Assistant Minister for Freight Transport Scott Buchholz has thanked the transport sector for rising up and meeting the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Minister Buchholz urged Australians to stop panic buying, to stop hoarding food and supplies and to have confidence in the supply chain to deliver.
“I have absolute confidence in our supply chain to get this done. Our truck drivers, carriers and all of those across the supply chain are good at what they do. They are getting stock and supplies to shops all around Australia at this critical time.
“To put the demand task in perspective, we’ve heard from the big supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths’, that they have dealt with the equivalent of some three Christmas periods in this short time.
“It would usually take a number of months for these big grocers and stores to prepare for the Christmas rush, but working with the entire logistics and supply chain – they’ve managed to do that three fold over the last four weeks.
Minister Buchholz acknowledged and thanked those in the freight transport sector for their efforts in recent weeks.
“We have seen an enormous increase in demand. Supply is not the issue, demand is and we have witnessed the transport sector rise to the challenge, to ensure the supermarkets, grocers and stores of Australia have stock.
“I want to also thank the Australian Logistics Council and all of the peak bodies, for coming together at this time and working in the national interest.
“As Government, there have been common sense changes – with States moving on operating hours, to expedite freight and supplies.
“That is happening because of the hard work of our truck drivers, operators and all of those people involved across the supply chain,” Mr Buchholz said.
According to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, the freight and logistics industry accounts for approximately 8.6 per cent of GDP.
Mr Buchholz said the road freight sector is a large part of that and plays an integral role in the freight sector and economy.
“You cannot get freight from a train, ship or plane – without trucks. At this time, trucks are more important than ever in getting our supplies to where they need to go.
“Our freight task is already growing and the recent increase in demand has put great pressure not only on retailers but on the supply chain, and the road freight sector is rising to meet that and I thank them.