There are not many opportunities in life where we can really see what we are made of, but the current crisis around Covid-19 is certainly an opportunity for us as individuals, as an industry and as a nation to test our mettle.
Generations before us went through and survived things like world wars, economic depressions and even a global pandemic which killed millions. Now it is our turn. We have all of the latest tools in our armoury and are blessed(?) with instant global communication, so it should be easy, right?
The fact of the matter is this kind of situation gets more and more difficult as the situation can change minute by minute. Just ask those truck drivers arriving at state borders armed with what is supposed to be the correct paper work and the appropriate testing results, only to find the rules have changed. or the border officers have been misinformed.
In order to combat the virus, the authorities have to act decisively and quickly and even in an era of instant communication the wheels of our several levels of bureaucracy still grind pretty slow. Protocols have to be followed and no-one wants to be found out doing the wrong thing. Just ask the security companies running the security at quarantine hotels in Victoria.
So the situation is in a constant state of flux and yet the trucking industry is still expected to keep the shelves of our super markets, bottle shops and Bunnings well stocked, also keeping all of the medical facilities well supplied with whatever they need.
Here we have an industry trying to make sure it hits a moving target in a very fluid situation. Luckily, in the trucking industry we have a culture of adaptation, second to none. Our work force will do their very best to get the job done when it all goes pear-shaped, we have had plenty of practice.
We can cope with the practical issues that go wrong on an hour-by-hour, day-to-day basis and that is our strength.
The crisis also creates another set of issues for us, all revolving around uncertainty. This uncertainty can trigger insecurity and this can weigh on the mind of people working at the coal face of this pandemic.
We have no idea how long the situation is going to be crazy like it is now. We have no idea whether the government stimulus and support packages will last and keep propping up a slowly failing economy. We don’t know how far away a vaccine is, or if there will ever be one.
It is against these doubts that we can really see what we are made of in the coming months and years. The kind of resolve and self-belief needed to overcome all of these issues will test the best of us. If anyone is going to come though this, it’s the trucking industry, as we really see what we are made of.