Testing waits halting supply chain

testing FTA

Industry bodies have called on governments to make rapid antigen tests available for the logistics sector, after some transport companies reported up to half of their staff are unable to work.

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA), the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) and the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) have noted instances whereby members (including freight forwarders, warehouse and depot operators) have received alerts from health regulators regarding people who have checked in at their premises testing positive.

Industry says many members are facing the predicament of having significant numbers of staff in isolation requiring tests to determine if they are safe to return to work.

Arthur Tzaneros, CEO of Australian Container Freight Services (ACFS), one of the largest trucking companies for the country’s major ports and whose clients include Coles, Aldi, Kmart and Bunnings, says there had been a 25-50 per cent shortage of drivers across the east coast during the past two weeks.

The FTA hopes the genuine threat of grocery store shelves being empty will prompt faster resolution.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine told Business Insider Australia that if the Morrison government doesn’t make rapid antigen tests free and widely available, Australia’s supply chain can be expected to buckle.

“Supply chains are starting to grind to a halt because of the virus. Now, these RATs are needed to clearly manage the spread of the virus because we need transport supply chains to be safe,” he said.

“And for so long as free and readily available testing isn’t there, then we’re going to continue to maximise the spread of the virus.”

Transport companies are reporting up to 50 per cent of their workers are being forced off the job because they can’t access tests.

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