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Freight logistics strategy released

Tuesday, 6 December 2011 3:03 p.m.

Efficient logistics scheduling can reduce supply chain costs by about 20 percent while improving service quality and customer satisfaction, a newly released freight logistics strategy for the Bay of Plenty says.

The Future of Freight Logistics, completed as part of the Bay of Connections economic strategy for the Bay of Plenty, was launched this week.

Chair of the Bay of Connections Freight Logistics Group Tony Hawken said the costs of getting goods to market were typically just under 10 percent of business turnover. More efficient logistics meant transport operators gained from more effective use of assets and strengthened customer relationships, producers, importers and customers gained from reduced inventory and logistics costs while the community benefited from reduced congestion, noise and pollution and fewer accidents.

"Efficient logistics is critical for the success and growth of the New Zealand economy. The volume of freight in the Bay of Plenty will continue to grow and must be planned for. By developing a world-class logistics chain in our region, we can help to boost trade and the Bay of Plenty economy," he said. 

"There is an opportunity to establish the Bay of Plenty as an efficient distribution and logistics region, where we recognise the importance of responsibly run freight logistics to economic success, locally and nationally."

He said the benefits from world-class logistics technologies and practices would help the region to attract on-going investment.

The Strategy provides a three to five year plan of commercially realistic actions to influence regional infrastructure plans, provide more cost effective management of freight and drive business efficiency, establishing the Bay of Plenty as the leading region for excellence in supply chain, distribution and logistics for freight by 2020 and supporting business and economic growth in the region.

The strategy encouraged commercially-led collective action, and sought a partnership with local and central government, economic development agencies and other key stakeholders. It covered road, rail, sea and air and was developed by a variety of leaders in the industry.

"To achieve our vision of a World Class Freight Logistics Region the Bay of Plenty needs to own this strategy and act upon it," Mr Hawken said.  

"We will need to work in partnership with industry, key agencies and neighbour regions, including Waikato and Auckland. We will also need to work closely with central government, industry organisations and key producers and importers with a national scope of operation."

The Action Plan is made up of eight major areas, and also aims to improve safety, reduce the impact on the environment and preserve community values. A Bay of Plenty Logistics Action Group representing production sectors, importers and logistics operators will be set up to provide strong commercial leadership and drive logistics initiatives.

The Port of Tauranga would remain of central importance with a strong potential for increased imports through Tauranga stimulating the development of distribution and light industries and other services in the region. Maintaining efficient transport corridors to the Port of Tauranga and supporting local road networks will become increasingly important, the Strategy says. 

"A combination of private and public sector investment is likely to create the most efficient supply chain. Businesses working together with public agencies can ensure infrastructure is built at the right time to meet real commercial needs. We want our region to be recognised as a world leader in developing and implementing logistics solutions to attract investment and drive economic growth," Mr Hawken said. 

"To have a world-class supply chain requires a commitment to measure performance and to work to continually improve that performance against this baseline data."

 Ends

 For further media information please contact Miles McConway on 0800 884 880 or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on (021) 923 339.

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