Operators must get 'aggressive', Lodehaul boss says


Lodehaul Chief Executive Rob McIntosh says trucking companies must "aggressively chase business"' to survive economic downturn

By Brad Gardner

Lodehaul Chief Executive and NatRoad President Rob McIntosh says trucking companies must "aggressively chase business" if they want to survive the economic downturn.

In his opening address to delegates at this year’s NatRoad conference, McIntosh urged operators to "get on the front foot", saying they cannot sit back and moan about current conditions.

"I don’t think any of us have a choice in this matter," he says.

McIntosh referred to Linfox’s $2 billion deal with National Foods as an example of how businesses can still secure lucrative work despite a drop in demand for services.

However, he also sympathised with the 87 sub-contractors who will lose their jobs once Linfox takes over the contract, saying they had done everything required of them but will still be out of work.

"Some of those operators must be really hurting now and wondering what happened," he says.

During his speech, McIntosh told the audience of the "shock" a business suffers when it is impacted by a declining economy, adding that the problem is exacerbated by the costs of compliance and regulation.

McIntosh also used his address to cite the increased influence of NatRoad on the political landscape, saying the group’s growing network of operators across Australia has given it "a true voice" for members on government policy and regulation.

NSW Minister for Roads Michael Daley who spoke at the conference also praised the group, which last year merged with the Australian Road Train Association (ARTA).

"It is a body I have always welcomed coming through my door," he says.

"This is not an organisation about whinging or grandstanding."

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