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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
52 Tania Whyte President Commercial, Linfox Logistics Whyte addressed the topic of seamless national regulation throughout the supply chain, with an emphasis on safety issues, and expressed a desire to speed up a process that has been far too slow. There are complaints of too much regulation – there are, after all, nine different regulators and over 500 local councils, as well as various other organisations. National harmonisation is needed to improve efficiency. Safety is a priority at Linfox. There were 234 fatalities in Australia involving heavy vehicles nationally in the 2009-2010 financial year. Some 23 per cent of these were single vehicle accidents, and the direct cost amounted to $2 billion. The only way to work through this is by implementing nationally consistent laws, and investing in infrastructure to better manage heavy vehicles. Black box technology is widely used overseas, and was mandated in Europe in 2007. Whyte argued that this should be mandatory in Australia for all long-haul heavy vehicles. This technology works. In Europe, single vehicle accidents have dropped from 50 per cent to 15 per cent. In the US and Europe, the technology reduces the number of accidents by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, and the severity is reduced as well. All the Linfox long- haul vehicles in Australia, and many in Asia, have black boxes already. Linfox also uses DNA testing pre- employment. The failure rate was 10 per cent when started – today it is more like 0.6 per cent. In western Sydney and Melbourne, however, the pre-employment failure rates can be as high as 30 per cent. Both for safety and productivity reasons, national regulation is needed, and Linfox is working hard to help achieve this. Richard Jones General Manager, Industry Management, GS1 Australia Jones addressed the general matter of improving efficiencies through standardisation across supply chains, via data sets that identify all items as they move through these chains. He began by introducing GS1 Australia as the organisation that administers the GS1 standards in Australia. GS1 has 108 national member organisations through 145 countries, covering 24 industry sectors. In Australia there are 16,500 subscription-based members, and 18 integrated industry sectors. The transport and logistics industry sector, however, is not one of these. GS1 Australia started 35 years ago as a grocery supply solutions provider. It brought in things like barcodes, electronic messaging, e-commerce and global data synchronisation management (GDSM), which now covers some 150,000 grocery items and 200,000 pharmaceutical items. Just four of the dozen or so identified codes now managed include: Global trade item number • (GTIN); Global location number (GLN); • Serial shipping container code • (SSCC); Global returnable assets • identifier (GRAI). Research indicates that the system provides benefits such as improved data quality, fewer errors (and thus reduced loss of revenue), reduced reconciliation errors (reduced from 10 to two days), and greater visibility. Jones extended an invitation to the transport and logistics sector to get on board and set up an industry group to explore the benefits rather than sticking to their own proprietary systems. There were 234 fatalities in Australia involving heavy vehicles nationally in the 2010 financial year.