Logistics Industries ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN

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1 Logistics Industries ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN June 2014 Prepared by the Logistics Training Council for the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development 17 Lemnos Street, Shenton Park, WA, 6008 Postal: PO Box 7033, Shenton Park, WA, 6008 Telephone: (08) Facsimile: (08) Web: logisticstc.au

2 This page is intentionally left blank Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014

3 Table of Contents Overview... 1 Trends Analysis... 1 Demographics... 2 Size and Distribution... 2 Employment... 3 Age Profile... 4 Gender... 5 Qualifications and Training... 6 Educational Attainment... 6 Government Policy... 7 Regulatory requirements... 7 Globalisation... 7 Technological... 7 Sustainability... 8 Economic Drivers... 8 Occupations in Demand... 8 Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014

4 Overview Freight forwarding involves the organisation of shipments for individuals or companies, with modes of transport alternating between road, rail, air and sea. International freight forwarding deals with cargo movement to international destinations, and involves the preparation and processing of documentation. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment. Road Freight Forwarding This class consists of units mainly engaged in contracting to transport goods and using one or more different enterprises to perform the contracted services by way of road freight transport. In these cases the `forwarding' unit takes on prime responsibility for the entire transport operation, specified in each contract, for a charge or fee which covers the total transport operation and, in turn, pays the actual carriers for the transport services rendered to it. Express freight services account for approximately 50% of this service followed by general freight services, distribution services, customs brokerage and compliance and warehousing. Road freight tends to dominate due to the greater flexibility of door to door services which cannot be offered by rail, air and sea freight. Rail, Air and Sea Freight Forwarding Rail freight forwarding accounts for approximately 40% of this service, followed by sea freight forwarding and air freight forwarding. Air freight forwarding caters for delivery of urgent, fragile and perishable products. Items may include pharmaceuticals, vegetables and specialist equipment. With the increased use of wide-bodied aircraft on international routes, airlines are able to carry greater volumes of freight. The frequency of flights may also depend on proximity and passenger demand. 1 A large proportion of imported and exported goods are transported by sea. This includes break-bulk merchandise and non containerised goods such as oversize equipment, vehicles and live export. 2 Trends Analysis With revenue in excess of $8 billion nationally, the revenue and employment growth has recovered well from trough levels experienced between 2008 and The most gains were made in 2011 as demand from manufacturing was showing signs of recovery. With low interest rates, business confidence is also believed to be on the path to levels seen before the global financial crisis. Amidst a certain degree of uncertainty and the economic state of American and European markets, activity in Australia is predicted to remain steady with a 3.5% annual growth rate until As of August 2012, major shipping lines adjusted their container-free times and detention charges. Considerable pressure has been placed on operators to collect and return containers within seven (penalty free) days where they have previously had ten. Not only are the containers subject to quarantine inspections and treatments, there has to be an allowance for travel time including packing and unpacking to take into consideration. In this scenario container detention charges are likely to be incurred. Affected operators include forwarders, container parks and transport operators. In light of this and the looming Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 1

5 Christmas peak season, Fremantle stakeholders have been encouraged to come together to synchronise operating hours that would help alleviate a gridlock that may likely take place in the lead up to the peak Christmas season 4. Given the amount of construction and maintenance activity taking place in the State s north west, there has been a growing demand for the delivery of goods to these remote locations. Project logistics presents a unique set of logistical challenges demanding specific expertise and precise handling hence a few freight forwarders are tapping into this area to support the resources sector. The types of goods transported may include railway and mining equipment, break bulk cargo and pre-assembled modules. 5 Many firms expressed optimism regarding industry performance beyond Despite the strong value of the Australian dollar, there has been growth in the agricultural exports to New Zealand, the Middle East and Indonesia. 6 This has offset the decline in exports to Europe and North America. Demographics 7 There is little activity taking place in regional WA apart from the inbound goods that are sourced for the mining oil and gas sector. Size and Distribution The majority of WA operations are in metropolitan areas, based out of the major transport hubs located at Fremantle Port, Perth Airport precinct, Kewdale and Welshpool. It should be noted that freight forwarders have shown interest in establishing a physical presence in the Pilbara region. The level of mining activity had initially brought about an increase in the shipping of goods to and from the area. But that has since subsided. 8 This is due to a shift into the operational phase of mining companies that requires less inputs and a lower valued Australian dollar that makes imports more expensive. Although Western Australia only accounts for 9.4% of business locations nationwide, it is Australia s largest merchandise exporter, accounting for 46% of total earnings ($113 billion). With regard to imports, the third largest import for WA after gold and petroleum is industrial equipment and machinery for the mining industry valued at over $3 billion. Annual growth is expected to rise by 4% from 2012 to Machinery, transport equipment and parts account for 40% of the total market share. 9 According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, freight forwarders, customs agents and brokers are classified under other transport services. This class consists mainly of those engaged in providing transport support service not elsewhere classified. In the international freight forwarding space, there are a handful of small to medium sized operators. Many of them are small family owned businesses operating in a highly competitive environment and have small profit margins. With regard to air freight, Western Australia s exports for 2012 totalled close to thirty billion tonnes. The majority of goods comprised of perishable items such as fresh meat, fish and crustaceans. The top destination for air freighted exports was Singapore. The top origin country of WA s imports is the United States of America. Some of the most sourced items include engines, machines and appliances. For the calendar year, imports were worth approximately six billion dollars. 10 Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 2

6 25-Jan 22-Feb 22-Mar 19-Apr 17-May 14-Jun 12-Jul 09-Aug 06-Sep 04-Oct 01-Nov 29-Nov 27-Dec 24-Jan 21-Feb 21-Mar 18-Apr 16-May 13-Jun Number of Vacancies Freight Forwarding As most businesses operate in a high pressure environments with small profit margins, there is not as much leeway as other sectors when it comes to flexibility in full-time and part-time employment. Employment The following graph shows the percentage of full-time and part time workers involved in transport support services, which include freight forwarding. Due to the demanding nature of freight forwarding activities it is often challenging to engage and employ part time workers hence the low level of participation in comparison to full time workers. Graph 1 - Percentage of full-time and part-time workers in Transport Support Services 10% Full Time Part Time 90% Source : ABS The following graph shows a comparison in the number of advertisements in logistics between January 2013 and June The selected group of occupations were sourced from seek.com.au. There were fewer job advertisements in 2012 due to lower levels of consumer confidence. This has negatively impacted the level of spending as people preferred to reduce their debts, resulting in business reducing orders for new stock. 11 Graph 2 - Job vacancies in Logistics per month ( ) Freight Forwarder Logistics Coordinator Customs Compiler Account Manager Source: seek.com Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 3

7 Number of Advertisements Freight Forwarding As indicated in the graph below, there has been a decline in the number of job advertisements within freight forwarding. This can be attributed to the shift of the resources sector from construction to production phase. It is at this stage that less materials and equipment is needed therefore, a decreased demand for the shipment of goods to the State s North West. Graph 3 - Comparison of advertisements in Logistics Source: seek.com Age Profile Freight forwarding, like many other sectors in the economy, is affected by an ageing workforce. Both Western Australia and South Australia have been identified as the worst impacted by the ageing population. The impact of this is greatest amongst owner/operators who run family-run businesses. 12 Although the median age for workers in this industry is 41, employers find it challenging to attract younger workers into the industry with the skill set they require. For the younger cohort of workers that manage to find employment in this sector are quite often headhunted by other employers that struggle to source adequately skilled workers. For some companies working with a lean workforce, it is has increasingly become difficult to successfully implement succession planning as a sizable number of workers approach retirement age. Furthermore, some operators are faced with the threat of closing down WA operations and shifting responsibilities on to offices in the Eastern States. The following graph depicts the age spread of people working in the ABS classifies as transport services. Contrary to the perceived equal proportion of older to younger workers, local industry expressed concern over the long term challenge of replacing the ageing workforce. Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 4

8 Graph 4 - Percentage of workforce in each age group over five years Gender According to the 2011 census statistics, the workforce for this sector is made up of 73% men and 27% women. 13 There has been a gradual increase in the number of females taking part in this industry sector. In addition to this, industry has indicated that the ratio of male to female licensed brokers is approximately at 60: As seen in the following graph below, the highest concentration of females for transport support services lies in clerical and administrative r Graph 5 - Gender distribution in the Freight Forwarding Sector 2011 Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 5

9 Qualifications and Training In Western Australia approximately 20 people enrol in brokering/freight forwarding courses per year. At a national level about 100 people enrol in such courses. It has been noted that there is a larger percentage of customs brokers that undertake further training to become freight forwarders than the reverse taking place A high percentage of workers have been engaged in training for existing job roles. However, there is a shortage in the number of qualified customs brokers. That being said, the industry would not be in favour of oversaturating the market with brokers as this would infringe on the wage rate of workers. Nationally recognised qualifications are available at Certificate III, IV and Diploma level in the Transport and Logistics Industries (TLI) Training Package. Though the short and long term courses offered by companies are recognised internationally, it is only the Diploma of International Freight Forwarding that maps across to the transport and logistics qualification. Work is currently under way at a state level to investigate the establishment of a traineeship at Certificate IV level. It perceived that industry would be receptive to this endeavour and branding it as an entry level position. Currently 85% of people studying are already employed in the industry. The figures for this are quite high as a result of the industry experience that is required before the application for a licence can be reviewed. People seeking employment in the industry make up 10% and overseas students make up the remaining 5%. For customs brokers it normally takes 2½ years for students to complete the course, whereas for freight forwarders, it takes between 12 and 18 months. Following a growing interest in higher level qualifications, a degree of International logistics with a specialised stream in freight forwarding is now available. Considerable steps have been made in recent years to offer nationally recognised qualifications that satisfy industry requirements and thus provide career and training pathways. 15 Educational Attainment Graph 6 - Qualifications profile - Transport Support Services In recognition of the multifaceted approach of moving goods through the supply chain, a project was unveiled for the flexible delivery of an undergraduate degree specialising in international freight forwarding. In addition to Higher Education Contributions Scheme (HECS), the course will pave the way to additional courses being offered which include a Graduate Certificate and a Masters Degree in International Freight Forwarding. 16 Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 6

10 Government Policy Regulatory requirements A customs broker is required to hold a broker s license in accordance with part XI of the Customs Act To qualify as a customs broker, an individual must have completed an accredited course and have gained the experience necessary to become a customs broker. 17 It is a requirement that inbound goods meet the health and safety standards of Customs/Quarantine. Some changes have been made to the Aviation Transport Security Act of 2004 which affect operators involved with freight forwarding. As of June 2012, Accredited Air Cargo Agents (AACAs) shall be included in the definition of Aviation Industry Participants. Agents will, as a result, be required to report all security incidences as improvements are made to this area. The cargo clearance process has also been simplified by the removal of the term certification. The term freight has been replaced with the term cargo as this is the more commonly used by industry. 18 Significant steps have been taken by the Federal Government to revise biosecurity legislation. The new act will replace legislation that was first compiled in Some of the components covered in the draft legislation include co-regulatory mechanisms for sharing responsibility with industry, setting import conditions and ensuring decision making is science-based and independent. Another development is the notice of intention to bring goods into the country. The Australian territory must be notified within 24 hours of the goods arriving at a port or landing as opposed to 35 days. The consultation phase which commenced in August gave the public the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on the document. The final draft is expected to go before parliament by the end of the year (2012) 19. Globalisation Initially, customs brokers and freight forwarders, along with many other support services, were handled by the same company. With the growth of the industry over time, more and more operators branched out to start up their own companies and offer specialised services. Some companies have, in recent times, shown interest in dealing with only one company with regard to their supply chain management solutions in moving products. There are greater cost efficiencies when services are streamlined along with a decreased margin for error. Technological The use of the internet has greatly impacted on the delivery of courses for this industry sector. A number of the courses offered can now be conducted online. The industry had previously been described as labour intensive, however this has now changed. There is now greater flexibility to work at a faster pace and in real time with other clients and suppliers. In addition to this the scope and style of the business has changed. Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 7

11 Sustainability There has been a growing drive for businesses to implement green policies. This has been a combination of both company initiative and client-driven requirements for companies to deliver goods in a more environmentally friendly way. 20 As green policies become a part of business culture some companies have sought certification as assurance that standards are maintained, ie achieving ISO 14001:2004 certification for an environmental management system that will ensure sustainable operations. 21 Social responsibility need not only be a concern of the major players in industry but also the smaller stakeholders. 22 Economic Drivers Whilst some companies found it necessary to shed their workforce in response to global economic trends, other companies have taken on a more tactful approach. They have used the current conditions to allow staff to take long service leave in an effort to prevent a high turnover and loss of staff before they can salvage a decent return on investment. Forwarders are affected by the fluctuations in the economy that influence the demand and supply of goods. The industry relies on the trade of imports and exports and in some cases there is the domestic movement of goods. The proportion forwarders spend on purchases as a whole is approximately 64.7% and is mainly due to the large overheads such as fuel. The world price of crude oil could therefore place considerable cost pressures on the industry, resulting in less road freight and favouring more competitive rail freight charges. Ultimately the cost is passed on to the consumer as some companies (particularly the smaller sized firms) do not have the capacity to absorb more costs. 23 Pricing in this sector is generally determined by supply and demand. Some operators enter into negotiations with clients depending on the complexity of the service to be offered whilst others may opt for commission based charges. Occupations in Demand Import Export Clerk Customs Broker Customs Compiler Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 8

12 Reference End Notes 1 IBIS world, Rail, Air and Sea Freight Forwarding in Australia, April IBIS World, International Sea Transport in Australia, March IBIS world, Rail, Air and Sea Freight Forwarding in Australia, April Transport and Logistics News, New container rules will hurt industry, August Industry Consultation 6 Export Council of Australia, Confidence bounces back for Australian Exporters, August Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia 8 Industry Consultation 9 WA Statistics Maritrade Industry Consultation 12 Industry consultation Census of Population and Housing 14 Industry Consultation 15 Australian Federation of International Freight Forwarders website AFIF national conference, May Licensing Customs Brokers, Australian Customs service 18 Air Cargo Security Requirements Biosecurity reform 20 Sustainability Agility Logistics DB Schenker ISO 14001:2004 certification Environmental sustainability IBIS world, Rail, Air and Sea Freight Forwarding in Australia, April 2012 Logistics Industries Environmental Scan 2014 Page 9

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