Important Features of Intermodal in Australia
Intermodal is a term used in the relating of one or more mode of transport in the process of conveying goods (Owen, 2012). The modes of transport may either be air, land or even water and the relationship which they have in the process of goods movement from one point to the other. There are various intermodals in Australia and basically all over the world. Goods need to be moved from one place to the other as well as people also have to commute on a daily basis (Owen, 2012).
This paper outlines the important features on intermodal in Australia with consideration of the problems with their current logistics networks. The problems has various ways in which they can be solved, as outlined in the paper. There is also various ways in which the government can be involved in solving of the problems facing the logistic network. Such resolutions which can be effective through government interventions are also clearly outlined in the paper.
In order to give tangible evidences and reliable information, this paper has utilized ten journals as the sources in which information is driven. The journals used as sources for the paper are cited in the sections. The choice of the journals bases on the topics which are tied to the current problems facing logistics both in Australia and different parts of the world. For instance, there is a consideration of the information from case studies from various parts of the world like a survey in Nanjing, China. The information from the other parts of the world is used for determining the most appropriate solutions that Australia can implement as they were done by others, for instance, through the Railway Gazette International, Sep 2016, the information on success of Short Haul Intermodal rail service might be used in coming up with possible government resolutions as well as ways of resolving problems on rail services in Australia.
Main Problems with Current Logistic Networks in Australia
The logistic networks at Australia has various logistic problems. The problems are classified under different categories with basis of their cause and the areas in which the mainly affect. The categories in which the main problems of current logistic networks at Australia falls in are as follows, the geography – under which is further divided to urban, and regional settings, the environment – consisting of climatic change and seasonal problems, the legislature, and the technology. The above outlined are the main areas in which the logistic challenges in Australia bases on as discussed in the part below.
The main challenges under the geographical category in the urban setting are traffic congestion caused by the rising amounts of vehicles in the urban areas in Australia. As much as the roads are quite wide and can accommodate a large number of vehicles, the issue of traffic congestion is still experienced in most of the Australian roads more so in the morning and afternoon peak hours. Toll roads are built in order to solve the traffic congestions and link places an example in Australia being Lane Cove Tunnel. Toll roads are paid for and thus being a major problem to operational costs of the logistic companies in Australia. Main problems from the regional areas are like distance to the main destinations where a goods and services are found, the urban, and the animals such as kangaroos crossing the roads (Teye, Bell, & Bliemer, 2017) (b). The regional areas are where mining sites are situated and therefore, there is need for the awareness by the transporter on the time taken on the roads. At some point, petrol stations are also limited on the road channels which affects transportation along them.
Under the environment, the climatic changes and green logistics is a challenge facing the logistic company. The issue of green logistic however, is a strategy of making sure that there is little or no environmental pollution under the operations of logistic companies. Operations of any logistics should consider at a high level the environment in which the processes should not lead to pollution. Winter and summer are the seasonal changes that occurs in Australia (Owen, 2012). During the change in the seasons, the logistic companies faces considerable challenges. For instance, during winter, the falling of the snow causes challenges on the road movements as the roads are blocked with the falling snows. The summer also causes challenges to the transportation sector like through buckling of the railway lines and even effects on perishable goods which needs cooler conditions on transportation.
There are also various legislative challenges on the logistic in Australia. Issues like funding disagreements among the state government and the federal government who are responsible in the provision of funds for infrastructure, with basis on the case of logistics (Adler, Fu, Oum, & Yu, 2014). Transport regulations may influence the logistic operations as additional approval and permit is needed for transportation of particle goods or movement with particular vehicles. Such regulations may derail the speed of operations generally in transportation of particle goods or movement with particular vehicles. Such regulations may derail the speed of operations generally as may be the goods that needs to be transported urgently needs to wait for the approvals. The aspects of work safety which might dictates that additional costs be paid on the facets of ensuring safe working conditions leads to a rise in the operational costs.
The technology causes various challenges to the Australian logistics. With the inclusion of new technology which is presumed to be effective, there are additional costs incurred. There is lack of integrated systems which ensures that the operations of companies and their customers can be manipulated or even followed by the use of one computer. Especially smaller suppliers lack the integrated systems due to cost effectiveness. Most of the logistic companies in Australia highly depends on the use of technology. For instance Uber and many other companies. However, the issue of technology failure may lead to problems like even loss of information and delay in information movement, and even lead to additional costs (Teye, Bell, & Bliemer, 2017) (a).
Resolving of the problems stated in the section above
There ae various ways in which Australia can solve the problems brought out in the above section. The methods of solving the problem may depend on the independent logistic company or even coming together in order to identify the best solutions for the problems (Olesen, Powell, Hvolby, & Fraser, 2015). The resolving of the problem might help to increase the efficiency in then logistics in basis on the intermodal in Australia. The speed with basis on time taken in transportation as well as the cost used in the issues to do with transportation are what shall be considered in the solving of the problems. However, some of the solutions may only be artificial and deal with the problem at hand as the condition of the problem might not be altered since they are physical conditions. Issues such as the effect of summer and winter might not be controlled but may be use of chains on vehicle wheel to enhance movement during winter might be considered and even use of vehicles enhanced with refrigeration might also be put to consideration.
Dealing with the problems caused by the geographical location as urban setting and regional areas might need the involvement of all motorists most probably. People may resent in the use of public or commercial vehicles like when going to work so as to avoid issues like traffic congestion. Motor ways are also built and there is an expansion of roads and increase in the number of lanes. The roads leading to the regional areas should be considered in a manner that petrol stations and even hotels may be put along then roads to facilitate transportation of goods like minerals and even people from the regional (Olesen, et al. 2015).
Dealing with the climatic conditions, just as stated in the section above, might not really end the challenge but however, to some extent facilitate the transportation during such times. The use of chains on the wheels of vehicles helps in facilitating their movement during the snow fall thus the goods can still be transported. During the summer period, the high temperatures might be dealt with by inclusion of refrigerators in the vehicles used to transport the perishable goods. However, there should be a consideration on the cost effectiveness of the issue since the refrigeration process might be quite costly. An alternative transportation mode might also be used for instance, the use of planes which are much faster than the vehicles.
The legislative challenges on logistics might also be dealt with by basically following strictly of the laid laws by the government in order to govern the whole process. The logistic companies are advised to master the laws and boundaries lie for instance, on the kinds of goods they are allowed to transport, acquiring of permits early enough on some transportations, and even the types of vehicles permitted to move on a particular road. Through the following of the legislative laws and orders keenly, after having mastered them, the logistic companies might not be prone to effects of legislative challenges. The roads and railways should be effectively built as the state and federal government should determine a method in which equality in the share of resources is realized thus reduce disagreements during the sharing of the funds (Roso, 2008).
Under the technological aspects, the problems that the logistic companies face in Australia can be resolved mostly through the consideration of the aspect of cost of technology in logistics. More detailed budgeting should be done in order to ensure feasibility of the additional costs incurred (Fickling, 2013). The budgeting is supposed to be done before the implementation of the new technological methods which have been put forth. Most of the co-operations should also consider coming up with integrated systems which helps in the co-ordination of the whole process of transportation within their respective departments. With the high dependency on technology, the logistic companies should ensure that they use the high trusted providers which will protect their data in cases of any failure (Roso, 2008). The companies should also come up with alternatives which might be used in case there are any system failure. However, the monitoring of the systems should be high to the extent that system failure is a case unheard of.
Involvement the Government have in the resolution of the problems
The Australian government plays a major role in the resolution the logistic problems outlined in the paper. Most of the intervention that have been brought out are supposed to be authorized or be carried out basically by the government. For instances, with the congestion of the roads in the urban areas, the government is the agency involved in the building of subways under the transport authority. Therefore, in order for the problems to be dealt with under the solutions outlined, the government involvement is quite an important aspect. Even the co-ordination of individuals using the roads is an activity that the government is responsible for. The logistic challenges are also mainly based on governments’ intervention as it is the body which comes up with the decisions and making of laws to govern the logistics in general (Yang, Zhao, Wang, Liu, & Li, 2015).
The issue of geographical setting which for instance, the regional areas are far from towns is an identified problem. Lack of facilities like petrol stations along the ways are a challenge and this can be well tackled by the government. Interventions of putting petrol stations can be easily done by government agencies more effectively than private investors due to the cost expense needed in putting up the petrol stations. Alternative methods of transportation like even use of planes in transporting the non-bulky goods from the regional areas is also an intervention which can well be brought forth by the government. Airports can be built in the regional to facilitate faster transportation to the urban areas.
The government is also responsible in coming up with policies that facilitates the building of amenities which relate to the logistic company. The roads are built and even facilitated by the government. In cases of traffic congestion, the expansion of the roads should be done by the government so as to help in reduction of the congestion. The building of dry ports in order to reduce the congestions at the sea ports should also be facilitated by the government. The dry ports are directly linked to the sea ports by railway lines in which the cargo are taken from the Coastal lines by use of trains and delivered to the inland ports (“Railway Gazette International”, 2016).
Intermodal terminals should be built by the government in order to handle the influx in the coastal region. The government is responsible in making sure that the intermodal facilities are of the best quality on order to effectively manage the challenge on the rise of the amount of containers in the Coast (Liu, Meng, Wang, & Sun, 2014). Roads and rail ways leading to the facilities are also to be built by then government and be ensured as of high quality.
It is clear from the above that the government has quite a lot of roles to play in resolving the logistics problems. The basic reason for the above is because the modes of transportations are more of government amenities and therefore, the government has no option rather than making sure they provide the best facilities for their citizen.
In conclusion, this paper is a report outline the issues on the current logistics network in Australia. The issues facing the logistic network are brought forth through the consideration of the problems which are faced in the logistic companies which are outlined as major challenges. The challenges occurs under various circumstances as outlined in the paper. There is also some suggestions on the methods that can be used to resolve the problems stated in the first section. It is obvious that the government takes part or rather plays a big role in logistics as they earn a lot of revenue from the sector as well as own all the amenities used by logistics ass the modes off transport, the roads, railways, and even ports. Therefore, the paper has also managed to outline the possible government involvements in solving of the outlined problems.
Adler, Nicole; Fu, Xiaowen; Oum, Tae H.; Yu, Chunyan, (2014). Transportation Research Part A: Policy & Practice. Vol. 62, p 3-19. 17 p.
(The above article has the case study of Northeast Asia highlighting the benefits of the opening sky. From the benefits highlighted, the problem of uneven distribution between the countries is identified which in turn causes limitations in the likely implementations. Therefore, there is the coming up with the liberations which will determine the even allocations to maximize the benefits to the society).
Fickling, David (2013). Bloomberg Businessweek. Issue 4316, p 17-18. 2 p.
(The article focuses on the wine industry in Australia bringing out the cost effective methods of exports and shipment of wine oversees. Through the identification of the problems on basis of costs, the policy of delaying bottling process until the wine reaches its’ destination is brought out as outlined in the text).
Liu, Zhiyuan; Meng, Qiang; Wang, Shuaian; Sun, Zhuo, (2014). Transportation Research: Part E. Vol. 61, p 28-39. 12 p.
(The paper bases on global intermodal shipping outlining the challenges faced on the cost from inland transportation, port handling and shipping costs. A proposed methodology of dealing with such is brought out in the paper).
Olesen, Peter; Powell, Daryl; Hvolby, Hans-Henrik; Fraser, Kym, (2015). Journal of Facilities Management. Vol. 13 Issue 3, p 266-281. 16 p.
(This paper already brings out the policy or rather method that can be used in dealing with the challenge of intermodal container facilities. The use of lean principles is well outlined in the paper in order to deal with the challenges).
Owen, Mike, (2012). MHD Supply Chain Solutions. Vol. 42 Issue 3, p 86-86. 1 p.
(The articles brings forth an insight on the safety practices that should be included in logistics companies. The problem outlined in the text bases on the handling of the growth of container trade suggesting the government should have better intermodal facilities in order to manage the challenge effectively).
Railway Gazette International, (2016). Vol. 172 Issue 9, p 172-172. 1/6 p. (AN: 118307053).
(The paper simply bases on the mainline freight rail transportation. There is a consideration on the book Why Short-Haul Intermodal Rail Services Succeed thus outlining the challenges faced and how to overcome them).
Roso, Violeta, (2008). International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management. Vol. 38 Issue 10, p 782-798. 17 p.
(The article outlines a solution for seaport terminal congestion, a problem already identified, through close dry port with a direct rail connection to the seaport. The paper fully bases on the implementation of a close dry port and advantages it has to seaports).
Teye, Collins; Bell, Michael G H; Bliemer, Michiel C J, (2017). Transportation Research: Part B. Vol. 100, p 64-81. 18 p.
(The paper identifies the important problem which faces port cities, being the space of accommodating the growth which is high rate. Space for harboring large ships as well as the containers is an issue. The paper further suggests a promising solution as the building of intermodal container terminals (IMTs) surfacing with both the rail and the roads).
Teye, Collins; Bell, Michael G.H.; Bliemer, Michiel C.J, (2017). Transportation Research: Part E. Vol. 100, p 1-16. 16 p.
(The paper outlines a problem in which users re unable to or have an option of not using the intermodal terminal (IMT). The problem is referred to as multi-user intermodal terminal (IMT) location problem. The paper brings out the principle of entropy maximization, a non-linear mixed integer problem).
Yang, Min; Zhao, Jingyao; Wang, Wei; Liu, Zhiyuan; Li, Zhibin, (2015). Transportation Research: Part D. Vol. 34, p 179-194. 16 p.
(The article bases on a research carried through survey in Nanjing, China, with se of seven intermodal travel groups. The satisfaction levels of commuters is the aim of the paper thus using both access and egress stages as the process of analysis. The paper helps in policy developments on increasing the satisfaction levels of commuters by the urban metro).