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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
40 Led by chair Paul Larsen, CEO of Brook eld Rail, the panel discussed logistics in the resources industry, and debated the merits of multi-user facilities against devoted infrastructure. Paul Larsen said the value of the resources industry could not be realised without ef cient transport and logistics. David Irwin, Director -- Coal, Paci c National, said if volumes were at risk through inef cient supply chains, it would profoundly affect pro tability. He added that commodity price volatility is dif cult to manage with high xed costs of coal. Brett Millar, OHSE Manager, ITAC Services, emphasised the dif culty of remote locations, and discussed the pending growth of the shale gas industry, and the opportunities and challenges that it presents to the freight logistics industry. Timothy Renwick, General Manager Infrastructure at Rio Tinto Coal Australia, spoke of the need to retain capability and capacity when market conditions turned around. He stressed the need to increase volumes using existing xed assets, and the need to make capital more ef cient. There were historic reasons why single-user devoted infrastructure developed in the west, Renwick said. Michael Carter, Executive Vice- President -- Network, Aurizon, said Aurizon was involved in most resource sectors in Queensland. He emphasised that infrastructure is capital-intensive and long-range, so we need to look through commodity price cycles. But companies still press for extra capacity right now, and are then silent when prices fall. Antony Perkins, Director, Qube Bulk, said that a resource you cannot get to market means it's not a viable mine. He also stressed the value of technology. The accurate tracking of product -- such as moisture content of ore in each box -- means boxes can be mixed precisely to meet a customer's needs without giving away value. One of the hot topics of discussion during the session was that of the challenges associated with multi-user systems. One speaker said there could be 100 units of capacity in the port and 100 in the train, but that, overall, only 80 units could get through. It was suggested that independent coordinating bodies were needed, such as the Hunter Valley Coal Chain, to improve information collection, and to work out the most effective allocation. The point was made that the industry needs to concentrate on getting a bigger supply chain, and not just competing for existing infrastructure. Antony Perkins agreed that common-user rail is the way to go. It is inef cient to duplicate infrastructure with each miner owning its infrastructure independently. There is an opportunity to increase volume and ef ciency with multi-users. He added that trucks were not an option for distances of more than about 150 kilometres in the mining industry. Michael Carter said it was arrogant to assume that there is only one way of Logistics in the resources industry SESSION 2 Antony Perkins Paul Larsen continued from page 36 continued on page 42