Natural Disasters in Australia Pose Logistics Challenges (Page 2)

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Irene contacted major distribution centres in the area – Woolworths, Coles and Metcash – and arranged for Loscam customers to directly collect the pallets they needed from those key distribution centres
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“Our big distribution centres traditionally end up with a lot of empty pallets that are then brought back to our yard at Rocklea,” explains Irene.

“But during the floods they couldn’t bring them back to our yard to de-hire because we couldn’t get into the yard. Instead, those distribution centres gave pallets they had stored on site to other customers who needed them. In some cases we organised for trucks to go into the DCs, pick up direct loads and then deliver to customers.

“Lance of First Choice Transport, our transport company for deliveries, worked tirelessly to source pallets and supply our customers, regardless of how small the order was. Other customers with pallets stored in their yard were happy to hold onto them to assist us until we could access our depot again.”

At the height of the floods customers including Parmalat, SCA, Linfox/Arnotts, Big W, Paradise Foods, APF, Homer Hudson Ice-Cream, Queensland Tissue and Repco were supplied with pallets to continue their operations.

Irene says customers were understanding of the fact that, in the short term, the pallets they received were not maintained to usual Loscam standards.

“Normally when a pallet is issued from our depot it is repaired and painted. But we couldn’t do that with pallets being issued from our DCs at this time,” says Irene.

“But customers were happy to sort through the pallets. Nobody complained because our customers understood we had our hands full organising pallet distribution and trying to clean up the Rocklea depot.”

Five days after the flooding at Rocklea it was all hands on deck to start the clean-up operation after an OH&S meeting to ensure staff handled the clean up safely. The team faced mud, debris, diesel and oil while flooding in offices had shifted and destroyed furniture, machinery and electronic equipment.

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