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OMGT1062 Transportation And Freight Logistics

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OMGT1062 Transportation And Freight Logistics

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Course Code: OMGT1062
University: Royal Melbourne Institute Of Technology

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Country: Australia


Why this task?
This assignment will evaluate the following:

Ability to identify quality research articles on the Internet.
Ability to analyse published findings and relate to required area of study.
Ability to articulate YOUR analysis and present possible recommendations in a research essay format.

Lessons gained:

Awareness of current status of the selected freight transportation challenges.
Awareness of the impact(s) of the identified challenge on the overall freight transportation industry.

What do I need to do?
Prepare a research essay paper on a current freight transportation challenge. Select only one of the following current freight transportation challenge:

Green/sustainable freight transportation trend (i.e., what are implications to cost and service levels in providing green/sustainable freight transportation?)
Freight transportation safety and security (i.e., what and how are carriers dealing with security risks in freight transportation and providing domestic and international secure transportation networks?)


Australia is a vast country with an extensive and well-developed infrastructure. Many regions of the country are accessible. Road freight is the mode predominantly used especially for non-bulky items in Australia. Water freight is majorly for exports as well as coastal shipping along the many ports found along the Australian coastline. The integrated airports within Australia and the rest of the world ensure that air freight is extensively used to transport non-bulky items. Australia also has an extensive railway network coverage that helps in the rail freight transportation of bulky items such as steel, iron, coal (Nguyen & Tongzon, 2010, p.140).
These modes of transport offer many benefits to freight transport such as convenience, reliability, accessibility and speed. However, Carriers face significant security and safety risks when it comes to terrorism. Australia continues to get terror threats target its transport infrastructure and this is a huge concern to freight transport service providers (Zammit, 2017, p.25). This research paper seeks to discuss the formidable threat of terrorism to carriers in Australia especially air freight, the mitigating measures they have taken to deal with them, the impact of terrorism on the logistical industry and further recommendation to enable provide a secure freight transportation network.
Background of Global terrorism
Ever since the 9-11 attacks on the US, where planes were used to execute the attack, many nations continue to deal with the severe threat of terrorism. International terror groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda continue to target Western countries, and Australia has not been left behind. Air freight transportation faces the most significant terrorism risk compared to other modes of transport. Airlines provide a link between domestic and international terrorists. As a result, the groups continuously attempt to use air cargo as a means to transport explosives to their counterparts in Australia who later may assemble them and use them with devastating effects (Zammit, 2017, p.25). This is even made more evident by the July 2017 terror plot by jihads to bomb Etihad Airways that was leaving Sydney. It is reported that the components to assemble the IEDs came through international air cargo from Turkey to Australia. Numerous terror plots continue to be foiled by Australian authorities (Inkster,2017, p. 95). It therefore becomes vital for Australian carriers to deal with the terrorism risk both for the safety of their domestic and international operation.
Terrorism threat on Australian carriers
Terrorism both domestic and international continues to pose a substantial risk in the transport industry in Australia. Every year new and more potent forms of terror methods continue to emerge targeting all modes of transport.
Motor carriers: Terrorists can hijack heavy commercial vehicles and ram them into a crowded place and lead to many casualties. For example, in 2016, a cargo truck was used as a terror weapon in France during Bastille Day celebrations when the driver intentionally drove through a large crowd killing 86 and injuring over 400 people. Radicalized individuals in Australia can be inspired by such incidents abroad and try to emulate them locally (Zammit, 2017, p.25).
Water Carriers: Maritime terrorism also faces a significant threat from terrorist organizations who may target ports, shipping points, and other commercial shipping vessels. Carriers have to be alert for the presence of any suspicious packages or individuals in the ports. Australia depends a lot on water transport for exports, and domestic freight and terrorist may as well strike at sea for example, in 2016, a Vietnamese cargo ship was hit by a Filipino terror group Abu Sayyaf and has links to Islamic State (Potterton, 2016).
Rail Carriers: Terrorists could attempt to attack the Australian rail system by planting explosive devices into the large consignments of bulk commodities with devastating effects. Such an attack could result in fatalities, loss of freight valued in billions and derailment. For example, recently in Britain, an Iraqi teenager trained by ISIS attempted to bomb a London subway train (Tripathi & Fujiyama, 2017, p. 200).
Air Carriers:  The aviation industry is appealing internationally for terrorists. Air freight is the means likely to be used to plan and plot a bomb. Air freight is mainly transported by passenger aircraft so that the airlines can fully utilize their capacity and maximize their revenue. There has been an increase in both inbound and outbound freight transport. Incoming air freight poses a terror risk especially if the cargo is from countries with high terror threat levels. This has brought significant challenges for carriers to prevent terrorists from exploiting any loopholes. The recent Sydney terror plot highlights the severe threat three of the largest airports in Australia that is Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne face (Mitra & Bandyopadhyay, 2017).
Impact of terrorism on the Australian logistics industry
Due to terrorism, carriers especially air and ports have had to deal with additional costs in their operations. Since security is a major concern for the continued existence of their business they need to install and maintain sophisticated security systems such as CCTVs and alarm system. Also, they need to employ specialized manpower to monitor and raise alarm on any suspicious activities. All this requires significant financial investment on the part of carriers. Since terrorists regularly use cargo to hide materials used for explosives, carriers are forced to upgrade their cargo handling procedures and ensure there is a more elaborate and thorough checking of any incoming and outgoing cargo. These measures may result in delays for their clients who may be time-sensitive. Carriers also incur costs by purchasing the trace-detection equipment necessary to detect any explosive devices hidden in cargo. These security measures become labor-intensive especially when there are considerable consignments to be scanned (Wensveen, 2018). Therefore, Australian logistics industry has experienced a rise in overhead costs in a bid to ensure safe and secure freight transport.
Recommendations to deal with terrorism
To deal with the ever-increasing threat of terrorism, carriers like airliners, commercial vessels, and trains have to put in place specific security measures to combat the scourge. Carriers can implement several key recommendations. First, carriers need to work closely with intelligence agencies to keep track of information about terror threats. Second, they have to regularly monitor whether they are adhering to the agreed security standards and make any necessary adjustments. Third, significant investment needs to be made in airports and seaports to upgrade security infrastructures such as the installation of CCTV and alarm systems. Fourth, more security officers need to be deployed to deal with screening and scanning of cargo. For example, major airports in Australia have increased the use of trace-detection equipment for explosives to enhance the checking of both domestic and international air cargo (Inkster,2017, p.90).
Fifth, Australian carriers can also undertake risk identification and assessment to determine any vulnerabilities in their operations such that they will be able to develop mitigation strategies to respond promptly to any terror incidences. Sixth, every plane also needs to be scanned regardless of size even if it is small. It has been observed in some regional airports in Australia that smaller aircraft are not screened adequately. Such a weak link can be exploited by terrorists (Zhang, Wang & Fu, 2017, p. 480)
Also, the carrier’s workforce needs to be adequately trained and equipped with the technical expertise to operate some of the sophisticated security systems such as CCTV or trace-detection equipment. Eighth, training is required on cargo handling in ports, rail depots, airports such that no suspicious or dangerous package can be able to bypass the security protocols in place (Richardson,2017).
Another recommendation is that carriers will also need to continually review their security protocols because terrorist continually evolves and use newer and more potent methods that may fail to be detected to execute terror attacks. Freight coming from countries with heightened terror threat levels need to be given particular attention as there is the high likelihood of dangerous materials being transported. Domestic carriers in Australia whether through air or sea need to closely engage with their international counterparts to ensure they can joint mitigate on any potential terrorism risk (Alexander & Merkert, 2017, p. 45).
Further recommendations carriers can undertake to enhance the security training of workers involved in cargo handling so they can be in better position to detect suspicious cargo as well as be better able to use the modern and advanced security technologies. Background checks are also necessary for carriers to conduct particularly in sensitive areas which may compromise air freight (Richardson,2017).
In conclusion, we have seen how terrorism continues to be a severe global problem. And since Australia continues to have many international trade partners, there is significant terrorism risks through air, water, road and rail carriers. As a result, carriers continue to have logistical challenges in their operations due to rising costs or delays. The terror problem will continue to grow worse as terror threats continue to emerge both locally and internationally. Despite the logistical constraints it poses, carriers have to invest in implementing thorough security and safety measures to protect freight. Vigilance at all times is required to deal with terrorism.
Alexander, D.W. and Merkert, R., 2017. Challenges to domestic air freight in Australia: Evaluating air traffic markets with gravity modelling. Journal of Air Transport Management, 61, pp.41-52.
Inkster, N., 2017. Terrorism in Europe. In Europe and Global Security (pp. 79-102). Routledge.
Mitra, D., Pham, C.S. and Bandyopadhyay, S., 2017. The Effects of Terror on International Air Passenger Transport: An Empirical Investigation.
Nguyen, H.O. and Tongzon, J., 2010. Causal nexus between the transport and logistics sector and trade: The case of Australia. Transport policy, 17(3), pp.135-146.
Potterton, P., 2016, November. Australian shipping policy: what drives or constrains success?. In Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF), 38th, 2016, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Richardson, D., 2017. Increasing Supply Chain Security: The Requirement for RFID Technology on Containerized Cargo [graduate project].
Tripathi, K., Borrion, H. and Fujiyama, T., 2017. Potential Explosive Device on a Commuter Train: What drives train drivers to deviate from the security procedure?. Urban Rail Transit, 3(4), pp.192-202.
Wensveen, J., 2018. Air transportation: A management perspective. Routledge.
Zammit, A., 2017. Australian Jihadism in the Age of the Islamic State. CTC Sentinel, 10(3), pp.23-30.
Zhang, Y., Wang, K. and Fu, X., 2017. Air transport services in regional Australia: Demand pattern, frequency choice and airport entry. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 103, pp.472-489.

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