With the amount of small family companies selling up over the last few months in New South Wales regional areas (I am sure not if other states have been a similar amount) what is going to happen to the rural transport industry?
We need to think about what is going to replace these companies. Because instead of selling as a business, or having family taking over, these family companies have now been broken up and sold by auction.
Yes of course it’s everybody’s option to do as they progress into in retirement. But it leaves these country towns without a carrier, and it leaves their employees without a job and the income not coming into the region.
Unless some young entrepreneurs decide to either expand the businesses or become owner-operators, who is going to fill this gap?
There is not a lot of young people coming into the industry or expanding into small to medium trucking companies now so what is the solution, going to be?
If the freight task is going to grow as predicted and the population continues to grow, something is going to have to fill this gap.
Rail may take some of the overflow, but it is an unrealistic point of view to expect to replace the trucking companies. So where do we go from here?
We cannot expect the big national multinational companies to fill the gap because it is not a realistic option for them to service the country in regional areas.
What does it mean for the people that live in these us communities? I certainly do not have the answer.
But certainly, the Transport Women Australia Limited vice chair Coralie Chapman and I have spoken about it, and we are genuinely concerned about what happens next.
Does someone have a solution to this problem? Is it about new trucking companies or subcontractors for the big end of town?
It needs to be competitive so that the rural and regional consumers have realistic freight rates.
I do not have the answer to the question but having come from an outback town and spent the first half of my life in regional rule Australia, I am watching with interest.
On a happier note, Transport Women Australia Limited has been having International Women’s Day functions and had the first amazing event in Melbourne with a fabulous panel of three incredible women, Dr Benish Chaudhry, Louise Iozzi and Ruza Zivkusic.
We will news on the other others in the next column. We also have upcoming school and trade events prior to our conference in Melbourne in June. We are really looking forward to that after being locked up for so much of the past two years.
We also look forward to entering several of our members into the ATA awards.
We are hoping to see some of our members take away the gongs at the Women in Industry Awards in April. This is what it is all about, recognition of the people who are working so hard for our industry and the role models that need to be showcased so that can attract more people to the industry.