Industry shines at annual awards

Designed to reward excellence and to raise the standards and public perception of the Australian freight and logistics industry, the AFIAs recognised winners across seven categories. The Awards showcase those companies and individuals within the industry that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make their work more innovative, efficient and safe.

The competition was tough this year with over 40 nominations across all of the Award categories. The panel of expert judges commented that the task of judging is getting more difficult as the standard of nominations increases year after year.

The pinnacle of the evening was the opportunity to honour Noelene Watson, Managing Director of Don Watson Transport, who was recognised with the coveted 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Personality of the Year Award. Noelene’s outstanding contribution to the Australian transport and logistics industry over the past 20 years has been a testament to her remarkable character.

Not only was Noelene thrust into leading the family business following the sudden passing of her husband Don in 1994, but she has remained active in the industry, holding the position of Director of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) since 2004, and this year was elected as Chairperson of the ATA.

One of the highlights of the Awards each year is the recognition of a rising star. It’s fantastic to see that our industry is continuing to attract talented young folk who are the industry leaders of tomorrow.

I was humbled to name Fred Mohammad from Cranes R Us as the 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Young Achiever of the Year. Fred was recognised for his instinctive entrepreneurship, having already successfully established multiple businesses, including Cranes R Us, at just 31 years of age. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for Fred and all of the other finalists in this category.

With the tremendous young talent entering the industry, it is imperative that companies continue to invest in their most valuable asset, their team. The 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Investment in People Award was presented to ASIXA, which has made a commitment to delivering 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.

Metropolitan Express Transport Services was recognised for its distinct approach to actively reduce its impact on the environment while also reducing operational costs, being named the Australian Transport & Logistics Business Sustainability Award winner.

Measures introduced by Metropolitan Express include Euro V rated vehicles as a minimum, best practice driver management and active vehicle routing to optimise deliveries and avoid road congestion.

The intermodal visibility pilot project undertaken by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) Supply Chain Standards Working Group managed by GS1 Australia was awarded 2014 Australian Transport & Logistics Technology Award.

The project demonstrates the “whole of chain” benefits of improved information flow, traceability and shipment identification using global data standards and holds great promise for effective stakeholder collaboration and performance improvement.

In Vehicle Camera Systems (IVCS) was awarded the Australian Transport & Logistics Best Practice Safety Award for its Drivecam technology, which uses monitored video systems and feedback to assist transport operators to manage, coach and train drivers to improve safety.

There’s no denying that innovative ideas often lead to improved safety, and it was an honour to recognise Bulk Transport Equipment (BTE) as the inaugural winner of the Australian Transport & Logistics Equipment Innovation Award. BTE has developed a new type of articulated concrete mixing trailer capable of carrying twice the payload while improving vehicle safety and fuel consumption.

I’d like to take this opportunity to again congratulate all finalists and winners of this year’s Australian Freight Industry Awards. We are proud to be able to recognise and reward the best of the best each year. On behalf of the VTA, I’d also like to acknowledge the sponsors of the award program without whom the event could not be run. Major sponsors TWUSUPER, Viva Energy and Freightliner; program sponsors Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council and Victoria University; as well individual award sponsors Logical Staffing Solutions, Containerchain, Zurich, Transport Health, the Victorian State Government and Transport Certification Australia.

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