How the Australian warehousing & logistics industry took on COVID

A new COVID-19 and the Australian Industrial Workplace study has found that 1 in 5 in the Australian warehousing and logistics sector believe it will take two years or more to return to a pre-COVID level of normality.

The COVID-19 and the Australian Industrial Workplace survey conducted late this year shows 42 per cent or almost half of respondents hope for a return in 1 to 2 years, and 31 per cent between 6 months and a year.

Most of the sector respondents have COVID-19 response plans, but only half of them  conduct regular temperature measurements of employees as part of that plan. 67 per cent of those who measure temperatures only check these once a day, mainly through a thermal gun.

The survey finds that a COVID-19 outbreak would have either a significant or very significant impact on the operations of 81% of businesses. The provision of hand sanitiser/wipes, social distancing in the workplace and logging of visitors are the most implemented procedures to combat a potential COVID-19 outbreak amongst those surveyed.

“While we are lucky to have a smaller risk of COVID outbreaks in Australia at the moment, I believe there is a still a high risk to the warehousing and logistics sector with new products being delivered into your workplace every day from international sites. Its important to continue to protect your staff especially when you don’t know the safety steps that have been taken in other areas of the supply chain,” Clint Wolff, Managing Director, Innovative Security and Data said.

While warehouses and logistics companies expect the longest delay to a return to normal operations, the mining, construction, and medical services sectors expect to return to a ‘new normal’ fastest. This directly correlates to their investment level in technology to protect against COVID-19, with medical services the largest investor followed by mining, construction, and manufacturing.

More than half of the respondents indicated their workplaces have invested in technology to assist
against the pandemic, with temperature screening technologies, facial recognition temperature
screening technology the most common technologies followed by remote working/distance learning, robot/drone deliveries, and access control technology.

65 per cent of companies indicated that their workplace would be very likely to invest in facial recognition
temperature screening technology specifically to help prevent potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

“While businesses have been exploring advanced automated technology to increase access control, security
and safety of staff and assets, the COVID-19 pandemic escalated this investment as indeed it escalated
other forms of digital transformation,” said Nirovision’s CEO, Jimmy Lee.

“While the immediate impact of COVID is lessening, industrial businesses are keen to continue to protect
their operations as they do not have the option of remote working. It’s essential that we keep Australia
open for business not just through this pandemic but against second waves and other potential dangers,”
Jimmy said.

“This pandemic has resulted in greatly slowing down the supply chain and the next biggest
challenge to protecting your workforce is to boost morale and spirits. As we move in 2021 and ensure our
staff, workplaces and assets are secured, this is where we need to pay attention,” Clint said.

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