Visy acts on Adelaide truck queue

By: Steve Skinner

Timeslots introduced at paper reels distribution centre in a move welcomed by National Transport Commission chief.

Visy acts on Adelaide truck queue
Flashback to November last year: Long wait and shuffle nearly over – on standby at the head of the Visy Gepps Cross Monday morning queue.

Australian paper and cardboard giant Visy has introduced timeslots for deliveries of paper reels to its Gepps Cross distribution centre in Adelaide’s industrial north.

The move follows the revelation by Owner//Driver late last year that long-distance truck drivers had to queue for hours to unload on Monday mornings.

There was no system to tell drivers when it was their turn to be unloaded, in a queue-shuffling process which appeared to thumb its nose at the chain of responsibility on fatigue. Owner//Driver witnessed one truckie push in line ahead of another who was sleeping.

In a statement at the time Visy said: "During site operating hours, vehicles are co-ordinated through the site in a manner and at a pace that is in accordance with Visy’s OHS&E policies."

The company also said: "Recognising our role within the context of the Chain of Responsibility and in order to facilitate improved driver and vendor practices, Visy has recently re-engineered and re-aligned its entire national subcontractor network."

Visy will not comment to Owner//Driver about the more recent timeslots development, nor will the South Australian transport department or SA Police; and Owner//Driver has not been able to re-visit the Gepps Cross facility.

However, trucking sources have confirmed that timeslots have been introduced, across the whole week.

National Transport Commission (NTC) CEO and commissioner Paul Retter welcomes the move.

"Most distribution centre type businesses have gone down the road of timeslots and management regimes," he says.

"It is the most efficient and effective way of dealing with a large and complex process of loading and unloading vehicles, and to be honest they wouldn’t be the first company in the world that’s introduced it, so I suspect they’ve worked out what best practice might be.

"The law is pretty clear in terms of responsibilities for providing appropriate mechanisms for drivers to take rest when there is a delay in loading and unloading. I think your article clearly laid that out.

"I suspect your article has raised their (Visy’s) profile in the minds of those that need to look at compliance and enforcement with the law and I will say no more than that."

Neither the SA transport department nor SA Police would comment on whether there any chain of responsibility investigations involving Visy.

However the transport department has previously told Owner//Driver: "DPTI is working with the management of Visy Board Pty Ltd to ensure the company’s responsibilities as a party in the chain of responsibility under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (SA) Act are being met."

Check out the full interview with Paul Retter on chain of responsibility in the February issue of Owner//Driver. Secure your copy now.

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