The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has outlined five policy priorities to achieve a more sustainable and efficient freight and logistics supply chain.
It has called on Federal election parties and candidates to adopt them in the national interest.
Since the onset of the global pandemic, the freight and logistics supply chain has faced back-to-back challenges, natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, increasing costs, labour constraints and unrelenting increases in demand.
ALC CEO Brad Williams said the supply chain had been in the spotlight and recent disruptions underscored the importance of the industry to the national economy.
“The freight and logistics supply chain has been front and centre for two years, against a backdrop of back-to-back challenges, the supply chain and in particular the workforce has kept the nation supplied, fed, and fuelled,” he said.
“ALC policy priorities are about the necessary structural and technological change that will build our capacity to absorb major shocks and allow us to respond to the growing needs and expectations of Australian households, businesses and communities,” said Williams.
The supply chain, according to Williams, was at a critical juncture and called for the five priority areas, underpinned by a national approach, to be adopted.
– A strategic approach to building our rail freight capacity and freight intermodals to help drive modal shift from road to rail;
– An early review of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy to incorporate pandemic and supply chain disruption learnings and re-focus planning and investment;
– Assist industry with the journey to net zero emissions;
– Building skills to help address current shortages and future needs and;
– Implementing a National Road User Charge to maintain infrastructure investment
Australia’s freight task is growing with the urban freight challenge expected to see growth of 60 per cent over the next 20 years to 2040.
“In order to achieve a more sustainable and efficient freight and logistics supply chain, we need targeted investment, better planning and more collaboration to support the national economy,” said Williams.
“Each year our freight and logistics companies and infrastructure operators move about four billion tonnes of goods across Australia, 163 tonnes of freight for every person – this is an enormous task that contributes more than $140 billion to the economy.”