During this ongoing coronavirus crisis, the population of Australia is being reminded every day that trucking is an essential service. In times like this people start to feel insecure and worry about even the most basic things in life, like buying food and toilet rolls.
The panic buying which has happened in the last few weeks and its consequent empty shelves in supermarkets reminds the general public that there is such a thing as a supply chain and the most obvious link in that chain is the truck and the truck driver. Suddenly, they are an important cog in the running of a civilised society.
What the trucking industry needs is for the general public to hold that thought, not just for the duration of this crisis, but in the longer term. When everything is returned to some semblance of a calm and ordered society, the trucking industry will still be an irreplaceable cog in the system, an essential service.
This video from the Deputy Prime Minister, who also happens to be the minister responsible for the trucking industry, is the kind of thing the industry needs on an ongoing basis, a reinforcement of the important work being done behind the scenes, telling people trucking is an essential service.
It will be important for everyone involved in the trucking industry to keep on hitting this button all of the time the trucking industry is close to the front of mind of people who, in normal times, don’t pay any attention to how goods arrive on their supermarket shelves.
Now is the opportunity for trucking to become regarded as an essential service and not a hindrance to people getting to work in the morning, not an industry blowing black smoke out of exhaust stacks.
The situation in the world at the moment is the reason that people are thinking more about the vital part trucking plays in everyone’s daily life. It is not something people have decided to publicise, it is a natural reaction to the current situation.
This does not mean the trucking industry shouldn’t take advantage of the situation and use this heightened awareness of our role as an essential service to get our stories out there, go beyond the stereotyping of shows like Outback Truckers. Now is a golden opportunity get the image of trucking back into the place it should be, an industry which is an essential service, an industry which is bold and innovative and something we should be proud of.