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What does the NSW and QLD flooding mean for supply chains?

Delivery disruptions and stock shortages are expected to continue across NSW and QLD due to recent flooding, retail and logistics companies warn.

The flooding, which has seen over 18,000 people evacuated from their homes and many roads closed, will continue to wreak havoc on the area for some time to come.

The heavy rain has since eased, but the flood threat continues, with more people set to be evacuated from North-West NSW today.

The areas that have been largely affected are Sydney’s West, the Mid North Coast, the Northern Rivers and South East Queensland.

MHD outlines how the record flooding will impact supply chains.

ROAD AND RAIL

Substantial rainfall and sporadic flooding has seen a significant disruption to road and rail networks across NSW and Southern Queensland.

Toll has put in place contingency plans to ensure freight continues to move as smoothly as possible.

A spokesperson said some customers may experience delays to pickup and delivery services in Coffs Harbour, Forster, Grafton, Gosford, Lismore, Moree, Narrabri, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Taree and Warwick.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and the safety of our teams and the communities in which we operate remain our highest priority,” they said.

Rail services have been temporarily suspended due to track closures on North-South services – which link Melbourne to Brisbane and Sydney to Brisbane – as a result of the flooding.

“We are working with impacted customers who would love to move rail volumes to road services as the Pacific Highway currently remains open,” they said.

Floodwater has caused many road closures, including this road across the Hawkesbury River.

PARCEL AND POST

The extreme conditions have impacted the ability to transport mail and parcels through both air and road networks, Australia Post has said.

Delivery delays are occurring in both states due to local road closures, safety measures and access issues.

For a full list of affected postcodes and post office closures, click here.

ROAD CLOSURES

Motorists in affected areas have been advised to avoid non-essential travel.

There is currently no access to Queensland from NSW due to the New England Highway being closed due to floodwaters. The Newell Highway between Narrabri and the Queensland border, the Carnarvon Highway between Moree and the Queensland border and the Gwydir Highway, East of Moree at Biniguy is also closed.

In the South of NSW, Princes Highway is closed in Pambula at Mount Darragh Rd, the Snowy Mountains Highway is closed in both directions between Bemboka and Steeple Flat and the Illawarra Hwy is closed at Macquarie Pass as well as at Albion Park Rail.

The flooding is causing a significant amount of road closures.

At Singleton however, the Golden Highway has reopened between Range Rd and New England Hwy and Colo River Bridge in Colo is open to vehicles up to 15 tonnes.

For a full list of closures, click here.

RETAIL

Many supermarkets across affected regions have been closed and are experiencing stock shortages due to delivery disruptions.

All Coles stores are open and trading, except for Kempsey due to the evacuation order.

Woolworths has also closed its Kempsey store until further notice, with the Taree Supermarket operating with reduced hours.

Both supermarket giants said they were experiencing stock shortages due to the road and freight closures.

A Coles spokesperson said some products were in low supply or out of stock as a result.

“Our distribution centres are preparing replenishment orders for stores in affected areas, which will be despatched as soon as deliveries can be made safely,” they said.

Coles also completed an emergency food drop on March 23 with the NSW State Emergency Service to deliver supplies to their North Richmond supermarket, which delivery trucks couldn’t reach due to the flooding.

Hawkesbury Coles is receiving supplies via helicopter while flooding blocks road access.

The delivery included essentials such as bread, UHT milk, infant formula and baby food.

“We are continuing to work with state and federal governments to arrange further shipments of essential food and groceries until our trucks are able to recommence deliveries to the store,” the Coles spokesperson said.

Woolworths will see a reduced availability of fresh produce, specifically throughout the NSW Mid North coast and Far North Coast stores.
A Woolworths spokesperson said they had rearranged their delivery routes into the region, using safer routes due to the dangerous road conditions.

“Stock levels should continue to improve over the coming days with more deliveries on the way,” they said.

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