Road transport can be relied on during Covid-19 crisis

  • 19 Mar 2020

News release

18 March 2020

Road transport can be relied on during Covid-19 crisis

Road transport companies have activated contingency plans and can be relied on to keep delivering essential supplies during the Covid-19 crisis says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) chief executive David Aitken.

“On behalf of the road transport industry we want to reassure New Zealanders that road transport companies will keep operating as Covid-19 moves through its phases,” said Mr Aitken, whose organisation represents 1,800 road transport companies collectively operating 16,000 trucks throughout New Zealand.

Mr Aitken said the key message for New Zealanders is to stay calm when it comes to supplies because:

  • New Zealand transport companies are resilient and have responded quickly and responsibly to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. They are well-run by capable businesspeople and managers and staffed with experienced drivers.
  • The road transport sector stood up and shone during previous crises, like the Kaikoura, Christchurch earthquakes, to ensure communities get essential supplies.
  • We are confident the Government and banks recognise the road transport sector is an essential industry and will provide any support our businesses need to keep operating in order to keep supplies moving.
  • China and Italy have shown that essential goods can continue to be delivered even in the worst affected areas.
  • We expect the supply chain (road, rail, sea and air) will continue to function and keep stocks suppled.

Mr Aitken said the Wuhan experience, where the Chinese city first affected by the disease is now starting to lift restrictions and slowly return to normal, indicates the Covid-19 epidemic will pass in due course and maintaining transport services is essential to help with the recovery.

“No one knows how long the Covid-19 epidemic will last or where it will lead. We are told it will pass at some stage, hopefully, sooner rather than later,” said Mr Aitken.

“The trucking industry will play a vital role in delivering essential supplies for New Zealanders as the pandemic progresses through the expected phases and as business and social life returns to normal.”

National Road Carriers Association (NRC) is New Zealand’s progressive nationwide organisation representing road transport companies. It represents 1800 members, who collectively operate 16,000 trucks throughout New Zealand. NRC supports its members with legal, financial, employment relations, health & safety, workplace relations, business and environmental advice. It advocates on behalf of members and works with Central and Local Government on road transport infrastructure and regulations. NRC is a member of the Road Transport Forum.

For more information please contact:

David Aitken, CEO, National Road Carriers, Phone (09) 6222 429, Mobile 021 771 911, david.aitken@natroad.co.nz

Tim Marshall, Wright Communications, Mobile 021 902 850, tim@wrightcommunications.co.nz

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