Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics

The Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL) is Australia's leading research centre focusing on freight logistics and value-added supply chains. CSCL is cross-disciplinary and multifaceted and works with its government and industry partners to answer pressing questions about the design and management of supply chain and logistics networks.

Our strategic focus

CCSL recognises that to make significant and sustainable contributions to urgent supply chain issues it must work in partnership with industry and government, using recognised and rigorous investigation methods and approaches.

CSCL’s strategic focus is on industry engagement and impact in its core research areas:

  • urban and regional freight logistics
  • food and agribusiness
  • talent and capability
  • scenario planning and strategy.

Research at CSCL takes place through its research laboratories, a model developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Centre for Transportation and Logistics. The model has been evolved by CSCL to leverage engagement with all stakeholders – a triple helix with university, industry and government working together to address the difficult issues that no single agency or institution can address alone.

Supply chain and logistics in a changing world

Every industry, business and household in Australia depends on supply chain and logistics for the organisation and delivery of goods and services to ensure quality and create the cost efficiencies crucial to company success and customer satisfaction. Rapid growth in population, the impact of digital change and changing consumer expectations have brought new challenges to logistics and supply chains globally.

COVID-19 has focused attention on how fragile global and national supply chains can be, shaking assumptions that have underpinned global trade for decades. Freight logistics has been declared an essential service and supply chain resilience is now recognised as critical to our future.

Resilient supply chains after COVID-19

Resilient supply chains after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic made Australians more aware than ever of the important role that freight, logistics and supply chains play in their lives. Let us help your organisation understand recent freight logistics and supply chain failures during the pandemic, explore what the world might look like as we transition to a new normal, and prepare to thrive in the years to come.

The post-COVID future of urban logistics

The post-COVID future of urban logistics

A year ago, a conversation about the future of urban logistics revolved around the long-term impact of factors such as population growth, climate change and new technologies. In a world transformed by COVID-19 there's an immediate need to understand the new challenges facing urban logistics in the near and mid-term future.

National Food Traceability Implementation

National Food Traceability Implementation

Enhancing Australia’s food supply chain integrity in a seamless whole of supply chain system with global data standards and language that will enable information to be shared more readily. A Food Traceability data framework will help standardise data sharing along the supply chain, and will cover data protocols for generic and product-specific activities.

Visit the program website

Our expertise

CSCL has significant supply chain and cross-disciplinary expertise to support companies and regions to identify the critical issues and deliver impactful research and development programs. CSCL’s Research and Development Laboratory and partner initiatives are:

Food Traceability Research Laboratory

The Food Traceability Laboratory focuses on research into end-to-end visibility and traceability in food supply chains. The laboratory provides a platform for collaboration for industry-facing research with real-world impact.

Urban Logistics Research Laboratory

The Urban Logistics Laboratory offers a forum for discussion and research, in collaboration with industry and government, on issues relevant to supply chains, logistics and transport, to inform the decisions of industry and policy makers.

Talent and Capability Laboratory

The Talent and Capability Laboratory collaborates with industry and government leaders to gain a clear understanding of the talent issues of the supply chains and logistics workforce, and then work towards solutions.

Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women

Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women is an industry-sponsored initiative that builds a new talent pipeline for the industry, and shines a spotlight on creating new opportunities for women entering supply chain and logistics careers.

Our PhD researchers

Our PhD researchers are becoming the new leaders in their fields of expertise. They help us deliver innovative and creative solutions to a wide range of supply chain and logistics problems. Following are details of our current and past PhD researchers.

Current PhD research

Name Thesis topic
Juan Esteban Calle Salazar Optimising the location of refuelling facilities at an Australian transportation and logistics company 
Juan Esteban Muriel Villegas Evaluation of urban freight trade-offs by optimising the configuration of loading/unloading bays
Karla Alvarez Uribe Evaluation of urban logistic impacts derived from a combined strategy of mobile depots network and sustainable transport alternatives
(Joint CSCL scholarship with IISRI) 
Gustavo Escudero Cavides A scenario-planning framework for governmental long-term planning of urban mobility
Rubén Rendón Benavides Exploring the potential benefits of in-transit decisions, informed by real-time data, in perishable food supply chains
(Joint CSCL scholarship with IISRI) 
Stephanie Krezel
Adoption of supply chain innovation and practice change in the Australian grain industry
(Joint CSCL PhD student with FoA&E)

Completed PhD research

Name Thesis topic
Dr (Wesley) Zhen LiChain power and value impacts of freight forwarders in fragmented markets; evidence from inbound air freight chains into Bahrain

Future PhD student information – CSCL doctoral program

Central to our mission, education allows us to improve the capabilities of existing and new supply chain professionals who will then go back to the community, industry and government to help them make better supply chain and logistics decisions.

Please note the program is currently fully subscribed.

Find out more about CSCL's education program

Research projects

CSCL is involved in a number of projects linked to industry and government. Through our laboratories and expert staff, we provide impartial and practical advice and assessment. Explore some of our recent research projects below, as well as a selection of key projects that have been completed.

Understanding the causes of female under-representation in supply chain and logistics positions

November 2019–October 2020

The purpose of the study is to understand the causes of low female participation in the supply chain and logistics workforce. CSCL researchers have interviewed over 100 women, collecting over 75 hours of interview data.

Issues canvassed include:

  • issues that influence decision making and barriers to career progression
  • skill sets and characteristics of those who succeed in the sector
  • views on what companies can do to attract and retain more women
  • modelling success factors (with composite case studies).

The final report and project summary include practical outcomes of direct relevance to industry groups, informing future recruitment and retention policies. The report findings were presented at a national forum of industry representatives, educators and research participants.

Download the Wayfinder Research Report Executive Summary (PDF, 800KB)

Scoping Study to Strengthen the Indonesian Red Meat Supply Chain Traceability Systems

May 2019–August 2019

The Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) project examined ways to protect Indonesian consumers, as well as the reputation of Australian beef suppliers to the Indonesian market, through improvements to red meat supply chain traceability. MLA aimed to provide assurance that Indonesian consumers are receiving Australian red meat that meets the claims attached to the product, including food safety, authenticity of origin, cultural and religious requirements, through implementing traceability along the whole supply chain. Mapping the value chain from the site of production in Australia to the retailer in Indonesia, preliminary to initiating proof of concept trials in Indonesia to strengthen supply chain vulnerabilities for Australian red meat exported to Indonesia.

Consultation to Inform the Vintage Rolling Stock Strategy

March 2019–August 2019

To inform the first-ever Vintage Rolling Stock Strategy, CSCL conducted for the Victorian Rail Track Corporation (VicTrack) a research project that included an extensive and in-depth consultation with all relevant agencies and the heritage railway groups of Victoria about their current needs and future plans, as well as their views on the future of the Newport site. The project included an assessment of the economic value of the heritage railway sector in Victoria to support the development of a new strategy and a higher value use of the Newport yards. Current challenges, opportunities for collaboration, and priorities for the strategy were identified.

Establishing an Industry-led Training System for the Logistics Sector in Indonesia – Enabling Growth and Innovation Program

June 2018–September 2019

The primary purpose of this research was to undertake a pilot program for the design, development and implementation of an industry-led training system for the Indonesian logistics sector. CSCL actively engaged with key government agencies, public and private sector Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, key industry associations and Logistics Service Providers (LSP) in Indonesia. In total CSCL worked in close collaboration with thirty Indonesian government, education and industry partner organisations, involving the direct contribution of forty eight individual Project participants. CSCL also engaged and consulted with Australian key stakeholders.

Modernising the Australian Bureau of Statistics Agricultural Collections Program

June 2018–May 2019

This review of respondent burden associated with Agricultural Census and surveys, involved 1200 respondent comments and interviews with 25 respondents via focus groups. It involved research into the potential transition to sources of administrative/industry data through analysis of 10 commodity supply chains and associated data.

Scenario Planning to Inform the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy

August 2017–March 2019

CSCL conducted for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC) a two-year scenario planning project, as part of the development of the first National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. This was done in two phases.

In Phase 1, CSCL developed – in collaboration with industry – a set of four scenarios, which were then discussed in a series of workshops with experts from industry and government as part of the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities.

In Phase 2, CSCL provided elements for inclusion into the National Strategy and examined – with the participation of industry – the future-readiness (also known as ‘acid testing’) of high-level action areas and long-term directions that were being considered for the National Action Plan.

Other key projects

Other research project examples include:

  • Port origin and destination studies for each Australian capital city port
  • Supply chain hinterland and contestability studies for regional ports
  • Port infrastructure development studies
  • Multimodal logistics studies
  • Sea and airport supply chain studies
  • End-to-end business activity harmonisation studies with industry and government stakeholder in Australia and South-East Asia

A second container port for Melbourne? Build it in the west for 2036

February 2017–May 2017, in partnership with Avalon Airport Australia

CSCL was engaged by Avalon Airport Australia to develop an independent technical report regarding Victoria’s second alternative container port for submission to Infrastructure Victoria. The report evaluated the need, timing and location of the second port.

Read the completed report

Peer review of assessment methodology for Melbourne’s second port

February 2017, in partnership with Infrastructure Victoria

CSCL was engaged by Infrastructure Victoria to conduct a peer review of the assessment methodology for the second container port advice in February 2017. We provided our expertise to improve IV decision framework and criteria so that important review findings could be implemented by IV given the scope of CSCLs strategic assessment.

Australian Pallet Survey 2017

August 2017

The pallet is viewed as a necessary piece of equipment with little intrinsic value in relation to the product supply chain. Despite the indication that companies have incurred significant costs through their inability to control and manage pallet usage, they view the device as 'a necessary evil' rather than part of the value chain of the product. This view may be challenged if the trends in pallets identified in this report continue.

Read the completed report


Our team of researchers have successfully submitted work in many industry leading publications. Following is a selection of their work.

Academic publications

Gunaskera, D 2018, ‘Bridging the energy and meteorology information gap’, in A Troccoli (ed), Weather & climate services for the energy industry, Palgrave McMillan, doi: org/10.1007/978-3-319-68418-5_1.

Gunasekera, D, Parsons, H & Smith, M 2017, ‘Post-harvest loss reduction in Asia-Pacific developing economies’, Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. 7, no. 3.

Gunasekera, D & Parsons, H 2017, ‘Freight transport and logistics services: emerging issues’, Improving Service Sector Productivity: The Economic Imperative, Committee for Economic Development.

Elphick-Darling, R & Gunasekera, D 2017, Study on the Application of Global Data Standards to APEC Supply Chain Connectivity (Phase 1), Austroads.

Elphick-Darling, R, Gunasekera, D & Ghalebeigi, A 2017, Investigating the potential benefits of enhanced end to end supply chain visibility, AgriFutures Australia.

Elphick-Darling, R, Gunasekera, D & Ghalebeigi, A 2017, Diversity in decision-making in rural industries, Canberra, ACT, Australia: Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation.

Elphick-Darling, R, Gunasekera, D & Ghalebeigi, A 2017, Cold chain distribution capability assessment for selected markets in China, Meat and Livestock Australia.

Newth, D & Gunasekera, D 2018, Projected Changes in Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature under Alternative Climate Scenarios, Atmosphere, vol. 9, no. 5, pp.187. Available at:

Gunasekera, D, Manton, M and Zillman, J 2018, ‘Threat to data integrity and international exchange’, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(11), pp. 2206–2207

Newth, D and Gunasekera, D 2018, ‘Projected Changes in Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature under Alternative Climate Scenarios’ Atmosphere, 9, 187; doi:10.3390/atmos9050187.

Perez-Franco, RJ and Phadnis, S 2018, ‘Eliciting and representing the supply chain strategy of a business unit’, The International Journal of Logistics Management,

Industry publications

Opinion: Another disruption in the global container supply chain

29 March 2021, Daily Cargo News
Mr Peter Van Duyn posted his opinion article in the DCN regarding the giant containership blocking the Suez Canal. On top of the recent disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of containers being lost overboard in the North Pacific, another incident with a large container vessel is causing further disruption to the delivery of containerised goods, including supplies of urgently required medical equipment and personal protective gear.

Read the full article

Also featured in:

It’s time to rethink the image

18 March 2021, Daily Cargo News
Dr Patricia McLean explained why the supply chain presents a future-proof, dynamic and exciting career opportunity.

Read the full article (pages 54 to 56)

Is the North Pacific the Bermuda Triangle for containers?

12 February 2021, Daily Cargo News
Mr Peter van Duyn expressed his views in relation to a spate of containers being dislodged or damaged on-board container vessels transiting the North Pacific Ocean.

Read the full article

‘Huge piece of work’: The challenges facing the vaccine rollout

5 February 2021, Australian Financial Review
As Australia prepares to deliver coronavirus vaccines, experts say the long distances, manufacturing constraints and even vaccine ‘snobs’ could cause headaches. Dr Hermione Parsons was interviewed by reporter Finbar O’Mallon from AFR, to comment on the distribution of COVID vaccines.

Read the full article

New digital Career Map to combat the supply chain talent shortage

October 2020, Deakin University Media Release
A looming capability shortage in supply chain and logistics in Australia prompted the development of a career mapping tool to encourage a new generation of talent to enter this booming sector. The digital Supply Chain Career Map showcases more than 150 supply chain roles in 18 sectors, linking jobs to qualifications (from certificate 4 to masters degrees), years of experience, and indicative salary. Dr Hermione Parsons, Director of CSCL and Co-Chair of Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women, an industry sponsored initiative established to increase diversity in the supply chain sector, said the Supply Chain Career Map aims to show people the huge range of career opportunities available. It also allows people to see supply chain and logistics as an interesting profession with a great future and not just ‘fall into it’ career as has been the case so often in the past.

Read the full Deakin media release

Also featured in:

The future of electric aviation in Australia

September 2020, Deakin University Media Release
Deakin University has released a white paper that evaluates the opportunities and next steps for Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) in Australia, focusing on electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the passenger and freight context. The latest instalment in the Deakin Mobility series, the study is a collaboration between the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) and the Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics. It is the first and most comprehensive literature review and study of this nature, and analyses the regulatory challenges, operating potential and likely benefits of AAM and eVTOL.

Read the full Deakin media release

Explainer: What is the latest waterfront dispute about?

30 September 2020, The Conversation
Mr Peter Van Duyn was the author of the article to highlight a new industrial dispute on the waterfront and what it could mean for medication and food supplies. 22 years ago, images of balaclava-clad security guards with German shepherds, locking out wharfies at the Patrick container terminals shocked the nation. With a fresh industrial dispute underway at the Patrick container terminals, are we on track for another war on the waterfront?

Read the article

Also featured in:

National traceability program to build trust in Australia’s food supply chains

June 2020, Deakin University Media Release
Australia’s food safety systems will be strengthened by the delivery of a new national implementation program to help track and trace food products from farm to fork in domestic and export markets. The program will help supply chains achieve end-to-end traceability and lift capability across the sector from small producers and manufacturers to large-scale enterprises, and includes an Australian-first Implementing Food Traceability Guide, plus Product Specific Guides and Industry Demonstrations to enable greater visibility along the entire food supply chain.

It provides Australian companies with an easy to follow guide to assist them with mapping critical traceability events across the supply chain and enhances Australia’s food supply chain integrity in a seamless whole of supply chain system with global data standards and language that will enable information to be shared. Industry Professor Hermione Parsons informed the first generic traceability modules relate to On-farm Production and Exporting and encouraged organisations involved in these activities to have input to these modules.

Deakin’s media release has been placed in various trade magazines and media outlets including Weekly Times (VIC); Farm Online; Farm Weekly (NSW); ABC Rural; The Land (NSW); The Australian; Queensland Country Life (QLD); Stock & Land; Australian Poultry; Australian Cotton & Grains Outlook; DCN; FMCG; Food & Beverage Industry News; Inside Retail; MHD Supply Chain News (Prime Media); ATN – Australian Transport News; ECA News – Export Council of Australia; What’s New in Food Technology & Manufacturing Magazine; Food and Drink; Food Magazine; and Hospitality Magazine.

Read some of the articles:

Secure Supply Chains – Building safe and secure communities

July 2020, Deakin University COVID-19 research portal
Deakin’s COVID-19 research portal features a broad range of projects, media coverage and resources from researchers across the University. The content has been aligned to Deakin’s research pillars to present an integrated view of the University’s work. The information and opportunities for consideration and collaboration with other researchers with an interest in the current and future implications of the pandemic may be viewed via the link below.

Explore our research portal resources

Supply chain flaws exposed

22 May 2020, Geelong Advertiser
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the fragility of our nations supply chains and access to vital medical equipment and resources. Both the opinions of Dr Hermione Parsons and Mr Adam Voak were highlighted throughout the article. Australia cannot afford to underestimate society’s reliance on supply chains.

Read the article

Pandemic lays bare Australia’s supply chain vulnerability

6 May 2020, Daily Cargo News
Professor Hermione Parsons and Mr Adam Voak authored the industry opinion article following the situation where bare shelves at supermarkets have brought into sharp focus the issue of disrupted supply chains. Australia has created a vulnerability to unforeseen shocks to supply chains, such as those resulting from the panic buying and the lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wayfinder video series: Industry snapshot

Wayfinder video series: Industry snapshot

Lyn O'Connell – Deputy Secretary, Water, Climate Adaptation, Natural Disasters and Antarctica, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment – discusses career options for women in supply chain and logistics.

Wayfinder video series: Careers snapshot

Wayfinder video series: Careers snapshot

Maurice James, Managing Director Qube Holdings, discusses initiatives to increase women's participation in the supply chain and logistics industry.


Radio and television interviews

Federal Government misses another COVID vaccine roll-out target

5 April 2021, ABC Radio
Dr Roberto Perez-Franco, Senior Research Fellow at CSCL, shared his thoughts on PM with Linda Mottram, ABC Radio, on the challenges of deploying the coronavirus vaccine in Australia.

The effects of the Suez Canal blockage could be felt for months

30 March 2021, and Sky News
Mr Peter Van Duyn, Maritime Logistics Specialist spoke to and Sky News saying the effects of the Suez Canal being blocked by a cargo ship for almost a week could be felt for months.

How a giant containership blocking the Suez Canal could impact global trade

25 March 2021, 3AW
Mr Peter Van Duyn was interviewed by radio announcer Tom Elliott on 3AW saying Australia is unlikely to feel too much price pain as a result of a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal, but it would likely impact Asia and Europe.

Play the full interview

Big gaps in Australia's distribution capacity for the 'utterly astonishing' task with ultra-cold COVID vaccines

8 December 2020, PM program on ABC Radio
Dr Hermione Parsons was interviewed by radio presenter Linda Mottram from the ABC radio program PM, speaking on the logistics of distributing the COVID vaccine.

Play the full interview

Distributing Pfizer and other COVID vaccines 'the largest logistics effort in the world since World War II'

8 December 2020, ABC News
Dr Hermione Parsons and Dr Roberto Perez-Franco were interviewed by reporter James Purtill regarding the supply chain distribution of COVID vaccines. After the elation of the first approval of a COVID-19 vaccine comes the realisation that making and testing the vaccine is only the beginning. The next job is figuring out how to distribute hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine across the world, and this has to be done while keeping the vaccine below -70 degrees Celsius. Logistics experts say these challenges are 'massive' and 'unprecedented'.

View the full news item

State of emergency

3 August 2020, ABC Late News
Industry Professor Hermione Parsons spoke to the ABC Late News on supply chain and logistics issues during the extended lockdown in Victoria, and the significant impact to the ports, manufacturing and the economy across Australia, particularly to the state of Queensland where industries from Bunbury to Bundaberg depend on its fortunes from businesses that have had to shut down due to the Stage 4 restrictions as a result of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

State of emergency

6 August 2020, ABC 7:30
Industry Professor Hermione Parsons spoke to the ABC 7.30 program about the way producers and manufacturers are looking at ways to keep supply chains open during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

State of emergency

6 August 2020, ABC The Business
Industry Professor Hermione Parsons spoke to the ABC The Business program about potential supply chain shortages as a result of Victoria’s shut down at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic exposes weakness in Aussie supply chains

29 May 2020, Friday Hills Chat radio program 88.9FM    
Dr Hermione Parsons was interviewed by Bill Hodgson, Radio Presenter of the Friday Hills Chat program as a result of previous media release regarding the COVID-19 pandemic exposing weakness in supply chains.

How COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of Australia’s supply chains

21 May 2020, Eureka Report
Following a media release article, Professor Hermione Parsons was interviewed by Alan Kohler, Editor-in-Chief from the Eureka Report (InvestSmart Group) for one of his expert series reports to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in Australia's supply chain operations, and how this could spark a major redevelopment of supply chains in regional and metropolitan Australia.

Play the full interview

Contact us

For enquiries, please contact the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment.

+61 3 9244 6699

Email the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Build Environment