Road transport industry steps up in pipeline crisis

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 26, 2017

With fuel now flowing through the pipeline from Marsden Point to the Wiri Oil Services terminal and air services largely back on track, it is worth reflecting on the critical role the road transport industry played in alleviating the shortage, says Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley.

“While it was a completely different type of event, the response has some parallels with the Kaikoura earthquake,” says Shirley. “Within hours of the pipe rupturing, road transport operators put plans in place to begin carting fuel to Auckland and other parts of the country where it was needed.”

Shirley says the great advantage of the road transport industry is in its inherent flexibility and responsiveness.

“Even in normal circumstances road freight is a ‘just-in-time‘ industry used to dealing with tight timeframes, so when something like this happens operators are able to respond very quickly.

“Credit must also go to the Government, NZTA, and Auckland Transport for helping to facilitate the transportation of fuel by temporarily suspending weight limits and allowing trucks to use routes usually off-limits.”

Shirley says without the flexibility and agility of the road transport industry the consequences of events such as this would be much more severe.

“Road transport operators who stepped in and helped alleviate the crisis deserve our recognition and thanks,” says Shirley.