Road closures hit shelves
BARGES, trains and road trains are working hard with local supermarkets to ensure the Douglas region doesn’t go hungry.
But those who love their caviar may have to resort to a can of baked beans in coming weeks as the roads from Brisbane to Townsville are closed.
Road and rail closures between Brisbane and Townsville are severely affecting the transportation of meats and produce to food giants Woolworths, Coles and IGA across the state.
Flooded areas in Rockhampton immediately prevented food being transported by rail from Brisbane to Cairns, and shelves in local stores began to fall empty.
Port Douglas Coles manager Jason Smith said they have been experiencing a lot of problems stocking shelves, but are committed to finding solutions.
“A few weeks ago when transporters could not get to Townsville, we used a barge into Cairns, last week we were forced to fly 400 pallets of stock up from Brisbane as we were low on meat and bread,” he said.
“We have had to organise road trains and trucks to transport 5000 pallets of produce and direct them west around Emerald and other flooded areas. This is taking a lot longer as it roughly a 27-hour drive.
“At least we were able to modify the routes.”
There are still a number of products that are unable to be transported such as bread, crumpets and muffins as the drive is just too long and hot.
“Coles are committed to getting the stock here, we have to travel a little bit further but we are getting the supply back on track and keeping the shops full and preparing for any future problems,” he said.
Woolworths in Mossman has also been affected by the Queensland floods and had to organise trucks to deliver products to fill the shelves.
Mossman Woolworths spokeswoman Clare Buchanan said they were still catching up.
“We are monitoring the rainfall and flooding around the clock to ensure that they can get to stores on the fastest available route,” she said.
“Food is a priority and we want to make sure people have access to everything they need.”
Port Douglas IGA manager Paul Scott said the only thing we can do is go to church and pray.
“At this stage we have enough stock and we are currently booking a barge to transport food from Brisbane to Townsville which will then travel by truck to Cairns,” he said.
“The store may begin to look patchy but at least the locals will have food.
“We are able to source a lot of our foods from local producers but there will be less variety on the shelves.
“Transporting food will become a problem if Townsville is flooded.”
Stocking the aisles: Coles Port Douglas staff Brendan Cullen, Leanne Brown, Jason Smith Brooke Butler and Dale Smith