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Australian logistics continues to be dangerous for workers and truckers. A worker was crushed to death in a port yard last week. Meanwhile, corporate logistics Australia was busy last week winning new contracts and engaging in corporate restructuring. And finally, there was an official recommendation to make trucks bigger.

Logistics worker crushed to death

A man was crushed to death by an ocean shipping container at the Tyne ACFS yard in Port Botany on Wednesday, September 25, local media have reported. FreightWaves has confirmed from industry sources that there was a death on that site.

The national, state-owned broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reported that the man was discovered at 10:00am. Workers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the ambulance arrived. The man did not respond to treatment from paramedics either.

Big order for Failsafe brakes in Antarctica

Australian company Advanced Braking Technology (ASX: ABV) has won a US$68,000 (A$100,000) order for its Failsafe Driveline brakes from the Department of the Environment and Energy, part of the Australian Federal Government.

The brakes will be installed on trucks that will be deployed in Antarctica – the coldest place on Earth – by the Australia Antarctic Division.

According to ABT, standard brakes cannot be used in Antarctica. Ambient temperatures have been recorded lower than minus 58 Fahrenheit. Wind speeds can reach in excess of 168 miles per hour.

The ABT brakes are specifically designed for use in extremely cold environments.

Bigger is better, says Austroads; ‘well duh’ ATA doesn’t quite say

Austroads, the trade association for official road transport and traffic agencies, has recommended that the maximum width for heavy freight vehicles be increased from 2500mm to 2550mm, following the completion of a study.

Noting that New Zealand has allowed heavy freight vehicles to operate at 2,550 mm since 2017 and that there is no evidence that crashes are more likely, Austroads noted that “most of Australia’s trading partners regulate a maximum heavy freight vehicle width of at least 2550 mm and many allow 2600 mm for refrigerated vehicles. This means that most imported heavy freight vehicles must be modified to comply with Australian standards before use in Australia”.

Austroads noted that the 2500mm rule results in productivity and administration costs. Worse, it also imposes safety costs owing to a slower fleet renewal with vehicles that have better safety technologies.

The organisation also noted that some industry voices had called for vehicles to be allowed with up to 2600 mm width. Austroads said that width should be considered after 2550mm had been proven, especially in relation to the impact on road safety.

As has previously been reported in Down Under Trucking, the Australian Trucking Association had been calling for an increase to 2600 meters as this would allow engineers to stuff reefer trailers with more insulation without a loss of payload. That would greatly reduce heat gain and save a huge amount of fuel – about 2,500 liters of fuel per typical refrigerated vehicle per year.

Responding to the latest announcement from Austroads, the ATA said it was “bemused and concerned” at the recommendation.

“The ATA’s understanding is that Austroads made the same recommendation 27 years ago, in 1992. The ATA and industry have consistently made the case that 2.6 metre wide trucks should have been considered in this study, however Austroads have once again avoided the issue and delayed it to some distant future time. It’s decisions like this that are holding our country back economically,” the ATA said.

Austroads has not released the study. It also turned down the ATA’s request for a copy, according to the ATA. The Trucking body says it has released a freedom of information request to get a copy.

Get this: GetSwift gets big customer

Australian Stock Exchange-listed but New York headquartered provider of last mile logistics software, GetSwift (ASX: GSW), has done a subscriber deal with Royal Crest Dairy. The dairy company owns plants in Larchmont and Colorado Springs, Colorado, and delivers dairy and milk from Fort Collins to Pueblo.

GetSwift has done a 12 month minimum deal for e-commerce, order management and last mile logistics. GetSwift says that the value of the contract cannot be determined at this time because subscription fees are “subject to take up utilisation based on [the] number of e-commerce customers processed through the services”.

Active in more than 70 countries, GetSwift provides a variety of services including advanced dispatching, route optimization, real-time driver tracking, fleet management, business intelligence and payroll among other things.

GetSwift’s total revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, were about A$3.82 million with a net loss after tax of about A$19.49 million.

Orcoda’s losses slow dramatically after major restructure

Operational efficiency specialist, Orcoda (ASX: ODA), which focuses on logistics in the healthcare, transport and resource logistics sectors, has reduced its total comprehensive losses from the A$5.83 million recorded in 2018 to about A$469,000 in the current financial year.

The profit and loss statement appears to show a story of two halves. Revenues shot up from A$1.25 million last year to A$2.40 million in the current year. Digging into the notes to the accounts reveals that the company picked up A$654,306 in the healthcare logistics space which it did not generate in the previous year. There was also a huge boost with a research and development tax incentive, up from A$235,683 in the previous year to A$827,561 in the current year.

On the cost side of the equation, the company more than halved its employee salaries and benefits expense from A$1.31 million to A$646,555. There was also a slump in travelling and accommodation costs from A$156,542 to A$80,436. There was also a slump in legal costs from just under A$208,000 to just over A$68,000. The “other expenses” line slumped too from A$348,409 to A$53,029.

Chairman Nicholas Johansen wrote in his Chairman’s report that the past financial year has “seen the Company doubling… customer receipts in the final quarter which indicates that the business has turned the corner after a complete restructure of its… business units and overheads. We are now in a growth phase with sales forecasts for the coming financial year… all looking very promising”.

New trucking deal between Wiseway and Xiamen Airlines

Wiseway Group (ASX: WWG) will provide bonded interstate trucking services for Xiamen Airlines from next month.

Xiamen, thought to be China’s sixth-largest air carrier, and Wiseway have been working together since July 2016. Wiseway has been a cargo sales agent for Xiamen. Xiamen flies seven times a week from Fuzhou and Xiamen to Sydney, and five times a week to Melbourne from Fuzhou, Hangzhou and Xiamen.

Because of the agreement, Xiamen will be able to use Wiseway’s hundred-plus truck fleet to provide cargo services from China to cities throughout Australia.