Researchers Dr Jennifer Rivera Gonzalez and Dr Sarah Jones investigated how the Australian federal and state governments managed the need for freight drivers to move across the country during the COVID pandemic, their impact and value throughout the pandemic, and ask questions about the implications the pandemic had on the trucking industry as a whole. 

In March 2020, Australia faced unprecedented challenges with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to disruptions across various sectors, including road freight supply chains. The fear of scarcity triggered panic buying, stockpiling, and shifts in consumer behaviour, profoundly affecting freight distribution patterns. Curiously, the vital role played by road freight during the pandemic has received little critical attention. This research paper and webinar explores how governments managed road freight and freight workers during the crisis. It seeks to understand the consequences of those policies on truck drivers as they continued their work as an ‘essential’ service. It also asks broader questions about sovereign risk, consumer behaviour and road safety, all of which directly impacted the road freight sector. Another crisis is a near certainty. It may come in the form of a fresh pandemic, natural disaster prompted by climate change or instability arising from geopolitical tensions. Given the critical importance of functioning supply chains during an emergency, it is imperative we learn the lessons afforded by the covid pandemic. We as a nation need to ask some searching questions about our preparedness to tackle the next challenge. Join us for this webinar with the report’s researchers Dr Jennifer Rivera Gonzalez and Dr Sarah Jones.

Read the report now here, and watch the webinar Dr Sarah Jones and Dr Jennifer Rivera Gonzalez held to discuss their findings here

Have a comment? Leave a reply