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The History of Australian Logistics




Logistics and the supply chains of modern day Australia is quite different from its history. You can't expect top of the line technology back then, making both tracking systems and delivery dates unimaginable. It’s clear that over the last decade transport systems in every country been radically revolutionized.

The ALC or the Australian Logistics Council supports the national supply chain industry and abides by the thorough regulations. However, the Australian transport landscape was quite different fifty to sixty-odd years ago.

The First Trucks of Australia

The original steam-hauled trucks of Australia, date back to 1863. Those were the first trucks in the history of Australia. Since they used to burn wood as fuel, they were extremely environmentally damaging.

After the industrial revolution and the introduction of combustion engines, the engine-driver trucks soon entered mass production.

In Australia, state governments moved away from trucks and agreed to rely more heavily on rail transport for all sorts of logistic purposes. This went on for another twenty or so years until supply shortages started to arise during wartimes.

Due to national shortages, the state governments had no other option than to use more trucks to transport goods. Trucks were reintroduced around 1942 as emergency transports starting in South Australia.

Negligence of Trucks in Australia

After the end of the war, when things were slowly starting to getting back to normal, the government brought in a "road maintenance tax." The sole purpose of this tax was to restrict the transport industry gradually. But the truckers decided not to pay any heed to the tax. Over the years, more restrictions were added along the way, with other truck laws, which were quite impractical.

In 1960, the logistics industry started to really blossom acoss Australia. Trucks began to look more attractive too. People were finally paying attention to good design. Truckers were happier with the modernization of their vehicles hwoever cost of purchses was still extremely high, making it hard for the industry to really flourish.

A New Ray of Hope

The introduction of the diesel engine in the 1970s surprised everyone down under. The engines could now provide extra HP at the same costs. So the truckers could not be happier. They could travel with goods much faster now. Over the next decades, significant improvements were made in both the trucks and the laws that govern the supply chain.

By 1990, the industry refined itself and the logistics industry improved in miraculous ways. Productivity severely increased and the high costs that were originally hampering progress started to decline. Australian logistics at last began to prosper both nationally and internationally.

Bottom Line

National Industry Insights states, “The Transport and Logistics sector in Australia has an estimated annual revenue of $102.87 billion, with an operating profit of $10.14 billion in 2018. The sector employs more than half a million people across its major sub-sectors: Road Transport, Logistics, Warehousing and Stevedoring.”

Even though many restrictions are still in place, somehow, the Autralian trucking industry has still managed to create vehicles that are far more efficient and eco-friendly. Delivery services and use of proof of delivery app’s have made things much easier for the logistics operators. Beyond this, the introduction of alternative fuels, electric vehicles, and other technologies have helped to advance the supply chain in a myriad of ways. Australian logistics are on the way to becoming one of the most advanced in the world.