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Freight delays expected from border closure – but no need to panic buy

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The wheels keep on turning, with the trucking industry exempt from the New South Wales-Victoria border closure.

The wheels keep on turning, with the trucking industry exempt from the New South Wales-Victoria border closure.

Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire said it's a sign that all levels of government realise the importance of keeping freight moving amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's over 4000 trucks a day travel up the Hume Highway. This is the most significant freight route in Australia and if that is blocked anywhere that has a major impact on all aspects of society," Mr Maguire said.

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But the industry is prepared for the border checkpoints to cause major travel delays from midnight.

"We'd ask all the drivers of small vehicles to respect the heavy vehicle drivers and understand that they all have a job to do," Mr Maguire said.

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The industry also fears a strain on the health of truck drivers.

"The quicker we can get them through that border control, the more they'll be able to manage their fatigue and their rest hours," Mr Maguire said.

READ MORE: No police at border despite lockdown

The exemption also means consumers won't need to worry about access to goods, prompting a reminder to resist the urge to "panic buy".

"Trucking has always had the capability and the innovation to make sure that shelves are full, we just need the consumer to stay calm and act responsibly also," Mr Maguire said.

The Australian Trucking Association said while the pandemic has taken its toll on different segments of the trucking industry, like retail and aviation fuel, other segments remain busy.

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But all of those working in what is considered an essential service, are looking forward to day-to-day operations "returning to normal".

"There is no doubt that there is a lot of stress on the road right now and we want to see this end as quickly as possible," Mr Maguire said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-nsw-victoria-border-closure-trucking-industry-freight-delays-expected/4ca23933-af02-4431-9905-b7ea8d737542

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