Background InformationThis project entails the logistics of procuring 40 standard gauge locomotives, 600 x 106-tonne wagons and their spare parts from Asia Pacific. The machinery and spare parts are to be delivered to the mine site in central western Queensland. The locomotives and wagons will be delivered on soon-to-be built 500km railway which goes from the township of Alpha in central western Queensland to Abbot Point Port in northeast Queensland. A review of the railway network in Queensland and the rest of Australia, given the international scale of this project, are fundamental. Australia has the following commonly used rail gauges: the standard gauge, the narrow gauge; and the Irish broad gauge covering a distance of 17, 678 km, 15,160 km and 4,017 km and with a gauge distance of 1,435 mm, 1,067 and 1,600 mm, respectively.
The locomotives and wagons to be procured are standard gauge, therefore our focus will be on the standard gauge network. The standard gauge railway line network is used all over the National Railways’ interstate lines of Australia and allover New South Wales. This is also the primary gauge by the USA, Britain, Europe and many other nations.
In the high speed lines of the France TGV, the Germany ICE and indeed the bullet trains of Japan, the standard gauge railway line is the most commonly used (infrastructure. gov, 2010). Since railway construction began in Australia in the 19th century, the standard gauge system was adopted from England and Europe and the broad gauge from Ireland were used by engineers in many parts of the continent. In Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, however, it was the narrow gauge system that was used in the mining and the timber cutting industries because of its efficiency with engineers who found it easier to construct because they required less earth to be cut out of the hill sides when building the lines (infrastructure. gov, 2010).
Standard gauge in the state of Queensland is therefore not commonly used and is therefore key priority. The following key logistics areas are fundamental to this process. ProcurementSupplier selection and evaluationEffective processes for supplier selection and evaluation are of vital significance for this project. This is because any mistake when making this decision has the ability of rendering the project ineffective and could adversely affect the strength of an organization in the chaotic competitive environment of the present day that has no tolerance for mistakes.
Market globalization is increasingly quickening its pace, and has in effect increased the number of potential suppliers as well as the factors to put in consideration (Cheraghi et al, 2009). The supplier selection and evaluation processes have been influenced to a large extent by the emergence of Internet based technologies that have introduced new criteria to the supplier selection and evaluation process.
According to a survey carried out of purchasing professionals, the Internet has emerged to be a supply management tool that has the potential of saving time, reducing costs, locating new suppliers and helping track the performance of suppliers therefore significantly contributing to a company’s profitability and competitiveness (Enarsson, 2006). The use of e-procurement, for example, has the potential of minimizing inventory costs as well as increasing cycle times, hence should be considered in this project.