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How industry has responded to Qld floods

Freight task challenged but operators have pushed on


The north Queensland floods have damaged infrastructure and made the freight task increasingly difficult, but efforts have been made from authorities and operators to ensure essentials are delivered and communities serviced.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) also advises operators that TMR and Queensland Police have established a Flood Recovery Road Access Group (FRRAG) to manage emergency and disaster heavy vehicle access under the provision of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

A dedicated hotline (1300 105 647) and email address ( are operating to provide information and emergency access to freight consignors and heavy vehicle transport operators travelling in affected areas.

The hotline enables operators to access specific information on alternative routes they can use. They can apply for heavy vehicle emergency permits that cannot be provided through normal processes in affected areas, or when special access is required in cases of emergency.

Read QTA’s reminder to operators of their obligations to employees during floods, here

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads shared footage of trucks crossing the Haughton River Bridge with supplies for Townsville, noting it is inspecting and repairing roads as fast as possible to reopen damaged roads quickly and safely.

Some of the experiences of the transport companies have included:


Toll says it is continuing to work with supermarket retailers Woolworths and Coles to assist with delivering essential groceries to affected areas in North Queensland.

To mark a first for Toll, it worked alongside the RAAF, using C-17 military aircraft to support deliveries for its customers.

Goods were delivered to Amberley Air Force Base, and airlifted by the RAAF to Townsville Air Force Base, and were then met on arrival by Toll trucks to supply local supermarket stores.

Approximately 400 tonnes of essentials was transported under special emergency permit with police escort. The freight moved from Mackay and Bowen through to Townsville and Cairns. An urgent assessment of bridge and road infrastructure was conducted to ensure the safe passage of the convoy of 10 road trains on the revised routes.



Linfox’s new intermodal logistics network in north Queensland is using road, rail and sea transport to bypass flood-affected areas to replenish empty shelves in stores, it says.

An event control room has been setup at its Acacia Ridge rail terminal to ensure essential goods are delivered.

The new Linfox/Aurizon ‘hook and pull’ agreement sees Aurizon providing locomotive and rail corridor access to Linfox, which manages freight movements on behalf of its customers.

With the train line being cut north of Mackay, Linfox has mobilised available transport assets to ensure essential goods continue north via road and sea to the worst affected areas.

Mt Isa experienced extreme conditions with all major roads to the east closed due to flooding. In response, Linfox assigned a triple road train to deliver groceries from Adelaide to access Mt Isa from the west.

 “When weather events like these occur, you need to have multiple modes of transport seamlessly working together to ensure free flowing movement of goods” Linfox Intermodal general manager Glenn Ashton says.

“We have more than 100 trucks working in the flood zone to deliver goods to stores. We’re using inland routes to access far north Queensland, but it’s slow going due to the conditions on the roads. We’re also utilising a barge to haul customer freight from Mackay, to flood affected communities.”



Lindsay Australia shared its experience on social media.

“13 of our best drivers and 12 trucks call Emerald base home for 4 days until the waters subside enough to push on. The first batch of many to come,” it says.

“To all our friends and family up north braving the floods, to our farmers hanging on to a thread and patiently waiting for aid. We’re coming.

“Emerald staff members thank you for accommodating our drivers and making sure they get to their destination safely.

“This is a time where once again the elements test us, and again we come together and rebuild. Aussies, we’re strength in numbers.”



Blenners also took to social media to share the thanks its Townsville depot received for its efforts throughout the floods.

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