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Prime Mover Magazine


CSIRO transit tool to cut transport costs

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has produced a detailed map of routes and costings across Australia's entire agricultural supply chain, a resource it says could potentially save the industry millions of dollars annually.

The CSIRO researchers have applied the logistics tool TraNSIT (Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool) to 98 per cent of agriculture transport across Australia including commodities such as beef, sheep, goats, dairy, pigs, poultry, grains, cotton, rice, sugar, stockfeed, horticultural and even buffalo.

The information was presented in the final TraNSIT agricultural report, released this week.

The TraNSIT tool identifies ways to reduce travel distance and time, save fuel costs, cut down on wear and tear to vehicles and produce and minimise stress for both truck drivers and livestock.

“Transport infrastructure is essential to moving over 80 million tonnes of Australian agricultural (including horticultural) output between farms, storage, processors and to markets each year and costs close to $6 billion annually,” the CSIRO said in a statement.

Dr Andrew Higgins, project leader of the CSIRO's TraNSIT tool added, “Farmers will be saving money on transport as well as being able to deliver food to the market faster and with less damage and disruption.

“We expect these savings will eventually be passed onto the consumers.”

CSIRO developed TraNSIT in 2013 to provide a comprehensive view of transport logistics costs and benefits based on infrastructure investments in agriculture supply chains in Australia.

An initiative of the Federal Government's Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the tool was originally applied to the beef industry before being extended to all agriculture transport across Australia.

The first project under the $100 million Beef Roads program will be the sealing of 17km of the Clermont to Alpha Road in Central Queensland, due to start in early 2018.

The $8 million works are aimed at improving road safety and access for oversize vehicles, while reducing freight and maintenance costs.

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