Our strategic focus
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.
CSCL 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. 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
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has 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
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.
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 (PDF, 586KB)
- Urban Logistics Research Laboratory
- Talent and Capability Research Laboratory (PDF, 314KB)
- Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women is an industry-sponsored initiative that is building a new talent pipeline for the industry, and shines a spotlight on creating new opportunities for women entering supply chain and logistics careers. Working with its 16 industry partners, the initiative builds understanding of the diverse opportunities a career in supply chain and logistics provides, and develops programs that support the career development of women currently working in the sector.
Industry Advisory Board
Our high-profile Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is made up of members with a strong local, regional, national and international business presence. It provides ongoing support and guidance to our research programs and strategic direction of the centre.
CSCL leadership team
Meet just a few members of our professional team producing world-class outcomes.
Dr Hermione Parsons
Dr Hermione Parsons, Industry Professor, is the founding Director of CSCL and has extensive executive management experience in port landside logistics, multimodal infrastructure, competition, regulation and food supply chain.
Dr Roberto Perez-Franco
Roberto Perez-Franco is a Senior Research Fellow at CSCL and leads the Urban Logistics Laboratory, an initiative dedicated to exploring through industry engagement the most pressing issues concerning the movement of freight through populated areas.
Rose Elphick-Darling is a highly experienced executive with expertise in supply chain and logistics, and leads the Food Traceability Lab – an initiative focusing on issues regarding end-to-end visibility and traceability in food supply chains.
Industry Professor and Director
Senior Research Fellow|
Dr Roberto Perez-Franco
Rose Elphick Darling
Dr Don Gunasekera
Industry Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategist|
Industry Researcher, Maritime Logistics|
Peter Van Duijn
Senior Research Fellow|
Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women Business Development Manager|
|Senior Administrative Officer |
Our PhD students 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 students.
Current PhD students
|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)
|Milagros Diaz Bermudez||An examination of new technologies impact in workforce jobs: opportunities and challenges for logistics|
|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)
Adoption of supply chain innovation and practice change in the Australian grain industry|
(Joint CSCL PhD student with FoA&E)
Completed PhD students
|Dr (Wesley) Zhen Li||Chain 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.
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.
National Food Traceability Implementation Program: Implementing Food Traceability
June 2020–July 2024
The Implementing Food Traceability Program will enhance 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. Development of a Food Traceability data framework will help standardise data sharing along the supply chain.
It will cover data protocols for generic and product-specific activities from procurement, production, processing and manufacturing, distribution, import and export, retail and end consumer information – the 'what, where, when, how and who' of the product along the supply chain.
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.
Read the report for Phase 1
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.
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
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.
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: https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050187.
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 https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0163.1.
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, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-05-2016-0128.
Traceability program adds value to food supply chains
1 July 2020, www.foodprocessing.com
Industry Professor Hermione Parsons says 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.
Traceability program to build trust in Australia’s food supply chains
July 2020, Food & Beverage Industry News
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 commencing in July 2020.
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.
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.
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
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
Maurice James, Managing Director Qube Holdings, discusses initiatives to increase women's participation in the supply chain and logistics industry.
COVID-19 pandemic exposes weakness in Aussie supply chains
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.