Companies highlight virus-spurred business continuity efforts

Focus on employee guidelines and safe work strategies to reassure all involved

Companies highlight virus-spurred business continuity efforts
Followmont CEO and MD Mark Tobin


Transport and logistics companies are increasingly moving to make plain their preparedness in the face of coronavirus Covid-19 to all who need to know.

With Tasman Logistics Services offering its in-house ‘pandemic business contingency plan’ to anyone looking for such a template, fellow firms have developed messages and structures in a bid to calm any marketplace concerns.


"Followmont Transport is taking to ensure our staff remain safe, and that we maintain reliable service for all of our customers," the Queensland-headquartered company’s CEO and MD, Mark Tobin, says in a message.

"By taking clear and decisive steps to prepare for the spread of Covid-19, we are confident that we will do our part to help mitigate the impact and disruption to our customers.

"Our Senior Leadership Team is monitoring the developing situation on a daily basis and will ensure our response is timely and proportionate to the level of spread and impact."

The steps taken so far include:

  • the temporary appointment of a dedicated Coronavirus Response Coordinator, reporting directly to the Managing Director
  • providing our staff with regular communication and updates designed to limit spread of the virus
  • creating a culture of infection control through raised awareness and support around personal hygiene
  • acceleration of our annual program of influenza vaccinations to increase take-up. "Whilst this won’t impact Covid -19, it will provide protection against more common strains of the flu," it says
  • identifying and equipping key staff to be able to work from home as required
  • establishing contingency plans to maintain service delivery during times of significant and sustained absenteeism
  • introducing restrictions on work related travel with all travel requiring MD approval. Providing employees with the latest Government guidance on travel overseas
  • optimising the use of internal technology for team meetings
  • developing business continuity plans in the event that some locations are forced to close down completely
  • adapting to customer service process change requests wherever practical to do so.

"Customer service is our primary company value and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure continuity of service to our customers," Tobin says.

"We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves and please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Services Team or myself directly should you have any questions."


On the other side of the country, intermodal T&L firm Sadleirs publicises its plans for business continuity to domestic and international customers.

Domestically, it states remote staff operations are able to continue its services in the event of a partial or total office disruption and all staff are updated daily on developments while following health department and government guidelines.

Read about Tasman Logistics Services business contingency plan, here

Sadleirs employees and contractors have been instructed to:

  • postpone international and domestic business travel effective immediately. Personal domestic travel may continue subject to further Government restrictions
  • avoid conferences and conventions
  • where possible, eliminate face-to-face meetings in favour of Skype, Facetime or teleconference etc
  • limit the numbers of attendees in meetings with a 1 metre space between each person
  • ensure employees suffering from illness are to work from home or take leave
  • eliminate non-essential visits to Sadleirs sites
  • ensure deliveries to site, where possible, are processed with drivers to remain in vehicles and we unload without their assistance
  • segregate groups of employees to respective workplace locations and only work in those areas;
  • ensure all employees who self-quarantine undertake and provide a fitness for work before returning to work.

"Whilst their local preparedness and government direction may vary we are confident that the communication channels are open and all freight planning and processes are currently continuing," the company says of overseas operations.

"As you can understand, due to the unprecedented worldwide situation and individual countries approach to combating Coronavirus, International freight schedules and services have been greatly reduced, altered and affected."


In Victoria and like other firms, Wettenhalls says it is following World Health Organisation and Department of Health advice.

Similarly, its staff is asked to take precautions including:

  • washing hands with soap and water plus using hand sanitiser, especially after using publically accessible facilities such as public restrooms, service stations and rest areas
  • practicing respiratory hygiene when coughing and sneezing, using flexed elbow or tissue paper and disposing of the latter in relevant enclosed receptacles
  • drivers maintaining a social distance at company and other facilities
  • avoiding the touching of faces to block that possible virus vector
  • requesting employees avoid mass gatherings
  • urging employees  to use company or other flu vaccine programs, particularly those in open-plan offices.

Wettenhalls is also implementing policies for employees and contractors who may have travelled in high-risk countries – mainland China, Iran, South Korea and Italy – urging them to avoid its premises for at least two week after returning.

"Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns as we strive to minimise risk, continue to put food on the shelves and maintain supply chains for our valued customers throughout this difficult time," director Martin Kelly says.


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