One of the more enjoyable aspects of our job is being in constant contact with freight and logistics managers and small business shippers. We talk to hundreds every month (at least).

We ask them about what’s working, what’s not working and what would make their lives easier. And it’s a long list. Which is a shame – logistics is incredibly important in the context of not just our economy, but human achievement in general. It’s just not been progressed in a way that allows those freight and logistics managers the convenience and efficiency they should expect in 2019.

How important is Aussie logistics?

Every industry in Australia depends on logistics. In fact, every person in Australia depends on logistics.

Freight is an essential and valuable part of our economy and society.

From small businesses and sole traders ‘having a go’ and selling their passion products online, right through to enterprise businesses with a national or global footprint – and as the consumers of these goods – we’re all reliant on the supply chain in a major way.

Everything we see in shops – from our coffee cups to laptops and the beds we sleep in – has at one stage been a consignment and was transported on a truck. And while logistics is extremely significant to the economy, it puts enormous pressure on our infrastructure (the enhancement of which is also closely tied to the strength of the economy), as well as the shippers’ own internal efficiencies.

Those big businesses, in particular, are an interesting case study. They’re really pushing the limits of our transport infrastructure and driving the economy.

This is what drives us at MachShip to make life easier for these freight and logistics managers.

The case for greater supply chain efficiency

Efficient logistics keeps businesses competitive. Whether you’re exporting, importing or manufacturing, your business model depends on you being able to integrate your freight costs in a way that doesn’t blow out your end price.

Competitive businesses mean more successful businesses, more jobs and a more valuable Australian economy.

The problem, though, for these businesses, is that shipping is a bit of a ‘necessary evil’ most of the time. It’s seen as an overhead that they could do without – not an essential part of their business like, say, product development or marketing. And it’s not just the cost, but the job itself. It’s a time-sucker, and it can be hard to find people that are good at it or enjoy doing it.

We get that. You want to spend more time and money making your products great. That’s why we’re all about simplifying your freight management.

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The state of shipping in Australia

From our perspective, there’s a lot to love about our current transport and logistics capabilities. However, there are a number of areas we think need improvement – and quick improvement – if we’re to keep up with the demands of our customers and global trends.

What’s working:

  • The industry is booming. There’s plenty of work and it’s set to increase.
  • As we’ve mentioned before, logistics accounts for 8.6% of Australia’s GDP, 1.2 million jobs for Australians and a $130 billion annual injection to the national economy – so investment in future-proofing is an easy sell.
  • Businesses that have positioned themselves to make the most of this have the potential to really thrive.

What needs to improve:

  • Stakeholder expectations are rising. Services like Catch of the Day, Uber and even Domino’s have introduced end consumers to super-speedy shipping and real-time tracking – and B2B shipping customers are seeing the possibilities.
  • Inefficiencies means there’s wastage in time and resources – a huge frustration for many people working in the sector.
  • Lots of businesses are using more than one freight carrier – and most of those are doing it inefficiently. They’re likely to be balancing multiple carrier websites and may have a few spreadsheets on the go, and the whole process is taking up too much time.
  • Organisations are lacking a ‘control tower view’ over shipping performance. They can’t see their spend, what’s moving within their network, how their teams and carriers are performing – basically, the vital signs of their logistics.
  • People are spending too much time on admin and phone calls – ‘Where’s my freight?’ kind of stuff. There’s a lack of visibility once the goods leave the warehouse because systems don’t talk to each other.

Why we do what we do

We talk a lot in the office about what we do and why we do it. And I’m proud to say it gets us all really excited – not everyone can say that about their job.

Our mission is to make logistics faster, easier and more efficient – and knowing what we know about its place in the economy, it’s easy to see the potential for positive knock-on effects.

Take for example one of our clients, Blue Diamond Machinery. Here are the benefits they’ve seen after using MachShip:

  • Reduced time to generate consignments by 80 percent.
  • Reduced time to field customer calls by 10 hours per week.
  • Eliminated all paperwork associated with shipping freight.
  • 450 percent return on investment.

Extrapolated out, the potential effects on Aussie shipping (and the Aussie economy) are incredibly exciting.

I’m extremely pleased that I, and MachShip, get to be a part of developing an industry that has such a positive impact on the Australian economy and community.