The Australian government has announced its plans to expand the use of a tool which helps optimise vehicle movements between enterprises within Australia’s vast agriculture supply chain.
The Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TRANSIT) developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) works by analysing every possible combination of transport routes and methods and determining the most efficient route.
At present it only applies to livestock movements in the north of the country but minister for agriculture and water resources, Barnaby Joyce, said an AUS$1m expansion would see the tool’s applications extended to cover about 25 agricultural commodities, representing more than 95% of Australia’s agricultural transport volume.
CSIRO developed the tool because agriculture supply chains in Australia often feature transport distances of over 1000km between production, processing and markets. Transport costs can account for up to 40% of the market price.
TRANSIT takes into account factors like road/rail conditions, temporary road closures and diversions and availability of facilities such as truck stops and holding yards.
CSIRO said the tool could be used to manage logistics costs for individual enterprises or whole industries.
TRANSIT has also been used to analyse the supply chain benefits of various possible infrastructure projects, including the upgrade of a 510km highway between Clermont and Roma and a new north Queensland abattoir.