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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
COMPANY PROFILE Interview with Dr. Joshua Fan, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong. How important is education, particularly postgraduate education, to the logistics industry? Postgraduate education is the cornerstone for up-skilling and providing continuous education to the workforce in the industry. Most postgraduate studies will provide cutting-edge knowledge and development that will help the supply chain and logistics industry to learn and carry out best practices and ultimately improve business performance. Is education promoted as an essential pillar for employment in the industry? In North America, Europe and South East Asia -- yes; however, in Australia, the idea of education as an essential pillar for employment has only started to gain traction recently. As a result, we have seen more industry-recognised awards that are seeking to evaluate and to reward good training and educational programs. We were honoured that The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) named the Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong Master of Science (Logistics) the Winner of the 2011 Australian Training, Education and Development Award. What types of skills shortages are the logistics industry facing, and how can we better skill workers? The skills shortages will likely be in the area of supply chain management, procurement, inventory management, and distribution management. The industry needs to invest early in education and training internally, and to recruit well-educated and well-trained workers externally, concentrating on the skills needed, not just the skills that already exist. The future supply chain will most likely be dependent on new technologies, which generally require more sophisticated users. What do you consider to be the long-term issues and priorities facing New South Wales ports? There are quite a few long-term issues facing the three New South Wales ports; however, my biggest concern is the lack of capacity leveraging. Among the three New South Wales ports, Port Botany has run out of capacity on both inbound and outbound for all kind of services; Newcastle port has run out of capacity on outbound mainly to service the mining industry, but the inbound capacity is underused due to the focus on the outbound services; and Port Kembla has surplus capacity on both inbound and outbound services. In order to use the three ports' capacity more effectively, it is important to leverage their capacity for both inbound and outbound services. Carefully managing and balancing the load can accomplish effective utilisation of each of the three ports. An important priority for the New South Wales State Government is to build basic infrastructure to provide freight links for the three ports, including both rails and roads. What role does the Wollongong/ Illawarra region play in this or how does it fit into this picture? It is not difficult to see that both Wollongong and Newcastle can turn into port cities if the three ports are used effectively to handle the inbound and outbound services for New South Wales. In terms of the Wollongong/Illawarra region, the supply chain and logistics business activities in Port Kembla may turn out to be the major industry in this region with the right support. How do you see the future of New South Wales's, and Australia's, logistics industry? What do we need to do to ensure that our industry is efficient on a global scale? New South Wales's and Australia's supply chain and logistics industries are well established. With Australia's good reputation in the industry, the future of our supply chain and logistics industry is promising. We are uniquely positioned to provide supply chain and logistics services to our neighbouring countries. In order to ensure that our industry is efficient on a global scale, we need to maintain the high quality of our services, constantly look at continuous improvement in the services we provide, and maintain a well-trained and highly skilled workforce. At the end of the day, that's what we're selling when we sell our supply chain and logistics services to our neighbouring countries. Up-skilling and improving the logistics industry 48