Nearly two weeks on following cyclone Gabrielle, the adrenaline of the event is wearing off and reality is starting to set in.
For those in the trucking industry, that reality is ranging from “I’ve just lost my entire yard, 30 vehicles and life’s work” through to dealing with major detours on delivery runs.
This week I’ve heard from a lot of members on the toll detours are taking. One run from Auckland to Napier involves a 255km extra distance each way, so over 500km extra distance. The closure of the Mangawhai-Waipu detour for truck and trailers (which had to happen for safety reasons) makes for a 120km detour over SH12 and SH14 for the Auckland to Whangarei run.
Too many members are telling me that when they point out to customers all this extra distance means rates have to go up, they get a “I don’t care” or “that’s your problem, not mine” short-shrift response. National emergencies are everyone’s problem. When people’s livelihoods have been washed away and thousands of kilometres of road network closed, the whole country suffers. As transport operators, it is completely reasonable to remind your customers that the extra fuel, time, drivers and maintenance cannot be absorbed. This is not business as usual, it is an emergency. And the extra cost to transport unfortunately must be passed on to consumers. This happened after the Kaikoura slip, and it's happening in response to Cyclone Gabrielle.
At NRC we champion health and safety, and risk management good practice. That means working together – from operations dispatch to the driver on the spot. On the scene assessments of weather and road conditions often need to be made by the driver. Goods may be already late and more expensive, but driver welfare trumps all. We support our members in their right to have the difficult health and safety and cost conversations with customers.
Remember – we are all in this together.
If you need any help please give us a call – 0800 686 777.
National Road Carriers Assn
‘Supporting those who choose to make a living in the Road Transport Industry’ since 1936'