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COVID-19 Update: Freight is an essential service and will carry on despite border closures

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, CTS keeps you updated on the constantly evolving situation.

The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) is now being felt across so many aspects of everyday life – including logistics supply chains around the world. The well-being of customers, carriers and staff continues to be a priority today.

To ensure the health and safety of our community, our team members are currently conducting all business functions remotely.

We know that many people rely on our platform to make a living and keep their businesses afloat, which is why we will continue to support those logistical needs however we can.

As this is a constantly-changing and fast-evolving situation, we’re closely monitoring operations and proactively communicating should we see any potential developments that may impact pickup and delivery for both shippers and service providers.

Rest assured, even though we may be working from home offices and kitchen tables, our team is here and ready to provide the same level of support our users have come to expect.

A REMINDER FOR BOTH SHIPPERS AND TRANSPORT PROVIDERS

While we may be an online marketplace that connects shippers with transporters, we have a responsibility to remind both parties who may have person-to-person contact (such as a handshake) of the importance of health and safety measures.

Given that a transporter can be in physical contact with multiple customers in a given day – often in entirely different cities and states – there’s a heightened potential for both parties to share, pass, or contract COVID-19.

As a result, we strongly recommend the following actions:

DO NOT SHAKE HANDS. It may feel awkward rejecting a customary handshake but for everyone’s safety, please avoid it. Medical professionals say shaking hands is the easiest way to spread the virus.

PROMOTE HEALTH ETIQUETTE. If the situation allows, provide your driver with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a place to wash their hands – or accommodate their request for it. They’ve likely been on the road and may not have had a recent chance to wash up.

PRACTICE PATIENCE. If either party faces extenuating circumstances related to the virus, show some understanding. We’re all in this together.

We also encourage everyone to follow health and safety guidelines recommended by Safe Work Australia, as well as state and local health agencies.

BORDER CLOSURES AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have closed or are closing their borders.

While freight is exempt, new state border control requirements are in place for truck drivers and other staff. ATA member associations have provided the following information about the requirements:

In addition to Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory requiring truck drivers to fill in arrival forms before crossing the border, all states have imposed stricter monitoring of drivers and freight out of Victoria.

If you believe that a newly enacted travel restrictions might prevent a carrier from fulfilling a delivery, please take the following steps:

  • Immediately contact the carrier and ask if the delivery will be delayed.
  • If the delivery is being impacted, find out if the carrier is able to store the item until delivery is possible.
  • If you would like the item returned to its origin or if the carrier is not able to store the item, ask the carrier to be reasonable and make an effort to return the item to the pickup location.

If you believe newly enacted travel restrictions may close a delivery location or otherwise prevent a scheduled delivery from being successfully completed, please take the following steps:

  • Immediately contact the Carrier to alert them that delivery may not be possible.
  • Inform the Carrier of your preference for delayed delivery or return of the item to its origin.

These are difficult times for all and carriers should not be penalising for cancellations related to COVID-19 restrictions and indeed, many are working with customers to develop workable solutions.

We’re staying in close contact with our transport partners as they monitor the impact of COVID-19 on their sales volumes and therefore on their shipment volumes. 

While overall, the business climate is uncertain at the moment, it appears at this time, transport and logistics services continues to flow for interstate carriers.

We wish you safety in all respects and thank you for your continued support of CTS

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