How the trucking industry is going to adapt to the new normal is going to be a test for everyone involved. There are immediate distribution and supply chain issues right now, and some of them are being solved quickly. It is easier to override curfews around late night supermarket deliveries than it is to try and stop the panic buying of some goods in the supermarket.
The issues which crop up in this time of crisis are going to be ones we have never faced before under conditions which are unprecedented. If there is one industry you can depend on when it comes to overcoming seemingly impossible problems in a crisis, it must be the trucking industry.
This is the way the industry has always acted. Problems arise and the diversity of the trucking industry will always come up with some solution or another. Over the past century or more there has been no shortage of fantastic ideas developed by people in the trucking industry to solve a problem, increase productivity and make stuff happen.
Our problem has always been that, as an industry, there has been a tendency to pass on all of the savings in cost and time to our customers and continue to run on tiny margins. Unfortunately, that trend is unlikely to be any different under the new normal, when it finally emerges after the worst of the current crisis has passed.
The trucking industry is made up of over 50,000 businesses, from the very biggest to the, many and varied, small one man shows. It is this very diversity, which is our strength. It gives us a massive pool of knowledge, motivated by a very competitive business environment.
It is this atmosphere which shows Australian ingenuity at its best. This is the kind of thing that makes me proud to have been part of the trucking industry for over forty years. It is the ability to get the job done against all of the odds which makes us so resilient.
The coming months are going to see the whole of society relying on this inbuilt resilience, on trucking’s ability to problem solve, when needed. So let’s work together and show Australia how important we are to whole of the country and prepare to adapt to the new normal when it emerges.