Bushfires and Their Impact on Australian Businesses

The Effect of the 2019 Australian Bushfires on the Logistics and Transport Industry Coast 2 Coast Logistics have been doing some exciting things with Masters students at the University of Wollongong. This is a summary of the research done by these students on how the 2019 bushfires effected the logistics industry during this time. The students covered aspects such as global disruptions, integration of global supply chains, resilience strategies, customer relationships, and disaster management from a logistics perspective.

Success of Supply Chains
Three factors determining the success of supply chains during adverse conditions are agility, adaptability, and strong networks. Revenue management, and flexible transportation is also essential for business success. There is always a challenge for organisations to adopt suitable supply chain strategies in order to cope with the risk of supply disruption. This is particularly so in in times of natural disaster.

Australia’s main cities are located over the coast and this is where 80% of Australians reside. In the last quarter of 2019 wild bushfires in Australia spread due to hot weather and dryness throughout the nation. Besides loss of homes and business premises, there were many road closures on major highways and hub warehouse congestions to these major areas.

Supply and Demand
Between 2006 and 2016 the domestic freight market grew by 50%. Unprecedented growth has also seen a rise in demand globally for Australian products. Given the extreme climate and events such as bushfire and drought in Australia, major cities and the agricultural industry face huge challenges.

Assistance for Businesses
During the bushfires people sought help from the government, however, government did not provide alternative plans for residents and advice as to how business owners could live without their revenue from business. This has seen a need for more risk analysis planning and financial backup for businesses.

Redistribution of Goods
During the bushfires, a lot of cargo was held in hub warehouse until they could redistribute owning to grounded flights and closures of roads. Shipment delays would be anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks depending on the shipment destination. A negative outcome was the increase in costs to freight goods.

C2C negotiated costings on behalf of their customers resulting from delays in shipment, storage fees etc. The bushfires highlighted a poor infrastructure in roads which led to bottlenecks and major road congestion at these times. There were few alternative roads that could be used to transport goods. People would often combine goods in their orders to save on transport costs. The fires highlight the weakness in capacity to cope with risk disruption.

C2C realise that supply chain management is all about being agile as well as flexible. Confidentiality, networking, the ability to build strong working relationships, and communication with both providers and local customers is essential. We have face to face interaction without our customers around once every 4-6 weeks. We provide updates via weekly emails and updates to our website monthly.

C2C Logistics are here to support local businesses with International Trade. We are recognised experts in the logistics industry and ready to help – no matter what the unforeseen circumstances. Contact us to find out how we can assist your business in navigating through the devastating impact of the bushfires.