Austroads Publications Online
Freight Movement in Emergency Situations
Publication no: AP-R512-16 Pages: 57
Published: 01 April 2016
This study researches how essential and general freight movement assists the economic resilience of industry and communities impacted by emergencies. The literature review confirmed this premise, as did six public and private sector workshops.
Essential freight is defined as goods or services without which significant further or compounding economic loss would be suffered. General freight includes important and normally repetitive freight flows.
For the relatively sparse networks of Australasia, keeping essential and general freight moving offers high economic benefits for disaster affected communities. Potentially, an increased focus by government on this matter could make a worthwhile contribution to the economic, employment and social resilience of disaster affected communities.
With the new understanding of the importance of economic resilience during and after emergencies, and the contribution made to this by essential and general freight movement, change is needed. It is suggested that the economic resilient objective needs to change from a helpful reaction to being part of a systematic approach based on this policy imperative. Many suggestions are made in Chapter Four for jurisdictional consideration. One is that incidents on key freight routes likely to disrupt flow for four hours could or should be managed under emergency processes.
At the workshops it was evident that good working relations existed between the jurisdictional agencies responsible for emergency management. This provides a sound basis for the suggestions to progress essential and general freight movement. Care is needed in maintaining relationships and focus during government restructurings.
It was also evident that, with exceptions, relationships between the jurisdictional agencies and the road freight industry stakeholder/s and operators were not as well maintained. There is much to be gained by both parties through increased engagement.
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