Opinion

Moving from a constant state of crisis to confidence

It’s no exaggeration to say the last three years have been a rolling crisis for Australia’s supply chains. Trucking and logistics operators have battled a global pandemic, state border closures, bushfires, floods, road closures, staff shortages and rising costs. 

The big question is, how do we move from crisis to confidence? We’re going to tackle this very big question at the upcoming Trucking Australia conference, with key plenary sessions on how we leverage the supply chain crisis and how we reset the relationship between governments and industry. 

We’re putting together an expert panel for an interactive discussion which looks at the supply chain crisis and how we can leverage it. 

Let me explain the concept of leverage in this context. Of course, the supply chain situation has taken an enormous toll on our industry.

One of the few good things about it is that it’s shown the average Australian just how vulnerable our supply chain really is.

The shock of empty supermarket shelves has certainly brought that reality home to people who’d never really thought about the work needed to deliver the supplies to stock those shelves.

Another interesting thing that’s come out of the supply chain crisis is that the trucking industry has been widely praised for how it’s kept on delivering for Australia, no matter what is thrown at it. 

For example, the media widely covered the truck drivers who travelled an extra 1650km each way to deliver food when floods cut off the usual route from South Australia to the Northern Territory. 

We could also argue that before the events of the past three years, governments often ignored our priorities. Trucking productivity was declining well before we were dealing with a global pandemic. 

However, there’s been a shift. We lobbied the government strongly when the AdBlue shortage turned into a looming crisis, prompting the government to boost domestic production. 

We need to build on this momentum. If government is listening to us, let’s renew the focus on boosting safety, fixing the infrastructure gap, lifting productivity and preparing for future technology. 

The ATA will set out these key policy priorities and our industry-led proposal for fixing the national truck laws. These provide the blueprint that the government simply has to follow to achieve very real results. 

This policy blueprint will be bold – we have already announced our position that the Australian government should take control and responsibility for our national highways. This must include a national rest area plan to actually fund and fix the lack of rest areas. 

We also want to hear from you. Trucking Australia 2022 will flip the script in our brand new session, Trucking Conversations, where there will be no speeches, no presentations, no sitting listening to speakers on a stage. This innovative, interactive session will about hearing from industry and giving you the time to have your say and share your expertise. 

If you want to be part of this discussion, I strongly recommend you take a seat at the table at the Trucking Australia conference and be part of trucking’s future on May 4-6, 2022 on the Gold Coast. 

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