Government hopes of reviving the moribund Tasmanian economy, and in the process boosting the performance of the Port of Melbourne depend largely on new advanced information technology processes to breathe new life into traditional shipping and rail equipment.
Examples in the last few days have included a vastly more efficient warehousing approach for getting Tasmanian export orders to the mainland without consignment mistakes an double handling, and progress on a new rail management system to speed up rail freight consignments.
In their likely overall effects, these technical and engineering developments, of initial interest primarily to engineering and electronics specialists, will eventually be shown to have wide significance for general political campaigning and relationships, given their likely crucial importance for economic recovery in southern Australia.
SeaRoad Logistics, one of Tasmania’s biggest transport companies, is hoping installation of a new warehouse management system that will integrate with SeaRoad’s existing financial and transport software, will overcome a lot of the penalties of operating over a stretch of water, Bass St, which can be stormy, subject to industrial pressures and sea transfer delays.
The InfoMotion warehouse management system, which will integrate with SeaRoad’s existing financial and transport software, will clearly identify all their inventory at SeaRoad’s warehousing facilities located on both sides of Bass Strait, at Bell Bay, Devonport, Evandale, Launceston and Hobart in Tasmania as well as in Webb Dock, Melbourne. The company operates 20,000+ square metres of warehousing space within these facilities.
InfoMotion’s warehouse management software is a paperless system that caters to all modern contract logistics practices enabling organisations to manage stock control, support RF scanning, automate pricing, deliver customised reporting, and reduce potential errors and time spent on customer queries. It also enables automation and a reduction in double keying data from the warehousing ERP platform to the financial system providing real-time visibility and end-to-end traceability.
“We selected InfoMotion following a comprehensive market review and chose the best-of-breed solution based on its highly configurable features, extensive reporting ability, EDI interface and flexible pricing structure. InfoMotion will support our growing warehousing services in both Tasmania and the mainland,” Edwin Cassar said, Group Technology Manager, SeaRoad Holdings.
Michael Kilgariff, managing director of the Australian Logistics Council, has welcomed the signing of a contract to progress the advanced train management system, which will hugely improve Australian rail freight management. An example for Tasmania will be much better handling of the extensive food exports by rail to Brisbane, where speed and effective handling are major considerations.
“To maximise freight efficiency we need to harness 21st century technologies, and so industry welcomes the agreement between the Australian Rail Track Corporation and Lockheed Martin Australia to implement the ATMS,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“ATMS is a smart train management system that can locate and control trains on the network allowing them to travel safely at closer intervals.
“The technology employs sophisticated computer technology, on-train GPS navigation and Next-G mobile networks to manage train operations.
“This is ‘innovation in action’ which will transform the way freight rail infrastructure is both managed and monitored,” he said.
The use of smart technology under ATMS, including collision avoidance systems to prevent accidents, was exactly the sort of initiative industry needed to boost freight efficiency and to underpin a safer and more reliable network. With Australia’s freight task predicted to double by 2030 and nearly triple by 2050, Australia needed big increases in rail interstate and intrastate movements.
This reality underscored ALC’s strong support for the inland freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane and port shuttles to improve the movement of freight to and from our major ports.
The partnership between ARTC and Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver the ATMS project would help facilitate this growth in freight.
Mr Kilgariff said economic analysis undertaken by ALC showed initiatives like the ATMS project would help to deliver broader economic benefits in the billions of dollars.
“A report from ACIL Allen to ALC found a 1 per cent improvement in the efficiency of the sector generates $2 billion of gains to the economy each year,” he said.
“Future-focused technology like ATMS enhances the cost-effectiveness of the way we move products around Australia’s rail system.
“ATMS will help support industry’s efforts to improve freight efficiency, and in so doing, deliver economic benefits for all Australians,” he said.