Logistics News

Scurrah says cost pressures are inhibiting transport industry

The PacNat chief executive says his company is working hard to keep its driver levels intact

Pacific National says the current freight and logistics industry is struggling to recover costs and maintain skilled workers in the sector.

Speaking to the ABC’s Kathryn Robinson on The Business, PacNat chief executive Paul Scurrah says recent problems caused by the COVID pandemic and border closures is still having an impact on the freight industry.

“Currently we’re seeing an enduring issue regarding worker shortages while we also lose workers to COVID or close contact rules and it’s having a pretty big impact on industry,” Scurrah says.

“With issues such as the lockdown in China seeing imports drop, there’ll be some tough times going forward. There’s a lot of cost pressures on our supply chain right now and it’s being felt by everybody.”

To follow this cost-of-living squeeze, Scurrah says PacNat has continued its temporary COVID levy and seen costs of business increase to recover skyrocketing prices.

As the company anticipates losing 20 per cent of its drivers in the coming years, Scurrah says PacNat will have to work hard to maintain driver stocks and pay them appropriately.

“With a low unemployment rate it’s been difficult to get new drivers in so we’re keen to see migration pick up again so we can see the unemployment rate go to an acceptable level,” Scurrah says.


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“We don’t want people stealing each other’s train drivers as it isn’t beneficial to the industry overall.”

PacNat says it will continue working with customers to ensure the increased costs are dispersed accordingly throughout the supply chain.

While Scurrah says his business will continue to play a leading role in intermodal services, he also urges the new federal government to complete the Inland Rail project.

“We know rail is 16 times more carbon efficient than road yet rail funding is so hard to get in this country,” Scurrah says.

“We’re proud of the role we’re playing and our investments in Acacia Ridge.

“We know we’ll form a necessary part of the government’s supply chain and have invested ahead of the curve to ensure we’re there with changes in intermodal freight.”

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