Transafe WA Insights

This post details my latest views and points on the transport industry in a recent November newsletter which I wrote to all Transafe WA members following nomination and election as Vice Chairman of Transafe WA.

A few words from newly elected Transafe WA Vice-Chair, Kris Clarkson (Clarkson Freightlines)

At the recent Transafe WA AGM I was elected as Vice-Chair to work alongside Steve Post and the Transafe WA Committee of Management. I have been a committee member of Transafe WA since March 2014 and proudly share the same vision and passion as Steve for a safer, more professional industry.

I have enjoyed playing an active role in Transafe the past few years and the benefits of receiving firsthand the latest safety product information and research, working on strategic initiatives closely with government, networking with like-minded individuals and driving a culture of professionalism in the transport industry. Not only has this benefited my own personal development, but also my businesses direction for growth and sustainability.

Clarkson Freightlines provides professional transport services to rural WA. Our service geography demands a large focus on compliant transport of all agricultural supplies and all aspects of general freight. We transport anything from large volumes of dangerous goods chemicals, cropping seed and fertilisers, to dog food, tools and kegs of beer. All the freight required by the towns of rural WA to function day to day.

What I’m noticing...

2016 has been an interesting year for the sector as a whole. The WA economic environment has bought a high level of competition, rate cutting and several transport companies have gone under. Whilst a race to the bottom never ends well, this stage of the cycle has resulted in a natural consolidation of companies being acquired by larger players to grow their footprints and services. Professional, safe and efficient operators will lead the pack, but are generally happy to fly under the radar and go about their day to day business quietly.

From my involvement with Transafe and The Heavy Vehicle Industry Safety and Training Alliance (HVISTA), I have noticed personally how receptive and willing government is for industry to start driving initiatives that produce greater safety and performance for the sector, and all road users in WA. We all are aware that state and federal budgets are tight. The direction we should all be pushing toward is one to produce greater efficiency and sustainability for the future.

What this looks like and what needs to change...

Compliance and Enforcement – I strongly believe we need higher levels of supply chain compliance. Changing Main Roads accreditation standards to include all vehicle GCM >4.5tonne and also another level of licencing along the lines of an operator licence would immediately raise the level of professionalism in transport.

Greater enforcement of COR legislation and new HVA modules – putting ownership on the entire supply chain to ensure customers are not promoting a culture of unsafe rates. This leads to unsafe practices.

Technology – embracing and leading the way in WA from a technology standpoint to drive safety and efficiency gains. Mandatory telematics (it is only a matter of time) - GPS tracking, dash cameras, truck data systems in all heavy vehicles to improve fatigue management and driver behaviour.

Fleet – embracing modern features such as EBS, stability control and lane departure sensors to name a few as standard requirements on all fleet upgrades.

Infrastructure – working with key stakeholders to improve heavy vehicle network access like the current trials of 36.5m road-trains on Thomas road into Kwinana, refining and reducing red tape.

Reward – rewarding good operators who are demonstrating the right practices and initiatives.

What looks better than 5 years ago

• COR legislation has raised awareness around entire supply chain compliance

• The WA heavy vehicle network, and condition of roads has improved

• WA HVA scheme standards require greater levels of compliance

• Truck and trailer technology have improved to the point now where the modern trucks are learning from trip data to improve efficiency and safety.

Why get involved with Transafe WA…

Although I am still young and part of the ‘Gen Y’ crew, I strongly believe that the fate of the industry is in our own hands. I am hoping to be a part of driving real change for a better industry over my working career.

Being a member of Transafe WA enables you and your business to play an active role in contributing to this direction, provide suggestions, network at our forums and take ideas back to implement for the better. And all this contributes toward improving the public perception of our transport industry to one of safety, professionalism and a desirable career path option for the next generation.

Stay safe and best regards,

Kris Clarkson

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