Linfox at the ready, while Blenners, NQX battle floods

Floods in Queensland have left trucks stranded, but Linfox says it will use all resources to get freight moving again

Linfox at the ready, while Blenners, NQX battle floods
Linfox at the ready, while Blenners, NQX battle floods
By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | January 29, 2013

Trucks have been stranded throughout Queensland, as wild weather grips the state and shuts off vital freight routes.

Blenners Transport Assistant Manager Brett Peace says a number of company trucks are stranded with loads of bananas across Queensland, and it will take up to two days for freight to be delivered to the eastern coast.

"We have 20 trucks in Brisbane that can’t get out at the moment but most of our customers have been pretty good and understanding," Peace says.

NQX Freight System Branch Manager Jason Ramsay in Bundaberg, which has been the scene of severe flooding, says most of the firm’s B-doubles have been at a standstill since Friday last week.

However, Ramsay says the company has drawn upon the experience of coping with the floods that destroyed large parts of Queensland’s road network in 2011.

"It’s about being prepared. We don’t send out blokes anymore when it’s a bit risky, we keep them at home," he says.

"We keep the communication flowing to the customers, so it’s about better communication and being better equipped to understand the impacts. Certainly there’s a big challenge out there but we’re focusing on our costs and just ensure we provide a great service to the customer."

Like other operators, Linfox is also feeling the effects of the floods, which have inundated homes and businesses in the south-east and northern parts of Queensland.

However, Linfox spokesman Gary Max says the company will use all of its resources to help deliver freight once roads reopen.

"One of the biggest effects this time around is there’s quite a few places that have lost power because there’s quite a lot of wind and fallen trees," Max says.

"We are working very hard to provide whatever service we can to our customers but it’s obviously limited in many respects.

"We know we are going to have more demand than we normally do because places are going to be short of stock in the coming weeks so we will have to make every piece of equipment available that we can."

Flooding is also affecting parts of northern New South Wales.

"Some of our operators are saying that they’re operating at about 75 percent capacity," Australian Trucking Association NSW (ATA NSW) Manager Jodie Broadbent says.

"The key lesson from the last storm two years ago is that we do what the authorities say, even if it means that customers need to wait for freight."

Meanwhile, BP says the floods have had little consequence on the sale and delivery of diesel.

Though there has been minor disruption and diversions due to some impassable roads, the fuel supplier believes the worst is over weather-wise.

A spokesman for the group says BP has advised its drivers to take no risks if roads are unsafe.

There has been no major damage to BP facilities, the spokesman adds.

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