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Safety, productivity, environment feature in China talks

28 October 2011

Safety, productivity and the environment were on the agenda when the Australian Trucking Association held talks with the China Road Transport Association (CRTA) this week.

The CRTA delegation to Australia was led by its Vice President and Secretary-General, Limei Wang, and included representatives from the CRTA itself, provincial transport associations and Chinese transport businesses.

The delegation toured Simon National Carriers’ facilities in Brisbane on Monday, before meeting with the ATA’s senior staff in Canberra yesterday.

The Chief Executive of the ATA, Stuart St Clair, said the three hour meeting was an opportunity to talk about the common issues affecting Australian and Chinese trucking operators.

“We had a detailed discussion about Australia’s chain of responsibility laws and how trucking businesses manage the safety compliance of their subcontractors,” Mr St Clair said.

“The transport operators at the meeting were particularly interested in chain of responsibility, since China’s road safety laws do not clearly define the safety responsibilities of operators and customers.

“We also discussed high productivity vehicles and how the ATA is calling for longer, safer trucks to help manage Australia’s growing freight task and improve the industry’s fuel efficiency.

Secretary-General Wang said the strongest impression the delegation received from its visit was about safety.

“The ATA has done a lot to improve the safety of the Australian trucking industry, and the CRTA will make it a priority. The CRTA and ATA have the same vision: safety, productivity and the environment. In these areas, the CRTA is happy to work with the ATA because we have a lot of issues to discuss,” Ms Wang said.

She said the Chinese Government and the CRTA were taking strong steps to manage the environmental impact of the Chinese trucking industry, given China’s commitment to reduce its carbon intensity by 45 per cent by 2020.

“China is gradually enhancing its motor vehicle emission and fuel consumption standards, as well as promoting natural gas and hybrid power,” she said.

“On the initiative of the Chinese government, industry associations are promoting the ‘Green Freight’ project in the transport industry, which includes popularising drop and pull transport – dropping off a full trailer at a destination and returning with another full trailer – to improve productivity and efficiency.

“Industry associations are also organising energy saving driving training and competitions,” she said.

The CRTA delegation visited Australia as part of its examination of best practice road transport policies around the world.