Environmental scan

NSW Empty Container Study

A key goal of the NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 is to improve the flow of freight through trade gateways and specifically improve the movement of empty containers into and out of Port Botany. Empty containers make up the majority of export containers from Port Botany. Current inefficiencies in the NSW empty container supply chain result in an estimated additional cost to the supply chain of $49 million per year.

The Empty Container Supply Chain Study, released in May 2020, explored issues impacting the supply chain, which include empty container redirections as a consequence of empty container park capacity constraints, redirections given without minimum notice periods, and inconsistencies in the use of Electronic Data Interchanges by shipping lines which add unnecessary cost and complexity to operations. The Study contains key actions to improve the efficiency of the empty container supply chain, including technology upgrades, improved data sharing, increasing empty container park capacity and the greater utilisation of rail.

Productivity Commission Review of National Transport Regulatory Reform

The Productivity Commission delivered its final report to the Australian Government in April 2020. The Productivity Commission considered the impacts of transport regulatory reforms to heavy vehicle, rail and maritime safety and productivity as agreed by the Council of Australian Governments in 2008-09, and identified opportunities for further reform. The Australian Government will consult with jurisdictions and regulators in consideration of the report’s recommendations, to further improve safety, efficiency and productivity outcomes in transport regulation.

Updates to Jurisdictions' Implementation Plans

Following submission of the implementation plans provided by each jurisdiction in November 2019, Western Australia released an updated Plan in April 2020 outlining more government and industry actions following industry consultation. This annual progress report includes progress on actions identified in this latest implementation plan.

The Northern Territory released its Territory-wide Logistics Master Plan in June 2020 following extensive industry consultation, identifying 53 actions to improve its freight and supply chains. However, this annual progress report uses the Northern Territory’s November 2019 implementation plan as its base, as the report aims to reflect progress in the 2019-20 financial year. Progress against actions in the Northern Territory’s Logistics Master Plan will be reported on in the next annual progress report. Meanwhile, Queensland is developing its Freight Action Plan to implement the Queensland Freight Strategy and form Queensland’s plan for the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy National Action Plan.

Victoria's Port Pricing Access Review

The Port of Melbourne is an economic asset for Victoria, contributing $6 billion each year to the state’s economy. To make sure the Port of Melbourne works well for exporters and continues to grow, the Victorian Department of Transport asked Deloitte Economics to look at the efficiency of pricing and access at the Port of Melbourne. It is the first state-based review of the stevedore infrastructure charges and gives a comprehensive picture of pricing and access at the Port of Melbourne from the wharf to the port gate.

The review shows cost pressures across the landside supply chain, and that pricing and lack of transparency is hurting regional export cargo owners the most. While costs have risen as a result of increases in stevedore charges, the costs being levied by others, particularly shipping lines, are arguably having a bigger impact on increasing costs. The Victorian Government is considering the findings and recommendations in the report.

A Closer Look: temporary regulatory relief for Australia Post

COVID-19 has accelerated long-term trends in the postal sector. The greatly increased demand for online shopping and home deliveries has created an unprecedented surge in demand for parcel deliveries for Australia Post, while at the same time more and more traditional communications are shifting online away from letters.

In response to a request from Australia Post to relax its performance standards, the Australian Government has temporarily adjusted elements of the Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Regulations 2019. The changes provide Australia Post flexibility to manage its network more efficiently and consistently with current consumer demand.

For example, in metropolitan areas it can deliver letters every second business day, meaning it can redeploy 2,000 motorbike posties to deliver parcels in vans. The changes are in effect from 16 May 2020 until 30 June 2021, subject to Government review.


australia post package processing