The Queensland Government has a clear Four Pillar strategy to drive our economy, with agriculture being one of the four, and key to our long term prosperity. Queensland is renowned globally for our quality, clean food products, but to play on a global stage we must be competitive. While we have some of the world’s most productive farmers, bottlenecks exist in our supply chains that threaten our competitive position and compromise farm returns.

Our freight and logistics networks are generally highly efficient on a line-haul or point-to-point basis, but the connectivity between modes, and between sectors sometimes lets us down and threatens our viability. When viewed holistically, when taking an end-to-end view, our supply chains are not as efficient as they could be. The connectivity, the ability to quickly, seamlessly and cost-effectively move our agricultural products to market is often not as efficient as it could be.

In this environment it is easy to isolate and blame high labour, fuel or other costs for our competitive challenges; but ultimately the individual elements of our supply chains are, of themselves very efficient; it is our system-wide productivity that causes the most grief. The 2013 Productivity Commission report confirms that Australia’s productivity is languishing, leaving us vulnerable globally.

Clearly there are significant gains to be had via modal, sectoral and regional cooperation, and collaboration. Our greatest supply chain benefits will be harvested via improved connectivity between supply chain elements; pursuing highest asset utilization; aligning Government policy and regulation with the needs of industries; embracing technology solutions; and simply sweating our assets harder.

Ultimately, productivity improvement is not someone else’s problem: it’s everyone’s problem.

QTLC is actively working with the Queensland & Federal Governments, rail, road and port operators to ensure we have the most efficient supply chains possible. 2013 has seen QTLC deliver on key objectives and we look forward to building on this performance in 2014.