Prime Mover Magazine

Confidence on the rise for essential road transport: Hino boss

The road transport sector at present, especially businesses involved in delivering general freight and essential supplies, was still rich with opportunities according to Hino Australia General Manager of Brand and Franchise Development Bill Gillespie.

Gillespie who sat down for a recent interview on Hino's website said the transport industry was needed more than ever in Australia.

"I think people should remain confident over the next three to four months and use this opportunity if you are quiet to future plan," he said.

"The overall transport industry will be tested but I feel we will come out stronger in the long term."

Although many businesses in the industry were facing challenging times Gillespie also recognised that some were largely unaffected.

"If anything, many are going through massive growth, as freight and logistics are doing well especially in the online and home delivery sector," he said.

"If online retail supported around 10 per cent of freight and logistics in Australia before this pandemic, who knows what this figure will be sitting at after this ends," said Gillespie.

Comparisons between the current economic climate and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) over the 2007-2008 period were apt where warranted, but the scale of the COVID-19 crisis was in large part unprecedented across all industry.

Businesses during the GFC that had liquidity concerns could keep going if they could find backers during the GFC according to Gillespie.

"With this current COVID-19 situation, it is impossible to know what the future holds for the Australian market, with current forecasts very uncertain. We regularly use the term unprecedented, and for Hino as a business we currently work on plans day-by-day and stay reactive to any changes or advice that is announced," he said.

"I feel each business will respond in their own way, but as long as they are adaptable and respond to the advice given in the best way possible, it’s all you can do," said Gillespie.

For small businesses looking for support, the Instant Asset Write-Off threshold announced by the Federal Government would help inject finance into the economy and bolster much-needed capital investment.

"The threshold has increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expands to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million per annum. I see this as a good step from the Government with future planning in mind, as it can really help not just now but in years to come," he said.

Gillespie acknowledged some of the new incentives were difficult, given the fast-changing environment, to understand especially for small business owners and those that were time poor and recommended they seek advice from an accountant or tax agent to take best advantage of the initiatives.

"There’s a lot of money being put into the local economy that needs to go to the right people and businesses," he said.

For Hino customers who were experiencing more downtime than usual he suggested the time was right to ensure their service intervals were up to date.

"Also, as I’ve said earlier, take advantage of the Instant Asset Write-Off threshold and buy a truck or operational equipment you have needed. Above all I’d recommend keeping vigilant with your health and safety and ensure you maintain social distancing when going outdoors or visiting customers. Your health is the most important thing to your business, so always follow the governments advice," Gillespie said.

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