Welcome to PowerTorque for a New Year, one which we all hope will be a less stressful than 2020, but we all know we are still living in uncertain times and that the challenges of 2021 are going to be hard enough to create new difficulties for our industry to surmount.
When living in uncertain times, it is always important to keep some perspective, and not lose sight of those core truths on which the trucking industry in Australia is based. The trucking industry is a vital pillar of the country’s economy, one which has to perform up to its full potential for us to lift Australia out of the post-pandemic period.
Luckily for all of us, the trucking industry does have a clear idea of what it needs to do and how to do it. For many in the trucking industry there is a clear duty to keep freight moving, to keep the wheels of industry turning and to ensure the distribution of the basic supplies on which the population depends.
The events of 2020 saw a new pragmatism on the part of government when dealing with our industry. Curfews which hindered the efficient distribution of goods in the food chain were set aside to allow supermarkets to remain fully stocked.
Unsurprisingly, when the curfews were no longer in force, the sky did not fall in and the level of danger or inconvenience to the local citizenry was minimal.
In fact, talking about safety concerns, we should be able to expect the road toll around trucks to have diminished in 2020, simply because, during the various lockdowns and with many working from home, the number of cars on the road was much lower.
The need for social distancing was a problem at the beginning, but the smart solutions to enable the trucking industry to function without a lot of the face to face contact needed in the past, is likely to remain in place as a more efficient way to run facilities like DCs.
The crisis has forced many in the industry to rethink their processes and come up with better, safer and more efficient solutions. Many of these will become normal and probably be built upon the give us even more productivity gains.
The various state border closures throughout last year, and continuing into this year after the latest Covid outbreaks, highlighted the need for a new perspective around truck drivers and the kind of information and testing which is needed to keep the distribution lanes open, even when everything is shutting down.
Yes, we are living in uncertain times, but there is one thing of which you can be certain, the trucking industry will deliver.