Toll trucks in a depot

Bluescope & Toll: a relationship forged in steel

To ensure the safe and efficient transport in excess of three million tonnes of steel across Australia annually, BlueScope trusts Toll to provide integrated logistics services across its national supply chain.

The Challenge

Australian steel company BlueScope operates the country’s largest steelworks in Port Kembla, New South Wales – a facility that produces nearly three million tonnes of slab, hot rolled coil and plate steel products each year.

Ensuring these products are available across BlueScope’s national supply chain requires comprehensive logistics support. Delivery points range from warehouses and service centres to rail terminals and wharves (for export products) – some up to thousands of kilometres away from the production site.

BlueScope also imports steel from its production sites in New Zealand to service its customers in Australia, and requires freight services that connect major ports to its distribution network.

BlueScope needs a reliable, agile logistics partner to coordinate and manage the movement and storage of its steel products across Australia – one with the capacity, experience and equipment to ensure consistent, timely deliveries to its customers.

Above all else, BlueScope requires a partner who shares its outlook on safety; a strong, consistent safety culture that insists that everything is done safely or not done at all.

The Solution

TGL Contract Logistics provides comprehensive logistics support to meet BlueScope’s requirements, including freight transport, storage, consolidation services and wharf services. Experienced ‘hands on’ managers are based at BlueScope production sites to work hand in hand with BlueScope personnel to ensure our high safety and delivery performance criteria are met.

We bolster these services with the provision of specialised custom-built equipment, industry leading technology, experienced staff and an award-winning safety culture.

Transport

We provide ad hoc and dedicated transport services for BlueScope throughout its Australian supply chain, delivering to and from BlueScope production sites, wharves, service centres and rail hubs in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

With a company-owned fleet of more than 250 pieces of equipment – including 65 prime movers – we carry shipments as small as 50 kilograms and as large as 28 tonnes per unit by road. Much of the fleet is branded with BlueScope livery, allowing them to double as mobile billboards while they’re on the road.

Our custom designed B-double trailers are made from high tensile steel – in addition to being strong under the pressure of heavy loads, each trailer’s tare weight is up to 5 per cent lighter than standard trailing equipment.

This reduction in weight allows larger loads of steel to be transported in a single trip, improving efficiency across BlueScope’s supply chain.

Storage, Consolidation & Wharf Services

We provide storage for BlueScope’s steel products, managing and operating warehouses in Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Our wharf cartage capabilities enable us to meet shipments of import steel – from BlueScope operations in New Zealand – at the port and transport it to BlueScope customers as requested. Our ability to meet tight discharge timelines and coordinate multiple supply points and unload points enables us to maintain consistent product flow.

Technology

BlueScope needs to be able to coordinate and manage its shipments efficiently across its national network; a flexible system that maximises available resources is required to ensure consistent, timely deliveries to its customers.

We introduced a technology solution – developed by our in-house research and development team – to BlueScope’s operations to meet these needs. This system provides the personnel responsible for coordinating despatch procedures at distribution centres an overarching view of local and interstate deliveries in real time, allowing for better route optimisation and agile transport planning.

In the event BlueScope receives a last-minute order from a customer, communication between the two systems provides the flexibility to react to volume trends and allocate vehicles and drivers from a centralised pool. This allows BlueScope to respond immediately to sale opportunities.

Safety

In partnership with likeminded customers such as BlueScope, we invest significantly in safety – from our fleet and equipment to comprehensive training for our staff.

Our strong safety focus led us to become one of the first operators in Australia to replace over-centre lever load binders with EV-cam load binders. We worked with BlueScope to assess the manual handling risks associated with so-called ‘dog and chain’ fixtures, and made the transition to safer EV-cam binders.

Regular training and ‘refocus’ sessions are held for all Toll staff working for BlueScope across Australia – all operators refresh their skills regardless of how long they have been in their position, and work with occupational therapists to prevent common manual handling injuries.

New staff receive a minimum of two days of intensive instruction prior to beginning their roles, and participate in observation sessions and buddy training as they restrain loads to ensure correct load restraint guidelines are consistently followed.

The Results

We carry between 2.5 and 3 million tonnes of steel by road every year, travelling a combined distance of many millions of kilometres.

Toll’s solution has transformed BlueScope’s intrastate supply chain in New South Wales; having the flexibility to allocate resources where and as they are needed provides a range of operational benefits to our customer.

Through our ability to respond to BlueScope as required 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Toll has also been able to dramatically reduce shipment delays and resulting wharf penalties that previously impacted BlueScope’s operations.

The equipment purchased for this contract was selected to ensure the highest safety standards as well as operational benefits gained from reduced vehicle weight allowing for larger payloads to be carried. Since the commencement of this contract, Toll has recorded minimal safety incidents and has Delivered In-Full, On-Time (DIFOT) in excess of 99% of the time.

Find out more about our award-winning performance in the Australian steel industryToll wins prestigious Australian steel award