Flooding crisis forces Woolworths to ship supplies into WA

Ongoing supply shortages in Western Australia has led to Woolworths using ships to get deliveries into the state.

It’s the first time in decades the major retailer has used the method to deliver goods.

The supply chain has been disrupted for weeks after mass flooding in South Australia’s Nullarbor damaged a 300-kilometre stretch of rail track used to transport goods into WA.

Shipments headed to WA include pallets of cereal, pantry essentials, canned food, napkins and toilet paper, beverages, and laundry and cleaning supplies.

The first sea freight, that departed Sydney on Friday, will deliver about 55 40-foot containers of stock.

A Woolworths spokesperson told NCA NewsWire its WA customers noticed varied levels of product availability which was due to the railway disruption.

“To help increase stock flow into WA we’ve been able to unlock shipping capacity with our vessel carrier partners,” they said.

“We’ve also secured another two sea freight deliveries for late February and early March, holding roughly 116 containers across two ships.

“We thank our WA customers for their continued support as our teams and partners do all they can to minimise disruption.”

Pallets delivered from NSW to WA usually take about five days to arrive by rail but that transit time will double by sea.

“We’re not the sole users of that rail line there will be quite a few vendors using it, food will be prioritised, but we will be in the queue like everyone else,” Woolworths spokesman Karl Weber told Nine News.

“We have 107 stores in Western Australia, so based on sales it will share to all the stores, so when the stock arrives depending on how the store trades we will send that stock to them.”

Mass flooding in SA created supply shortages to northern parts of the state and the Northern Territory as well as WA.

More than 80 per cent of the fruit and vegetables sold by Woolworths in WA is grown in the state, as well as large volumes of milk, dairy and meat coming from within.


Extracted from Perth Now

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