February 18, 2021

Digitising global supply chains, diversity in logistics, and empty container build up

The start of 2021 saw a strong follow up to the highs of a record holiday period.

Global supply logistics & empty container management

Lack of freight data impacting industry planning

A government freight study undertaken by BITRE and iMOVE Australia recently released its report. The study aggregated raw freight consignment data to inform strategic-level planning. The results demonstrated how operational data generated by trucking companies could be insightful for strategic government planning for infrastructure, freight policy, networks and corridors.

It also indicated that the Australian freight industry was falling behind in the digitisation of global supply chains. By embracing data and information sharing across supply chains, deeper insight for the broad improvement of Australian road freight can be achieved.

Who is a critical worker?

With the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine fast approaching, the immunisation of employees in higher risk industries will be a key consideration. Various business groups and unions, including the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation, have been lobbying for priority access for frontline workers.

“Critical and high-risk” employees have been flagged as the second group of workers to be vaccinated. This encompasses emergency services personnel and meat workers, but not other frontline workers that governments described as essential during the pandemic, like retail staff and truck drivers.

Oversupply of empty shipping containers

Shipping containers have been dominating the logistics news cycle over the last couple of months. Increased consumer spending resulting from COVID19, industrial action at the ports, and subsequent supply pressure on carriers has resulted in a surplus of empty containers in NSW and across Australia.

Ocean shipping companies are working through the surplus by evacuating a record number of empty containers. In order to balance the excess, however, ports, yards, shipping lines, and all other parts of the shipping container supply chain including road freight operators, will need to work together.

Encouraging diversity in logistics

Fostering a new generation of female talent will be key to the future of the logistics industry. Despite a breadth of female contributions to the industry since the early 1900s, there is a gender imbalance in logistics and supply chains, especially at leadership levels. Only 7% of C-suite roles in logistics are occupied by women, and 50% of all women who enter the industry leave within ten years.

The traditional perception of freight as manual and male-dominated has acted as a barrier, both to entry and progression, for women. Additionally, only 55% of supply chain organisations set gender diversity goals.

Combatting this will be crucial for the development of the industry. There are several ways to do this, including ensuring women have access to necessary tools to succeed, establishing diversity programs, and working to change the pervasive masculine industry culture.

Ofload is a digital freight platform that aims to empower the long tail of small carriers to access large shipper contracts through technology. Our focus is eliminating waste across all aspects of the freight industry through prioritising transparency and efficiency.

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