How Has Covid-19 Affected General Road Freight In Australia?
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, general road freight has been considered an essential service, but it’s not been immune to it’s affects…
Amid business closures, ever-changing restrictions, and permit requirements, the industry has continued to operate through varying levels of lockdown across Australia.
It’s worked under laws restricting people’s movements and seen the forced closure of some non-essential businesses it relies upon. All these things inevitably impact the road freight industry.
Read on to discover how Covid-19 has affected general road freight In Australia.
Restrictions and border controls:
The level of restrictions vary from state to state, but in general, every business that remains open must create a COVID Safety plan. These plans have unavoidably slowed freight services as extra security checks, hygiene and social distancing measures must be followed.
In some states such as Victoria and Queensland, road freight workers must obtain an essential worker permit from their employer to perform their work and cross state borders. And although road freight is seen as essential, they are not exempt from certain requirements. This has caused confusion and frustration at borders as huge delays have been experienced.
Road freight services have always been important in Australia, but recently, demand for groceries and other goods increased to 40% during lockdown in Melbourne. And with limits imposed on warehousing and distribution centre staffing, the freight industry is finding it difficult to meet delivery requirements.
The general road freight supply chain has been affected as containers remain at post, unable to be released to exporters or importers. The Freight & Trade Alliance reported an estimated 300,000 containers will build up at wharves and stop goods being unpacked or delivered.
These issues result in grocery, food and product shortages in the supply chain and empty shelves at supermarkets.
Services such as truck stops and roadhouses were initially closed making it hard for long-distance freight to operate. However, with their COVID safe plans they are now free to open. Other services that are essential to road freight operations include:
- Warehousing and storage facilities
- Distribution centres
- Heavy vehicle repair and parts services
- Manufacturing and truck maintenance
COVID-19 has affected each of these businesses in some way. Whether through closure, stock or staff shortages or service delays, and all have an effect on road freight services in Australia.
Road freight workers travel within and between hotspots, therefore in some states, mandatory Covid-19 testing is in place. These are quite restrictive and affect the rostering and flexibility of freight services. The Australia Trucking Association has detailed information about Covid-19 testing requirements for each state.
General road freight is an essential service and continues to operate successfully throughout the pandemic. But, as with so many other industries, it’s been affected by everchanging restrictions, border closures, supply chain problems and business shutdowns.
Need General Road Freight Service?
Do you need a Brisbane based road freight company to transport your goods within Queensland and Northern NSW? Get in touch with our friendly team here at Cannon Logistics.