for freight movement, particularly in CBD and inner-urban areas. Attendees also called for the adoption of a “holistic and consistent” National Corridor Protection Strategy to protect critical freight infrastructure and employment lands from the impact of urban encroachment, particularly around ports and airports; the collection of more and better data about freight movement, the removal of legislative and regulatory barriers that prevent opportunities for data-sharing that can enhance the efficiency, safety and visibility of our supply chains, whilst still protecting commercial and user privacy; and certainty for investors by encouraging governments across all jurisdictions to develop a transparent, independent and long-term approach to prioritising infrastructure investment.

The ALC will reportedly use these priorities and others identified as the basis of its advocacy program over the months ahead, while continuing its work with industry, regulators and governments to ensure the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy delivers the policy reforms needed to enhance supply-chain efficiency and safety.