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Livestock trucking companies so busy some Northern Territory cattle producers may have trouble finding transport


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Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) / June 3, 2015

A Northern Territory trucking company director says a booming live export trade is pushing up demand for cattle trucks.

Cattle producers are trying to fill the 250,000 permits Indonesia has issued for this year's second quarter, which has left transport companies struggling to meet the demand for trucks.

Barkly Livestock's James Murphy said some pastoralists were struggling to access transport for their cattle.

"Basically for the last two months it's been flat out," Mr Murphy said.

"We've pretty well covered our customers but we might be struggling [to supply enough trucks] by the end of the week.

"We've got 30 triple road trains working for us at the moment and they are pretty flat out across to Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory."

Mr Murphy said some pastoralists had booked significantly ahead of time, but those with cattle heading for live export through Darwin Port depended on the arrival of ships.

"Our meatworks cattle that we are doing for Kidman Pastoral Company have been booked for over a month," he said.

"Obviously they have got kill dates at the meatworks, so they stick to their schedules.

"Boat cattle, that changes day-to-day.

"As the boats get slower or quicker, dates come forward, dates go back, which can be a bit of a headache at times."

Mr Murphy said while cattle prices and confidence within the industry had been rising he was yet to see many flow-on affects to the trucking industry.

"I know producers are pretty happy with what prices they are getting at the moment, but put it this way, they're not giving us price rises."

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