Study to improve Northern supply chains

Charles Darwin and James Cook Universities are looking at ways to re-frame the way goods are moved around the North and to Asian customers

Charles Darwin and James Cook Universities are looking at ways to re-frame the way goods are moved around the North and to Asian customers

Charles Darwin University is part of a research team working to improve the efficiency of Northern Australia’s agricultural supply chains and freight networks.

The new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) project looks to re-frame the way goods are moved around the North and to Asian customers.

The “Reframing Northern Australia Supply Chains Study” is being undertaken by CDU’s Northern Institute and James Cook University and will take a broad look at supply chains across Northern Australia, with the view to develop more efficient, effective, smart and agile models.

The project also will identify key policy and budgetary directions to support effective supply chains, identify potential partnerships for collaborative planning and implementation of supply chain initiatives and value-add to supply chain thinking and analysis.

CRCNA Chair Sheriden Morris said efficient supply chains were fundamental to the improvement of competitiveness, prosperity, productivity and sustainability of Northern Australia.

“This project will provide a renewed examination and reframing of supply chains – how they work and how they could work better.

“We all know we can grow high-value agricultural crops in the north, and that we can rear quality cattle and that our seafood is some of the best in the world, but unless we can get our products to market in a consistent, cost-effective and timely way, we will continue to give away our competitive advantage, stifling development and growth.”

Northern Institute’s Associate Professor in Northern Australian Development, Pascal Tremblay said a final report would outline major potential policy reforms needed to support effective supply chains in Northern Australia.

“Our integrated approach will deliver a framework to support longer-term collaborative planning and implementation of supply chain initiatives into the future, across agencies, across industries and across jurisdictional governments.”

The research team will bring together key stakeholders from across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to develop a comprehensive roadmap for future planning and investment.

Roundtable sessions, to be held early 2020, will involve a diverse mix of stakeholders sharing knowledge and learning from each other with the view to form a community of best practice.

Ultimately, the CRCNA wants to build an evidence-base to inform budgetary, investment and infrastructure planning that supports smart and agile supply chain development for Northern Australia, to the benefit of all producers and agribusinesses.

The final report is expected by mid-2020.

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