The Queensland Government's decision to extend the suspension of curfews on overnight deliveries to supermarkets and essential businesses has been welcomed by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
It was announced that curfews for late shift commercial vehicles accessing sites where curfews had been in place prior to changes in law to combat supply chain shortages impacted by COVID-19 have been extended until 31 October.
The extension, according to the ALC, provides certainty for freight operators and their customers, and will allow communities to more readily access the essential goods they need as situational awareness for the pandemic endures.
“ALC is pleased that the Queensland Government has acted to continue supporting the logistics sector and local communities as this pandemic continues,” ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said in a statement.
“Queensland was the first state to take action to suspend curfews in March this year, and today’s announcement is a further welcome display of leadership in this area," he said.
Although instances of panic buying witnessed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided according to Coningham, he said it is still essential that freight operators and retailers retain the flexibility they need to keep supply chains flowing so that they can meet demand patterns and consumer preferences that have been altered as a result of the COVID-19 experience.
“The increased demand for home delivery of essential items including groceries is likely to endure beyond COVID-19, so it’s vital that logistics operators and their customers have the capacity and operational flexibility they require to efficiently schedule deliveries and use the freight network to meet this growth in demand for delivery services,” he said.
“ALC reiterates its call for all state and territory governments to make the suspension of operational curfews on freight and logistics activities instituted in response to COVID-19 permanent, so that our supply chains can continue to deliver for Australian communities.
“This includes removing curfews on overnight deliveries to supermarkets and other retail premises, removing bans on heavy vehicles using particular routes, removing curfews on port operations and the removal of airport noise curfews that inhibit the movement of air freight.”