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UPDATE: Upgrade on Tasmanian freight route kicks off

UPDATE: Upgrade on Tasmanian freight route kicks off
UPDATE: Upgrade on Tasmanian freight route kicks off
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Upgrades to the popular freight route in Tasmania are underway. The road between Murchison Highway and Henty Road is under construction, which will be safer for trucks to use once completed.

This route is the main and most direct route for road users between Rosebery and Zeehan on Tasmania’s west coast. 

A state government report for January 2024 states there are 55,007 registered trucks (type of vehicle category) on Tasmania’s roads.  

The state’s land transport network facilitates freight movement to key export and intermodal points, industrial and population centers, and regions. Most of the state’s freight is transported by road. It has four major publicly-owned ports at Bell Bay, Burnie, Devonport, and Hobart.

Safer passage for freight trucks 

The Tasmanian government says the upgraded infrastructure will enhance road safety. “More formal overtaking opportunities and strategically located truck pull-off and load-checking sites for heavy vehicle users will also be created. These sites will allow heavy vehicle operators space to safely check their loads.” 

The Murchison Highway is a key freight route connecting the west and northern regions of Tasmania. 

In March 2023, a $100 million project was announced to improve freight access on Tasmania’s roads under the Freight Capacity Upgrade Program. At the time of the announcement, Australia’s minister for infrastructure and transport, Catherine King, said the upgrades increase efficiency on the roads: “Our funding, by helping continue this successful economic productivity initiative for the next five years, is key to ensuring Tasmania’s road network is as safe and as efficient as possible.”

Also Read: Western Australia to get new container terminal

Australia freight and logistics market 

Mordor Intelligence reports the Australian freight and logistics market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%. “The maritime industry is a major part of Australia. The Port of Brisbane is the largest seaport in the state of Queensland. It is the third-busiest and fastest-growing port in all of Australia. This port is responsible for more than 28 million of cargo and 2,600 ships each year,” reads the report. 

In November, the Australian government announced the formation of a national strategic fleet that will add resilience to the nation’s supply chain. 

Most recently, the country was affected by the Red Sea crisis when a livestock carrier had to be recalled. The MV Bahijah which was headed to the Middle East. was loaded with cattle and sheep in Fremantle, Western Australia, and left port on January 5. The decision to recall the vessel was based on considering biosecurity risks related to the livestock onboard.

AI transforming Australia’s logistics landscape

Stockhead released a report stating that the Australian freight and logistics landscape is on the brink of a groundbreaking transformation in 2024, fueled by the relentless ascent of artificial intelligence (AI).

“As the industry grapples with persistent challenges like a chronic driver shortage, underutilized trucking capacity, and the escalating demand for dynamic pricing and real-time visibility, the stage is set for technological disruption to revolutionize operational efficiency.”

The report adds that the freight and logistics sector is shifting toward eco-friendly practices, prompted by escalating costs, labor shortages, and heightened environmental awareness. “Automation and digitization not only tackle efficiency concerns but also contribute to reducing carbon footprints. Hull observes that businesses are progressively integrating eco-friendly considerations into their logistics strategies, aligning with a global push towards sustainability,” reads the report.  

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About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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