November and December is the busiest time of the year in Logistics. Businesses ramp up production in preparation for having inventory moved out by the Christmas break. Consumer purchases also increase as November cyber sales and Christmas shopping begins.
Since the COVID pandemic peaked in Australia in March, the demand in freight has been consistently at the same level that carriers see over November and December each year. Transport giant AusPost has seen a 170% growth in Victoria as well as an 80% growth nationally.
This sudden and consistent increase for freight services has put significant strain on the logistics industry. Usually, carriers have months to prepare leading into a peak freight period to ensure they have the workforce and facilities to handle this increase in demand, whilst also maintaining the service levels expected of them. In 2020, there was almost no notice at all. On top of this demand for services, Victorian depots have been instructed to decrease their workforce by 33% to adhere to operational restrictions put forward by the government.
Melbourne is home to the biggest container port in Australia which is a vital link to our National Supply Chain. As businesses rely heavily on the transport industry to navigate their products both nationally and internationally, freight and logistics services are recognized as essential to the Australian economy and will continue to trade under tighter restrictions.
During a press conference on Monday the 3rd of August, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that “significantly different conditions” would be introduced for essential services to adhere to strict guidelines whilst operating during Stage Four.