Can we all gain from removing delivery curfews?

As Governments across the globe set their mind to designing stimulus packages to support economic and social recovery post the Covid-19 pandemic,  the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has recently called for the relaxation around delivery curfews be made a permanent part of our new business normal. The national body has called on all state and territory governments to retain the curfew relaxation that was originally driven by residents objecting to noise at night.

Given the reality of our new purchasing habits and expectations, perhaps we as urban dwellers can no longer afford to take exception to more constant delivery windows to support our growing online and home delivery habit that has intensified during lockdown and looks set to remain at a heightened level. The crisis has also underscored the massive importance of an efficient and diversified supply chain to ensure that supermarkets, pharmacies and other key outlets remained fully stocked.

As more and more commuters go back to work and remain wary of taking public transport, congestion is set to increase – less freight on the road at traditional commute times can only benefit the movement of both goods and people.

According to ALC CEO Kirk Coningham: “As governments turn their minds to policy actions that will drive economic recovery, the removal of curfews is an obvious opportunity that will be of lasting benefit to the freight and logistics sector and to all Australian communities,” “The most visible manifestation of the Covid -19 crisis for many Australians was the sight of supermarket shelves that had been stripped bare due to panic buying.

“The single most effective government action taken to address this challenge did not involve massive expenditure, but the stroke of a ministerial pen.

“The existence of curfews that prohibit deliveries during certain hours were a significant barrier to keeping shelves stocked.

“Yet, in the space of just over a week, governments in state and territory jurisdictions took action to remove or suspend curfews and give logistics companies the flexibility needed to facilitate overnight deliveries into supermarkets and other retail outlets.

“This permitted stock levels to return to normal relatively quickly, despite extraordinarily heightened levels of demand.”

“The benefits of removing these restrictions have been clearly demonstrated.”

“This includes removing curfews on overnight deliveries to supermarkets and other retail premises, removing bans on heavy vehicles using particular routes, removing curfews on port operations and the removal of airport noise curfews that inhibit the movement of air freight.

“Given the significant economic challenges now faced by many logistics operators and their customers, the last thing they need is a return to restrictive practices that limit operational flexibility and prevent Australians getting access to their day-to-day essentials.”

“Governments have a responsibility to ensure that going forward; logistics operators have the operational flexibility they need to get the job done and keep supporting Australia’s economic recovery.”

“Removing curfews is a low-cost, common sense measure that will help achieve that outcome.”

Not sure what the merits might be?

Microlise and the Abbey Logistics Group recently conducted their own research into the measurable efficiency gains and performance improvements realised during the UK lockdown which you can read about here.