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CE Distributors: ‘Border Closure Won’t Stop Deliveries’

Hours out from the closure of the NSW and Victorian border, CE, appliance and audio distributors told ChannelNews that they do not contemplate any problems based on their current supply structure to lockdown states.

These distributors stated that they had not faced any issues in transporting freight to states with closed borders – such as Queensland, WA and SA – since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they did not expect this to change with the NSW-VIC border closure.

Bruce Thierbach, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Audio Active Australia, which is based in Melbourne, told ChannelNews that the main impact of the border closures was that deliveries took a day or two longer.

“Nothing will stop distribution,” Thierbach said. “Even for warehouses that are in lockdown suburbs, you’re still allowed to travel for work, so warehouses should be able to operate normally, provided that they have the proper social distancing measures in place… we’ve remained operating the whole time.”

Michael Henriksen, CEO of QualiFi, an audio distributor based in Mount Waverly, stated: “Day to day we expect it to essentially be business as normal… freight was never affected by the lockdown of borders with SA, WA or Queensland.”

While there have been shortages of CE goods since the start of the pandemic, these have been caused by COVID-19 supply disruptions rather than domestic transportation issues. During lockdowns, JB HI-FI, The Good Guys, and Harvey Norman all reported difficulties getting enough supply, particularly for monitors, notebooks, TVs, and appliances.

Australia is witnessing a similar scene play out at the major supermarket chains. Even though panic-buying groceries has flared again, Coles and Woolworths have stated that the NSW-VIC border closure will cause little disruption to supply.

“With demand moderating, there is more than enough stock flowing through from our distribution warehouses and into our stores to support all our customers’ grocery needs,” Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters told the Australian Financial Review.

Both Coles and Woolworths have once again removed the purchase limits that were reinstated last week.

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