The NTC (National Transport Commission) has announced its plans to shift its efforts to improving productivity in the freight and logistics industries over the next 4 years.
In a statement recently released, the NTC detailed a number of projects planned, with the aim of boosting transport networks.
Following the new work program approval by Australia’s Transport Ministers last week, The NTC expressed plans to find ways of providing quicker and cheaper road, rail and intermodal networks for these industries.
In a post on trucking site PrimeMoverMag.com.au acting CEO of the NTC, Michelle Hendy explained:
“A growing economy needs more productive transport networks and these projects will help us find new ways of getting goods to market more efficiently,”
“The latest statistics show that Australia’s transport, postal and warehousing industry’s productivity declined by 3.3 per cent in the past year.
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She went on to explain why this refocussing of the NTC was so crucial now more than ever,
“Yet, our freight task is expected to increase by 80 per cent between 2010 and 2030 and triple by 2050, with truck traffic alone predicted to increase by around 50 per cent to 2030. Making it easier for high productivity trucks to access our roads which will reduce heavy vehicle trips, transport emissions, fatalities and road wear.”
This productivity program by the NTC will be investigating systems, tools and decisions made in the past to boost productivity in various states, territories or local government areas.
It also plans to design ways to increase the load volumes permitted on high-productivity trucks when the weight can be carried safely.
The statement reiterated the NTC’s commitment to complete projects already underway including the heavy vehicle roadworthiness program.
The NTC has included several proposed reform areas which include identifying any regulatory or operational barriers to more automated road and rail vehicles, according to PrimeMoverMag.com.au.
Industry Welcomes NTC Refocussing and Commitment
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) through its CEO Christopher Melham welcomed the refocussing of the NTC and its commitment to completing programs already underway.
Mr Melham was optimistic about the boost to productivity that the direction of the NTC would have. He said the trucking industry would be better able to handle the growing freight task in a more efficient and safe manner.
Mr Melham said,
“The national freight task is expected to grow by 80 per cent between 2011 and 2031, with the trucking industry handling a large part of this extra freight,” said Melham. “Last week’s Australian Infrastructure Audit Report warned that governments must focus on policy reforms to improve higher productivity vehicle use and the performance of highway infrastructure. It’s fantastic to see the NTC taking this advice seriously.
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Mr Melham went on to caution that there are still areas that the NTC needs to address. He explained:
“However, NTC still needs to increase its focus on measures that will deliver productivity improvements in the short term. In particular, the ATA urges the NTC to develop projects to increase the steer axle mass limit, investigate the use of ultra wide tyres, support the recognition of third party heavy vehicle safety accreditation programs, reconsider the bridge formula and examine an increase in vehicle length, particularly so the industry can handle the 45 foot containers.”