Freight data sharing study lists improvement opportunities in supply chains
A new study involving freight data sharing trials with companies including Woolworths, Nestle and Toll Group has identified opportunities to improve Australia’s vital supply chains that ensure goods get to customers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the study will lead to improvements in getting goods to customers by improving access to real-time supply chain freight data.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the critical importance of our freight supply chains and all those involved,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The study provides insights for governments and industry for infrastructure planning and delivery,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister McCormack emphasized that it shows how increasing digitisation can improve visibility of freight for supply chain partners to decrease unexpected delivery disruptions.
He also revealed that the study involved three parts: two pilot trials with industry operators Nestle, Woolworths, Toll and Infrabuild and a third pilot working with GS1 Australia dealing with data aggregation.
He said the Australian Government has committed $8.5 million to fund projects such as these that are enhancing the collection of freight data across the nation and settle the design of a National Freight Data Hub.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the report could open the door to improved productivity and efficiency for the freight industry.
“The report noted sharing real-time freight data would mean our supply chain operators could respond to delays and errors quickly, which will help our truckies do their crucial job getting goods to businesses and consumers,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“We want to ensure our freight is moving efficiently across the country, getting to our doors as smoothly as possible,” he said.
He maintained that this study has given the Australian Government a deeper insight into ways we can improve our freight supply chains.”
iMOVE Managing Director Ian Christensen called on industry to take bolder steps to embrace data and increase information sharing along supply chains or risk being out-competed by overseas operators who are already reaping the efficiency benefits.
“Freight operations overseas are working vigorously to reduce ‘transactional friction’ along supply chains,” Christensen said.
“Australian businesses need to catch up and recognise the importance of sharing data to maintain the competitiveness of local supply chains,” he said.
Christensen noted that State and Federal governments in Australia are also focused on achieving stronger supply chain performance.
“Their interest is in making informed decisions on new infrastructure and better freight policy and to do that they need a clear view of the overall picture,” he said.
According to him, this is best achieved by aggregating (anonymised) real operational data from the freight industry itself.
“iMOVE wants to find ways for governments and businesses to work together to make this happen,” he stressed.
Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development media release