Stock delivery proves challenge for South East


Queensland businesses warned of continuing supply issues and limited transport options post floods

Stock delivery proves challenge for South East
Stock delivery proves challenge for South East
By Jayne Munday | January 13, 2011

Fast-emptying grocery shelves and a limited supply of fresh food across Queensland has sparked concerns over stock levels and potential supply issues in the coming months.

Grocery giant Woolworths has so far closed nine supermarkets in Ipswich and Brisbane, and two Big W’s due to power outages and staff shortages caused by flooding.

In addition, around 30 Dick Smith stores, 50 BWS stores and 10 petrol stations have been closed within the Group.

With bread, milk, eggs, meat, poultry and produce running low, Woolworths says the major challenge continues to be the delivery of stock throughout Queensland.

"We are working in conjunction with other major retailers and the Queensland Government on contingency measures to maintain supply of essential provisions to communities across the State by any means possible," Woolworths said in a company statement this week.

Mt Isa and Cloncurry will now be serviced via Adelaide and Tennant Creek, Weipa will be serviced by barge from Darwin.

All other stores to the north and west of Gympie are only receiving sporadic deliveries, while Woolworths assures the majority of Brisbane metro stores continue to receive daily deliveries.

However, coastal shipping options are limited given the closure of the Port of Brisbane, and many supplier production facilities in Queensland are also closed due to flooding, power outages and staff issues.

PRICE IMPACT

While a number of fruit and vegetable lines have been affected by flooding, the Queensland produce season has largely come to an end.

As a result, Woolworths does not expect there to be any broad impact on prices in the short term.

However, it remains concerned about the potential supply challenges in April/May when the Queensland season is due to recommence.

"In terms of general product pricing, Woolworths will not raise any prices to offset the increased freight costs resulting from the floods."

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