KEY freight and logistics industry body, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), celebrated the 25th annual Australian Freight Industry Awards on Saturday, September 6, and announced the winners in each of the seven Award categories.
The Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs) Gala Dinner is a very prestigious event on the calendar for the freight and logistics industry.
VTA CEO, Neil Chambers, said the awards program showcased companies and individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make their work more innovative, efficient and safe.
"This year's Awards program has been very competitive, with over 40 nominations in the seven Award categories, including a new category recognising equipment innovation that enhances operator safety and efficiency," Mr Chambers said.
Noelene Watson from Don Watson Transport was honoured with the coveted 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Personality of the Year Award for her outstanding contribution to the Australian transport and logistics industry over the past 20 years. Sponsored by the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, the Award was presented by guest master of ceremonies, TV personality Darryl Somers, along with VTA CEO Neil Chambers.
"Congratulations to Noelene for being named the AFIA 2014 Personality of the Year. Noelene is truly a remarkable character. Following the sudden passing of her husband Don in 1994 (20 years' ago this month), Noelene was thrust into managing the business, while also raising three children. Since then, the company hasn't looked back, operating over 85 prime movers and 120 trailers in refrigerated transport across the eastern seaboard of Australia.
"Noelene is extremely active in the industry and is an advocate for greater employment opportunities for women. She has been a Director of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) since 2004, and this year was elected as Chairperson of the ATA," said Mr. Chambers.
Fred Mohammed from Cranes R Us was recognised as the 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Young Achiever. The award was sponsored by Containerchain.
"At 31 years' of age, Fred is an instinctive entrepreneur. Over the past 12 years, he has successfully established multiple businesses, including Cranes R Us based in Richlands, Queensland," Mr Chambers said.
The inaugural winner of the Australian Transport & Logistics Equipment Innovation Award was taken out by Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE). In presenting the Award, Mr Chambers said BTE has developed a new type of articulated concrete mixing trailer capable of carrying twice the volume of a standard cement mixer truck.
"A technical highlight of the trailer is a lightweight electronic steering system, which is also connected to the trailer's electronic braking system. The design allows for maximum maneuverability, eliminates tyre scrubbing, and will help to improve fuel consumption and vehicle safety."
An Intermodal Visibility Project undertaken by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Supply Chain Standards Working Group, managed by GS1 Australia, was awarded the Shaun Owen Memorial Australian Transport & Logistics Technology Award.
Sponsored by Transport Certification Australia (TCA), the Award recognises those who have applied innovative/technology systems to their business to enhance productivity or to solve an issue.
Mr Chambers said the project demonstrated the "whole of chain" benefits of improved information flow, traceability and shipment identification using global data standards.
"The participating company, Nestle Australia, has seen significant improvements in productivity, an unprecedented level of supply chain visibility, and a significant reduction in manual processes to track and manage freight across various modes.
"The project holds great promise for effective stakeholder collaboration and performance improvement across many supply chains in Australia," he said.
The Australian Transport & Logistics Best Practice Safety Award, sponsored by Zurich, was won by In Vehicle Camera Systems (ICVS) for its Drivecam technology which utilizes monitored video systems and dynamic feedback to identify and proactively manage diver safety and compliance.
Mr Chambers said the Drivecam system provides reports and online tools necessary for transport operators to manage, coach and train drivers to improve safety.
"The results have been tremendous in reducing collision rates and damage costs, protecting drivers from fraudulent claims, reducing fuel through efficient driving practices, and saving on training costs," he said.
Metropolitan Express Transport Services was honored with the title of Australian Transport & Logistics Business Sustainability Award winner. Sponsored by Transport Health, this Award recognised best practice in sustainability in the industry.
Presenting the award, Mr Chambers commented that Metropolitan Express Transport Services has taken a distinct approach to actively reduce its impact on the environment and to reduce operational costs.
"Measures introduced include Euro five rates vehicles as a minimum, best practice driver management, and active vehicle routing to optimize deliveries and to avoid road congestion."
The Australian Transport & Logistics Investment in People Award was presented to Simone Turner, CEO at ASIXA.
Mr Chambers said ASIXA had made a commitment to deliver holistic training with over half of its workforce having completed industry-specific qualifications.
"ASIXA not only encourages staff to develop and grow internally, it also has an active mentoring program in place and internal promotional opportunities have been realised.
"Congratulations to all finalists and winners of this year's Australian Freight Industry Awards - the VTA was proud to recognise and reward each of you in front of your industry peers this evening.
"The VTA would like to acknowledge the generous sponsors of the Awards program, including our Major Sponsors: TWUSUPER, Viva Energy (Shell) and Freightliner (Daimler Trucks); our Program Sponsors: Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC), Victoria University and the National Transport Commission; as well individual Award Sponsors: Logical Staffing Solutions, Transport Certification Australia, Containerchain, Zurich, Transport Health, and the Victorian State Government for their continued support of the Australian Freight Industry Awards."
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