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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
infrastructure decisions, arguing that it is difficult to make long-term investment decisions with share- holders’ money when it is unclear when decisions will be made. He added that the decision lag times in australia contrast sharply with our asian trading partners. mr kruger also called for ongoing investment in technology and highlighted a joint venture investment in Singapore where toll, the Singaporean government and one of its customers are investing in more efficient warehousing technology. He noted that a good safety record is usually a sign of a well- run organisation. training, focus on continuous improvement and an engaged workforce also yield improved efficiency. Stephen cleary, chief executive officer of Startrack, emphasised how the rise of online shopping has impacted his industry. ‘the rise of the australian dollar, and growing numbers of budget- conscious and internet-savvy consumers, have created new opportunities,’ mr cleary said. ‘even if the dollar drops below parity with its united States counterpart, the surge in online shopping is unlikely to fade. about one-third of australian retailers are active in the space. ‘the express industry is in more demand than ever before,’ he said. ‘three-quarters of online sales were from domestic retailers last year,’ he said. ‘regional areas are also going online to access goods and services that were once limited to city dwellers. overseas partnerships will add better connectivity to customers outside the country,’ mr cleary said. in the following Q&a session, mr mrdak credited aLc with opening a dialogue with government, broadly representing the needs of industry that can best inform decision- making. mr mrdak noted that over the past two decades, private sector involvement in infrastructure has sapped the public sector of its ability to operate some segments. He used the example of his own transport department, which had more than 12,000 employees running airlines, airports and a shipping line when he first joined it. ‘government has lost that expertise,’ mr mrdak said. ‘We need to harvest private enterprise.’ Brian kruger emphasised the importance of prioritising infrastructure projects with limited resources. ‘it’s something we do all the time. We don’t have infinite resources.’ 321053A RHS_CEVA | 1796.indd 1 22/03/12 11:48 AM 41 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2012