WRF warns on coronavirus impact on supply chains

Shipping quarantine efforts to flow on to road transport operations

WRF warns on coronavirus impact on supply chains
Matt Bronickis


Major supply chain disruptions are all but inevitable as measures are taken to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus through Australian ports, Western Roads Federation (WRF) says.

WRF director and WA Port Operations Task Force chair Matt Bronickis advises Australian ports and federal government have mandated that all vessels from China and with Chinese crew arriving before 14 days’ travel time will stand offshore before pilot boarding and eventual docking.

The Australian Department of Health is communicating with biosecurity and stevedores to enact all policies relevant to the containment of the coronavirus, Bronickis notes.

WRF points to flow-on effects to road transport operators:

  • potential delays of vessels arrivals and therefore delays of delivery to customers
  • delays on departing vessels for export markets
  • disruption in all facets of the transport and logistics supply chain due to potential depletion of stock due to a ‘Just in Time’ stock holding.

QTA is advising the Queensland government on trucking's coronavirus concerns

It comes as Ports Australia CEO Mike Gallacher notes he continues to liaise with industry and government on balancing productivity with protection of Australian borders and workers.

"There will always be a balancing act in these scenarios with the port sector to maintain the flow of the supply-chain which our nation would stop without.

"However, that doesn’t come without the focus of protecting our maritime workers, as well as Australia’s borders from threats like the Coronavirus.

"The concern of the Coronavirus does not undermine our ports’ constant focus on biosecurity but reinforces it, affirming how essential it is for an island nation which relies on trade and tourism.

"It’s vital we remember that while the industry should be proud of their persistent efforts over the last few weeks, vigilance will be key to keep operations running safely and smoothly." 


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