Trailer Magazine


ALC CEO calls for national leadership on freight priorities

  • Posted on Tuesday 25th, June 2019.

Data shows that Asian economies will be larger than the rest of the world combined and home to half of the world’s middle class by next year, according to Australian Logistics Council (ALC) CEO, Kirk Coningham.

Coningham said that the Australian Government’s present aggressive pursuit of free trade agreements with key regional trading partners – including South Korea, Japan, China and Indonesia – over recent years is good policy.

“Rising incomes among the rapidly growing ranks of the middle class in all these nations are fuelling lucrative new markets for Australian goods and services — particularly in the agricultural sector,” he said.

While trade agreements are equally positive for consumers in Australia, Coningham explained that the act of signing an agreement is no guarantee of the outcome.

“Intentions must be supported with policy actions,” he said. “If the critical freight infrastructure servicing Australia’s supply chains is not operating at optimal levels of efficiency and safety, then the productivity and competitive advantages offered by free-trade agreements will be muted.”

The increasing desirability of inner-city living, according to Coningham, is having a profound impact on the ability of freight logistics professionals to meet business and consumer expectations around delivery of goods.

“Restrictive practices such as noise curfews and heavy-vehicle bans on certain routes may seem appealing as a quick fix when it comes to addressing concerns of inner-urban residents,” he said.

“However, ultimately denying freight logistics operators the flexibility they need to do their jobs effectively harms productivity, and means consumers pay more for goods.

“In the same vein, prioritising residential developments over logistics lands when it comes to land-use planning will ultimately hamper our economic performance. Placing large-scale residential developments in proximity to ports gives rise to externalities such as road congestion that reduce community amenity and add to consumer costs,” he said.

Coningham calls for a consistent nationwide approach to planning and prioritising freight movement and demands leadership at the national level.

(Image: Australian Logistics Council CEO, Kirk Coningham.)

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