Two of the most significant challenges facing retail businesses – sustainability and reliable, cost-effective logistics – will be the focus of industry attention at this month’s National Retail Awards in Brisbane.

National Retail Association Chair Tim Schaafsma today announced one of Australia’s best-known and most widely respected business leaders, Christine Holgate, as the keynote speaker at the Awards ceremony on October 26.

Ms Holgate is the CEO of Team Global Express, Australia’s leading intermodal logistics provider. The company is also sponsoring the inaugural Sustainable Retailer of the Year Award, as part of a new partnership between the two organisations.

Mr Schaafsma said the twin challenges of sustainability and reliable, cost-effective logistics were front of mind for the majority of Australian retail businesses, particularly those in the booming online retail space.

“We are delighted that Ms Holgate has agreed to headline the speakers’ list at the National Retail Awards,” Mr Schaafsma said.

“Her experience in freight and logistics is second to none in Australia, and I know that this is an increasingly important element of business success for so many of our members.

“Team Global Express has stamped itself as the leader in sustainability in its own field, and it is very fitting that it should be the sponsor of the first ever Sustainable Retailer of the Year award.”

Ms Holgate said Team Global Express has a vision to be Australia’s most sustainable logistics company.

“Team Global Express is delighted to support the National Retail Award’s inaugural sustainability award. Together as an industry, e-commerce, and logistics must work together to reduce the sector’s large emissions profile. In 2022, Australia’s transport sector made up 19% of Australia’s emissions, and this is a challenge we must tackle together across the supply chain.

“Every day, I am encouraged by customers and logistics teams working together to create new solutions that deliver high-quality service to our customers whilst striving for a net zero future. A key part of this is addressing the efficiency of transport; making sure we don’t have empty trucks on the road and educating our customers about less emissions-intensive options – such as line-haul rail.

Team Global Express is currently rolling out Australia’s largest electric truck fleet in partnership with ARENA, which will see 60 Battery Electric Vehicles on the road delivering parcels around Sydney. TGE has also recently announced a partnership with Aurizon to operate its containerised rail freight, which TGE believes will improve Australia’s rail freight capacity and choice for more greener options to deliver important freight across our country.

Team Global Express is a true intermodal provider, providing logistics solutions across rail, road, air, and sea. This provides TGE’s network with resilience in the face of supply chain challenges and increased instances of natural disasters – as TGE can work with customers to pivot to different modes of transport to deliver goods throughout Australia and New Zealand.

“The weather events of recent years have demonstrated how important both choice and capacity on major routes are, to ensure important freight, including food, can still be delivered at times of great need,” said Holgate.

The Sustainable Retailer of the Year award is just one of seven new categories in the pinnacle awards program for the retail industry, which have been running for more than 50 years. A total of 17 categories will be awarded at the presentation gala at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on October 18.

The National Retail Association represents more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.

Reducing transport emissions