The report gives an overview of logistics management of Qube, Australia. Qube Logistics is the most progressive and largest integrated provider of port logistics of Australia (Qube.com.au 2018). The company ensures operation of service that covers rail and road transport, distribution and warehousing, container parks and intermodal hubs that included international forwarding of freight and rail terminals. Qube Logistics ensured combining the integrated solution for meeting the individual needs of the client. Thus, the report here describes the challenges faced by the logistics environment in Australia. There is also discussion on various strategies applied for resolving the issues of logistics management. The report also focuses on the role of the government in resolving the problem. The report discusses about the challenges of the domestic as well as the international logistics of Australia. The isolation and remoteness of Australia from the rest of the countries ensures additional challenges. The Australian logistic network is filled with challenges and this remains the primary focus of the discussion.
The Main Problems with the Current Logistics Network in Australia
Logistics refers to the function that is responsible for the material flow from suppliers to the organization through the operations within organization and then to the customers. A logistic challenge refers to an obstacle or difficulty faced by functions and processes of logistics (Guarnieri et al. 2014). The increasing pressure of limiting the negative impacts on environment can act as a global challenge for logistics while the impact of the Weatherly changes on the airport considered as a local challenge to logistics. Companies marketing Australia face challenges in logistic network on a day to day to basis and Qube being one of them is no different. Challenges in logistics network faced by the Australia companies primarily relates to geography, environment, demography, legislation and technology (Hatefiand Jolai2014).
Therefore, the challenges faced by the current logistics network in Australia are as follows:
The larger coastal cities in Australia experiences huge traffic congestion on day-to-day basis. Location of a warehouse in the city also acts as an addition in enhancing the traffic congestion thereby making it a daily challenge (Farahani et al. 2013). The presence of toll roads in Sydney also acts as a challenge to the logistic network despite the fact that they are built for overcoming and dealing with the traffic challenges. Sometimes the regular roads ate either blocked off or closed for encouraging vehicles for using motorways. These motorways have toll imposed. Suburban streets located near schools also forbid the entry of the heavy vehicles thereby posing as a threat to the logistic network.
The common problem faced challenge the logistic network of the Australian companies is distance. Presently, the road distance between Sydney and Australia was around 880 kilometers whereas Sydney and Brisbane parted by a distance of 930 kilometers. The large size of Australia with relatively smaller population makes the maintenance of the roads a daunting task(Handfield et al. 2013). Some roads might seem to be in a state of despair and is open to large potholes. These problems might pose challenging to logistic network due to longer journey times or the potential damage caused to the equipment.
The ageing population of Australia is constant strain on the social welfare system of the nation. In the context of logistics, too an ageing population may give rise to problems. This is because with age, it becomes hard to learn newer things and with current technological advancement, the older generation finds it difficult to keep pace(Golinska 2014). Moreover, the older employees are not physically fit compared to the younger lot. This poses as one of the challenges of logistic network in Australia as the companies need to adapt and adjust to the different demand growths.
Green logistics is now a vital part of the planning process of any Australian company including Qube. This leads to minimization of pollution and waste and ensures the business operations of the company seen in good light. While operating the logistics network by keeping the factors of environment in mind could be quite challenging for the companies (Pazirandehand Jafari2013). Environmental challenges can also be in the form of snowfall during winter and presence of hot weather during summer that also can pose as a challenge. Natural disasters like floods, cyclones and bushfires causes damage to equipment and infrastructure.
The Federal and State government funding can pose detrimental to the logistics management if building of railways or roads does not take place on time due to persistent disagreements(Srivastava2013). The regulations imposed for goods movement also threatens the operations of logistics. Additional permits from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is necessary for importing goods. Even after the grant of permission there might exist certain restrictions on goods movement across the borders thereby resulting in operations barrier. In addition, the constant pressure of ensuring a safety not only incurs additional cost but also poses a barrier to the current logistic network.
The adoption of newer form of technology has posed as a challenge to the current logistic network in Australia. Although newer and updated technology gives the company a competitive edge but the investment that comes along with it poses as a burden for the firms. Then again, the failure of technology on which the companies might be depending upon can result in posing a challenge. Moreover, a transfer from an old information system to newer advanced methods can sometimes be quite challenging for the current network of logistics, as it might be confusing to not only the employees but also the company as a whole.
The rise in the prices of the fuel has caused an addition strain on the transport system that might also cause a hindrance to the current logistic network of companies in Australia. In addition to this, there has been an increased risk in goods storage and movement due to property damage and theft. According to Fernieand Sparks (2014), there has been an overall loss of $30 billion because of cargo theft. This has also been a reason for posing challenges in the logistics network. Companies have thus become additionally aware and have therefore ensured additional surveillance and seals for safer logistic movement. There are also additional locks imposed on windows and doors along with proper supervision of loading and unloading. Moreover, companies have also become stricter regarding access to the dockyards and warehouses along with security checks conducted randomly. Companies have also undertaken measures for prevention of fraudulent activities. Use of enclosed truck ensured so that visibility of the goods denied. However, challenges to the logistic network are also due to any sort of ongoing maintenance work on rail and roads.
Logistics Management Strategies for Resolving Issues
The issues of logistic management can be resolved by adopting the following Strategies:
By Ensuring Proper Planning:
Proper planning takes care of various factors like storage facilities, goods procurement and delivery of the products to exact location. In addition, other parameters include transportation, costs and time (Bowersox2013). Planning helps in attaining the maximum possible work in least possible timing. Planning also helps in maximizing profits. Thus, proper planning is a wise plan that helps in dealing with unforeseen circumstances related logistic management network. Through proper planning an organization is able to manage the unavailability of transportation and solve any sort of persistent internal issue within the organization. However, the process of Logistics planning is not complete without an emergency plan.
By Adopting Automation:
Technology plays a vital role in enhancing the organizational efficiency. Automation plays a key role in optimizing the business processes. In this context of logistics, application of business process software will enable businesses in overcoming the challenges faced in the logistics network by providing timely update regarding goods movement (Huscroft et al. 2013). This software will enable the operator and client get details about the goods dispatched from the supplier, goods procurement at the warehouse and goods delivery at the required destination. This not only helps in avoiding manual interference but also help in saving time. The process involves accurate tracking.
By Ensuring Regular Training Workshops:
Every employee should have the necessary capabilities in their respective field of work. Regular training through workshops updates employees with latest trends of the logistic industry that help them in overcoming the obstacle faced with the logistic network. This also helps in enhancing the client satisfaction (Christopher2016). Logistics manager with effective interpersonal skills also helps in dealing with panicking situations. In addition, logistics managers should also have powerful contacts within the industry that can also prove to be beneficial in overcoming operational challenges in logistics.
Proper Management of Warehouse:
Effective management of logistics network depends on proper management of warehouse facilities. This is because specifications for storage options vary depending on the products. Thus, the logistic firms should focus on the development of warehouse inventory for minimum wastage of the goods.
Efficiency of the Transportation Department:
Efficiency of the transportation department helps in reducing the expense of logistic firms and ensures faster product delivery (Kye, Leeand Lee2013). Efficiency of transportation helps determining the best and safest route for delivery and cost effective means of packaging that ensures product safety and lower investment.
Proper Measurement and Improvisation:
The optimization of the current logistics network remains incomplete without integration of analysis, feedbacks and measurements. Deploying newer strategies also calls for the need of its measurement (Nachtmannand Pohl2013). This helps in determining the failure and success of the strategy. There should be integration of measurement tools and software that helps in the generation of genuine feedbacks and help in improvising necessary means for overcoming challenges. Proper measurement and improvisation also helps in the generation of a pool of ideas that helped in revealing the persistent flaws of the system.
Role of Australian Government in Resolving the Problems
Logistics is a key contributor of modern distribution and production systems that also has a contribution in a country’s macro economic development. Logistics highly affects sustainable development. Transport including freight receives a continuous attention from the public authorities. Thus, there is a minister for transport in all governments around the world. In this context, attainment of sustainability through the process of logistics management refers to the basic development and accessing the needs of the companies, individuals and society for meeting the safety in a manner that remains consistent with ecosystem and human health and thereby help in promotion of equity between and within successive generations (Soand Xu2014). This implies affordability, fair and efficient operation, proper choice of the mode of transport that not only support an economy that is competitive but also helps in balanced development regionally. The aspect of sustainability in logistic management also implies limitation on the emission and waste within the ability of the planet. Sustainability also refers to the use of renewable resources and minimizes the noise and the impact of transport on land. Thus, several governments take initiative in integrating logistics into their concerned policies. The concerned policies also focus on the economic, social and ecological preservation that happens to be the three pillars concerning sustainable development.
The report ends with a discussion on the role of Australian government in resolving the problem related to current logistic network. There is also discussion on the strategies that helps in resolving issues related to logistic management. The report also focuses on the main problems encountered by current logistics network of Australia. The report however helps one to come to conclusion that logistics put forward diversified and intense evolution that would move towards a slower pace in the coming years. Effective logistic management focuses on improving the operational efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction and increase of productivity. Strategies are however necessary for the process of optimizing the current challenges in the operational network of logistics. Every logistic firm undoubtedly struggle to boost the operations and ensure an optimized process. Although the current challenges faced by logistics operation network can be overcome, there might be newer challenges that will arise in the system. It is therefore, important to keep in mind that each of the challenges put forward a different problem solved by adopting newer measures.
Bowersox, D.J., 2013. Logistical excellence: it's not business as usual. Elsevier.
Christopher, M., 2016. Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.
Farahani, R.Z., Miandoabchi, E., Szeto, W.Y. and Rashidi, H., 2013. A review of urban transportation network design problems. European Journal of Operational Research, 229(2), pp.281-302.
Fernie, J. and Sparks, L., 2014. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan page publishers.
Golinska, P. ed., 2014. Logistics Operations, Supply Chain Management and Sustainability. Springer International Publishing.
Guarnieri, P., Sobreiro, V.A., Nagano, M.S. and Serrano, A.L.M., 2015. The challenge of selecting and evaluating third-party reverse logistics providers in a multicriteria perspective: a Brazilian case. Journal of cleaner production, 96, pp.209-219.
Handfield, R., Straube, F., Pfohl, H.C. and Wieland, A., 2013. Embracing global logistics complexity to drive market advantage. DVV Media Group GmbH, BVL International.
Hatefi, S.M. and Jolai, F., 2014. Robust and reliable forward–reverse logistics network design under demand uncertainty and facility disruptions. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 38(9), pp.2630-2647.
Kye, D., Lee, J. and Lee, K.D., 2013. The perceived impact of packaging logistics on the efficiency of freight transportation (EOT). International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 43(8), pp.707-720.
Nachtmann, H. and Pohl, E.A., 2013. Transportation readiness assessment and valuation for emergency logistics. International Journal of Emergency Management, 9(1), pp.18-36.
Pazirandeh, A. and Jafari, H., 2013. Making sense of green logistics. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 62(8), pp.889-904.
Qube.com.au. 2018. Qube | Qube Holdings | logistics services, port services, bulk material handling, third party container logistics, infrastructure. [online] Available at: https://www.qube.com.au [Accessed 16 Jan. 2018].
Huscroft, J., T. Hazen, B., J. Hall, D., B. Skipper, J. and B. Hanna, J., 2013. Reverse logistics: past research, current management issues, and future directions. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 24(3), pp.304-327.
So, S. and Xu, H., 2014. A conceptual framework for adopting sustainability in greening the supply chains. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 19(4), pp.491-510.
Srivastava, S.K., 2013. Issues and challenges in reverse logistics. Reverse supply chains–Issues and analysis, pp.61-68.