Shift to rail won't hurt truckies, Woolworths says

Woolworths says no truck drivers will be affected by its decision to use rail

By Ruza Zivkusic | May 13, 2011

No truck drivers will be affected by Woolworths decision to use rail to carry some 2000 tonnes of goods from Melbourne to Brisbane, the supermarket giant says.

Four years after Woolworths stopped using rail on the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane route, it is now considering going back to the measure due to a difficulty to find truck drivers, public relations manager Clare Buchanan says.

"We do not foresee any impact on driver jobs as a result," she says.

"Not all deliveries on that route will move to rail – some will remain on road. Melbourne to Brisbane is a challenging and therefore not particularly popular route and transport operators can often find it difficult to find drivers."

Buchanan says Woolworths’ transport providers are large enough to absorb the changes and find alternative roles for their drivers currently working on the route.

"This is something we have been discussing with our providers for several years to allow them plenty of opportunity to plan," she says.

Woolworths is expected to switch to rail sometime next year.

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