WIN FOR OPERATORS: CHEP Australia said it’s willing to work with smaller operators who may be experiencing difficulties. Photographer: Luis Enrique Ascui/Bloomberg
WIN FOR OPERATORS: CHEP Australia said it’s willing to work with smaller operators who may be experiencing difficulties. Photographer: Luis Enrique Ascui/Bloomberg

Support for smaller operators with pallet rental payments

THE Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today thanked CHEP Australia for its willingness to work with the transport and logistics industry.

In a letter to CHEP Australia, the ATA asked CHEP to pause pallet rental payments for trucking businesses holding products that cannot be delivered as a result of COVID-19 closures.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having an escalating impact on the Australian economy," ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.

"Within this environment, trucking businesses are increasingly unable to deliver palletised stock to closed businesses. Trucking businesses operate on tight margins; they are predominantly small; they cannot afford to pay rent on pallets they cannot deliver."

Mr Maguire said he was pleased, that whilst CHEP Australia was not able to provide general relief, it has said that it is willing to work directly with smaller customers who may be experiencing difficulties.

CHEP Australia Executive General Manager, Lis Mannes, said CHEP Australia is closely monitoring and responding daily to the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19.

"Our primary focus as a business has been to ensure our people are safe, our products and facilities are safe, accessible and appropriately managed to best support the needs of our customers; and to keep goods moving across the country and local communities supplied," Ms Mannes said.

"We completely understand that during this challenging time, some of our smaller customers may experience difficulties.

"If this is the case, then we would ask that they contact our Customer Service department on 13 24 37 and we will have a direct discussion and try and assist them."

Mr Maguire said governments have been clear everyone must do their part for the Australian community and economy to get through this crisis.

"I particularly want to thank Executive General Manager Lis Mannes for her rapid response to our concerns," he said.

Mr Maguire said the issue was raised at the last ATA council meeting, followed by swift action.

"This positive outcome demonstrates the power of the ATA council who, as our peak representative body, are working collaboratively and effectively to ensure trucking operators receive the support they need," he said.