Jump to content

New Zealand earthquake brings transport to standstill


Recommended Posts

Prime Mover Magazine  /  November 17, 2016

Freight movement on New Zealand’s South Island has come to a standstill following the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that shook the country on Monday and left more than 1,000 people stranded in the small seaside town of Kaikoura.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the damage to roads and infrastructure is expected to take months to repair, with Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce, saying “the whole of Kaikoura and surrounding towns are literally out of business” until access is restored.

The National Business Review’s Chris Hutching, transport companies have parked up their loads until roads and rail lines are cleared again, with coastal shipping companies expected to fill the gaps.

"Until we get roads we can't move. Who knows what lies ahead. It's very fluid. It's impossible to answer questions until we know what road links can be used,” Bob Gairdner, Operations Manager at trucking company, Halls Group, told Hutching.

Road Transport Forum Chief Executive, Ken Shirley, said there will be "severe disruption" to freight, even though road authorities are working hard to repair enough of the inland Kaikoura route to restore at least “some vehicle access”.

"The weeks ahead are a worry. Logistics these days is governed by the just-in-time ethos," Shirley told the National Business Review. "For a lot of these fast moving consumer goods, a couple of days will mean there will be shortages.

"There are a myriad of specialised products and basic food items. Everything you can think of is moved on a truck. It just highlights how dependent we are on the movement of freight."

Shirley said access for over-sized nine-axle trucks will be especially hard to negotiate as they are restricted on some of the diversion routes. However, exceptions are likely to be made.

"The [New Zealand Transport Agency] can allow them in emergency situations like they did after the 2011 earthquakes and restrict speeds across bridges and culverts,” said Shirley. “They will accept acceleration in wear and tear on pavements in some circumstances.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...