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Woolworths sell-off: Prepare for petrol price pain
We could be forking out even more for fuel in 2017 and 2018.
IF YOU thought there was too little competition in petrol prices already, I have bad news. Woolworths is selling all 527 petrol stations it owns. BP is going to buy them and become even bigger. Could the sale of all those petrol pumps to BP make matters worse?
The competition watchdog - the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - is already laser focused on the fuel industry.
It took a bunch of fuel retailers to court recently and is constantly monitoring petrol prices looking for collusive behaviour.
In parts of Australia, fuel prices already move in patterns that imply competition is not too strong.
If the sale goes through, the chances of strong competitive pressure in the petrol market get weaker still. That could hurt all of us when we fill up our tanks.
It comes at a bad time for motorists. The global oil price cartel, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has recently made pledges to cut supply and push up the global oil price.
Prices at the pump could be about to skyrocket just as this deal goes through.
THE MASTERS CONNECTION
Competition is important. Without it, capitalism becomes completely unfair. If big businesses can pocket huge profits and set prices wherever they want, our whole system is broken.
Low profits are ideal, but negative profits are no good. They cause collapses that actually reduce competition.
The Masters hardware collapse was spectacular. Woolworths' attempt to take on the hardware market never got going.
That left Bunnings as the big green giant of the hardware sector. Home and Mitre 10 are trying but they are like a mosquito on the side of a racehorse. Bunnings is boss in that sector and that makes its owner Wesfarmers sit pretty.
Masters cost Woolworths a lot of money. Many millions were spent, for little return. Woolies posted a loss of more than $1.2 billion last year.
Now Woolies is selling up its petrol business, in order to "strengthen the Woolworths balance sheet and reinvest in its core business".
This is the link to Masters. If it had succeeded, Woolies may not have needed to bolster its finances, and we'd have more competitors in both fuel and hardware. Instead, once again, Australia is sliding towards oligopoly.
AUSTRALIA ONLY LIGHTLY COMPETITIVE
Australia is famous for having what is called market concentration, where a handful of firms control much of the market.
Two big supermarkets, for example. Or four big banks, two big airlines, one big telecommunications company, etc.
The head of the ACCC was complaining about this just a few months ago.
"The revenue of Australia's largest 100 listed companies increased from 27 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) in 1993 to 47 per cent of GDP in 2015," he said.
The big guys are getting bigger - and it is often through mergers and acquisitions like this petrol station deal.
He then argued that mergers can, in some cases, "reduce competition and cause harm to consumers and our economy" mentioning - just by the by - that the largest petrol retailers were "making good profits", while "many retailers with only a few outlets struggle".
What's interesting here is the ACCC will have to approve the Woollies-BP deal before it goes through. Will they do so? It seems likely but is not certain.
BP says it is confident that clearance will be granted.
"Australia has a highly competitive fuel market and we are confident the ACCC will ensure this isn't altered by the transaction," a BP spokesperson said.
"Our partnership with Woolworths has the customer in mind - it is about reinventing the convenience sector in Australia."
COMPETITION - NEXT YEAR?
If the deal goes through, Woolworths gets $1.8 billion dollars and can focus on its supermarket business. If the deal falls apart, then it might be in trouble.
Because 2017 could be the year when really serious competition comes to Australia's supermarket sector.
Amazon has launched its Prime Video service here, and rumours are its fresh food business is not far behind. If that happens, Woolworths will need its A-game.
This kind of pressure - businesses fighting for their lives - is exactly what good competition looks like.
In fact, 2017 could be a very good year for supermarket consumers. Even if Amazon doesn't come to Australia, the threat is going to keep supermarkets on their toes.
Aldi is renewing its stores so it can sell more fresh food and compete better, while Coles is also knuckling down, renovating 50 supermarkets in 2017 and ever-ready to compete on price.
We can only hope that, one day, we see something similar in fuel too.
Lack of Education for Local Councils
Victoria’s trucking industry and the Victorian Transport Association as its representative has issues with the lack of education for local councils. There are 73 councils in Victoria many of whom are not geared up to dealing with access enquiries on last mile issues. Many have limited transport expertise.
“They are making decisions affecting our industry from an uneducated position,” says Peter Anderson, VTA CEO. “They are trying to do a good job, but they don’t necessarily have the resource to do the best job they can. The industry then has to try and move around what they do, and compensate.
“A good example of what is happening is in the inner west of Melbourne. People in Yarraville and Marybynong don’t want heavy vehicles driving down their streets. They are main streets, we are not talking about little alleyways.
“Unfortunately, within three kilometres of them is the port, which moves up to 8,000 containers a day. We can’t move the port, so we can’t restrict access to the industry, to do the job they’re there to do. They are saying, ‘We want to shut you down, because we don’t like you driving through our municipality’.”
The port still needs to be serviced. The answer can’t be to stop ships from coming to Melbourne. Exclusion for the industry may end up with companies making commercial decisions not to send ships into the port. These issues would have a major effect throughout the supply chain.
“They are planning a tunnel and a route into the port,” says Anderson. “The only issue we have is, it will be the only route. If you have to pay for it, $15 a time. Can I have a discount on my taxes? Because I’m paying for roads already and then I’m not allowed to use those roads and I have to use one I have to pay for.
“It might be OK if the transport companies could pass the costs on to their customers. They wouldn’t accept a toll levy. Some businesses here are already paying over $1 million a year on tolls.”
In the North-East of Melbourne the authorities have put a curfew on trucks at night on five of the north/south arterial roads. Trucks travelling down from Sydney, 3000 a night in all, have to skirt the city to the West even if they are heading for the East of the Melbourne region.
In fact, in one area there are two pressure groups. One wants trucks off the roads at night and another is wanting them off the roads in the daytime. Congestion on those roads in the daytime has increased due to the curfew. Fines currently sit at $300 for breaking the curfew.
“When they did this kind of thing in London, fifteen years ago they took freight into account, they understood supply chain,” says Anderson. “If you start to shut down the networks, the whole supply chain system breaks down, unless you have an alternative plan.
“One of my big issues is the lack vision and leadership, when it comes to planning infrastructure development. I think this particular government might get around to coming up with a solution, but they get caught up too much in their marginal interests, voting cycles. This is where we need broader based plans and perspectives.
“We have got to follow through. The bigger the plan, the better. I was hoping Infrastructure Australia would deliver, but it is not going to. It will rubber stamp, but won’t make things happen.”
The general public who are driving these restrictions are looking at the trucking industry and not liking what they see. Anderson and the VTA see this as an issue caused by a lack of understanding of the industry, its make up and its value to the community.
Hino Dakar Team gears up for 2017 Rally
Hino Team Sugawara is chasing a record eighth successive class victory in the 2017 Dakar Rally, which starts on 2 January.
The two-truck team will race through the South American desert, setting off from Acunción in Paraguay and finishing in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires on January 14. The team’s 4x4 rally trucks are loosely based on the brand's medium-duty Hino 500 Series.
Hino Team Sugawara is chasing a number of records in the 2017 Dakar Rally, including its 26th straight finish and eighth straight victory in the Under 10-litre class.
The Hino Team Sugawara 4x4 rally trucks are loosely based on the medium-duty Hino 500 Series.
Upgrades to the two trucks include further engine, chassis and suspension upgrades based on feedback from the 2016 Silk Way Rally, which served as a testing and shake-down opportunity for Hino Team Sugawara.
Key specifications of the two 2017 Dakar Rally Hino trucks include a 8,866cm3 direct-injection turbocharged and intercooled engine matched to a six-speed direct-drive gearbox with high-low range switching.
The A09C-TI engine in its race specification outputs 478kW of power at 2200rpm and 2255Nm of torque at 1200rpm.
Hino Team Sugawara’s line-up consists of father and son drivers Yoshimasa and Teruhito Sugawara, with navigators Mitsugu Takahashi and Hiroyuki Sugiura and a carefully selected team of Hino dealer mechanics and support personnel from Fukushima Hino, Ishikawa Hino, Okayama Hino and Hiroshima Hino.
Mills Freightlines celebrates 50 years
Bart Barford is eager to get back into the 2015 Freightliner Coronado 114 with a 58-inch XT sleeper cab, pictured here with Mills Freightlines’ 50-year anniversary trailers.
The grain harvest is in full swing and Mills Freightlines of Brinkworth, South Australia, is busy carting grain throughout the state’s Mid-North.
It is a busy end to a milestone year – 2016 is the business’s 50th anniversary.
Mills Freightlines was founded by the late Bob Mills who began carting farm supplies in a Ford Thames Trader in 1966.
Bob’s son Gavin continues the company with his wife Margi. Their children Paul Mills and Toni Ashby also work at Mills Freightlines.
Paul’s wife Jayne works there too, and their son Thomas represents the fourth generation.
Having a strong management team makes it possible for Paul to spend time on the road. From March until August each year he spreads gypsum on farms in the Mid-North, Upper-North and Yorke Peninsula with a Mercedes-Benz Actros 2644.
The Mills family owns 23 trucks, including 11 used by its recycling division, Clare Valley Waste.
The 12 trucks in the red-and-white Mills Freightlines fleet are all from the Daimler stable and specialise in bulk cartage for farming clients.
Paul has been visiting Daimler Trucks Adelaide since he was a baby in Gavin’s arms. Back then it was a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Their newest trucks are a 2015 Freightliner Coronado 114 with a 34-inch sleeper cab and a 2015 Freightliner Argosy. Black-and-white photographs have been reproduced within the trucks’ white stripes in celebration of the 50th anniversary.
Paul says staff have been an important part of Mills Freightlines’ history. Shane Verran has worked for the family for 38 years.
Bart Burford has spent 21 years with the company. He returned to work in November after a leg amputation. Bart is optimistic his MC licence will be reinstated before the end of the grain season.
Queensland's motorways are some of the most dangerous in Australia
Queensland's motorways are some of the most dangerous in Australia, the latest figures show.
Sections of the Pacific Motorway and Bruce Highway have some of the highest casualty crash levels of major roads, according to the Australian Road Assessment Program report.
A truck lays on its side on the M1 at Beenleigh in October. A report has listed the Pacific Motorway among the nation's worst roads.
RACQ, which released the report, said four of the 10 most dangerous sections of national highway were located in Queensland.
There were 23 deaths across three sections of the Pacific Motorway between 2010 and 2014, spokesman Paul Turner said.
"The number of people dying on the Pacific Motorway is truly frightening and we need the federal and state governments to deliver the upgrades needed to reduce this statistic," he said.
"We desperately need safety improvements on this motorway between the Gateway Motorway and the NSW border including funding for eight lanes in the northern section and six lanes in the southern section."
Calls for drivers to be patient during festive season
We say it around this time every year, there are people with us now who won’t survive the Christmas holidays.
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) wants us all to slow down and take breaks if we are travelling on the roads during the festive holidays.
ATA Chair, Noelene Watson, says lives can be saved, if safety is the number one priority for road users.
“The Christmas period is one of the busiest times of year for many trucking businesses, and it’s also one of the busiest times on the road.
“With heavier traffic, long traffic queues and different festive events to get to, it is very important to plan to ensure your driver schedules have allowed for time to account for the increased traffic volumes on the road,”
“Fatigue management is essential, with big meals, long days and late nights making it easy to feel sleepy behind the wheel.
“Keep to the speed limit and pull up when tired.
“Share the drive with another qualified driver, and avoid driving if you don’t feel up to being able to give 100% concentration to it.”
To raise awareness and remind all road users of safety these holidays, the ATA has developed this short animated video…
Freight efficiency key to Western Sydney Airport
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says freight movements will be the most critical component of the new Western Sydney Airport.
“Australia’s large and rising national freight task includes significant growth in the air freight sector and so it is imperative Sydney’s next airport is planned and built in such a way that accommodates expected future freight flows,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.
“According to the 2013 Aviation White Paper, air freight volumes are expected to double by 2025 while the NSW Government predicts Sydney Airport will deal with more than 1.5 million tonnes of cargo each year by the 2035 - up from 650,000 tonnes in 2012.
“It is therefore imperative that a second Sydney airport, which has been identified by Infrastructure Australia in its Infrastructure Priority List as a High Priority Initiative, is established in the most efficient manner possible to share this growth in traffic.
“In a practical infrastructure sense, this means appropriate land preservation to construct future logistics facilities and infrastructure links when they are required.
“And from an operations perspective, Badgerys Creek airport has to be a curfew-free airport. We cannot afford restrictions to be placed on the airport that inhibit the efficient movement of freight.
Kilgariff added. “The ALC 2016 election priorities document ‘Getting the Supply Chain Right’ and video ‘Now is the time To Get the Supply Chain Right’ highlighted the critical role air freight will play in the future supporting more efficient freight movements.
“And with the Government recently confirming the development of a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, today’s confirmation is a timely step to ensure air freight capacity is appropriately recognised in Australia’s national supply chains.
“We congratulate Minister Fletcher on today’s important announcement and look forward to engaging with the State and Federal Government to ensure the airport can contribute to improved freight efficiency in Australia.”
McAleese given $10M lifeline to save jobs
Failed transport company McAleese has put truck loads of assets up for auction.
SECURE creditors of the McAleese Group have thrown the ailing transport company $10 million to save jobs.
On December 19, the second meeting of creditors, there was a vote to accept the Deed of Company Arrangement that would see the company continue to operate with a $10 million lifeline.
Accord to a statement from receivers McGrathNicol the objectives of the cash injection was to help creditors get better returns, keep the group of companies operating, retain jobs and ensure funds were distributed effectively.
"The estimated financial outcome of the related DOCAs is that all employees are expected to either be offered continued employment on equal terms or alternatively, for those employees not being offered continued employment, their employee entitlements will be paid in full. Ordinary unsecured trade creditors are estimated to receive a small return," the statement said.
The new deal does not help Mackay's former McAleese workers or the depot, however, which has already been closed.
"Importantly, the related DOCAs provide an opportunity for the McAleese Group of Companies to continue to service their customers and for suppliers to have the opportunity to continue trading with the McAleese Group of Companies," the statement said.
There is no expectation that McAleese would resume trading on the Australian stock exchange.
Rest area death trap
A dangerous truck parking bay snapped by driver Brendon Carlson
WHILE enforcement agencies hammer truckies in the name of safety, councils and state bodies escape liability with death traps like this rest area, picked up by driver Brendon Carlson.
Near the Victorian town of Skipton, imagine being loaded and tired at two in the morning, pulling in to this one - disaster!
Even though it is signed as a rest area, the access is totally inappropriate and the gravel dumped there for some future upgrade could mean a very nasty rollover.
There is no signage saying the rest area is closed.
Brendon shared the photos with Big Rigs and said he wouldn't have been able to use the bay if he was fatigued.
"Even though there are towns nearby, it's not good enough," he said.
"Fatigued drivers should not have to be pushed to find another bay."
A dangerous truck parking bay snapped by driver Brendon Carlson
Thinking About Training New Drivers
One of the truck manufacturers which has been thinking about training new drivers is Volvo. The company has been developing its training system over the years and has declared its intention to work towards some kind of certification for drivers to enable for them to demonstrate their professional ability. Although still in its early stages, Volvo have declared their intention to take on the issue of driver availability and professionalism.
“It has moved a little bit,” said Paul Illmer, Volvo Director Vehicle Sales Strategy and Support. “It used to be all about the handover. It was to make sure the driver was aware of the basic functions of the truck and to make sure, when they get the keys and go on the first trip, they know how to operate the truck in the correct manner.
“Then it moved to much more focus on safety, making sure the driver is driving in a safe manner, anticipating traffic and was also fuel efficient. From there it moved to making sure they were fuel efficient, safe, but also courteous.
“We do a lot now with the drivers about being ambassadors for their company. It’s an interesting term, but it’s to make sure they are aware their role as a driver is to be courteous to car drivers, bicycle riders. They need to make sure when they interact with their customer’s customers, they portray the best image they can for their customer, but also for the driving population of Australia.”
Volvo is still formulating its way forward, but does have the intention of driving some kind of national qualification, a passport drivers can take with them to assure potential employers they are responsible and able to drive in the correct manner.
“A development from what we have got would be an academy,” says Illmer. “It would be formalising what we get. What we do today is training drivers who are already employed in a customers business, but what we are trying to get to with a driver academy is to take somebody who has got the license then put them through the programs.
“Today, we are able to put a driver in with a customer who has been through the fuel efficiency course, through the ambassador type course and is safe, keeping the truck safe. From day one when they start with the customer they already have these tools in their back pocket.
“What we are looking at doing later this year is bringing the top driver trainers in major fleets, sitting them down with our driver trainers. Then bring in someone from NTI, someone from the ATA and not make it a Volvo Group initiative, but actually sit down and talk about what we are offering in terms of course material. We can then look at what is developing as the course requirements in the market. We can then ensure we are dynamic enough to work with what the expectations are in the market. I think that’s very important.”
Sleeping in summer
Despite the Australian heat, there are no rules or official pieces of advice that we can find on bunkrooms, cab bunk cooling and day cabs running long distance
With the advent of air conditioned single bunk rooms and integrated sleeper cabs, it’s easy to forget just how tough long distance truck drivers used to do it in summer in the "old days".
Sharing a bunkroom with a dozen other farting, snoring blokes with maybe a swivelling fan for relief; heads hanging out of dog-box doors to get a bit of fresh air; swags under the trailer; stretching out across the bench seat; and so on.
Thank heavens that’s all just a thing of the past right? Well, no.
There’s no doubt sleeping conditions have greatly improved in many ways for many long distance drivers, to the point of single motel rooms being commonly provided. But there are still some primitive cases out there.
Take some dealer and operator bunkrooms. We’ve previously reported on shared bunkrooms in dealerships and depots which are right next to the noisy TV/lunch room or clanging workshop; and even one which other drivers had to walk through to go to the toilet. That’s not to mention demountable bunkrooms right next to trucks and forklifts coming and going all day, with no sound barrier in between.
At least bunkrooms mostly seem to be air conditioned these days.
However there are still some long distance sleeper cabs with no air cooling whatsoever even though the truck’s driver might need to sleep in them during the day – for example if they’re waiting for a changeover or can’t get back to base or simply have a penny-pinching boss.
In those sometimes impossible summer conditions our advice is to crank up the 550 horsepower air conditioner under the bonnet. (If you do that it’s widely advised to lift the engine idling revs to about 1200rpm so you don’t glaze the bore.)
Ditto if you’re unlucky enough to be needing to sleep in a day cab truck. We’ve noticed what seems to be an increasing number of these on long distance and even interstate work, and they are usually owned by the bigger fleets.
You can bet the company managers who send drivers out in these day cabs have never experienced a delayed changeover; or a breakdown halfway up the highway; or simply needed a 20 minute power nap to keep themselves going in the early hours of the morning.
One day cab driver we spoke to always carries an oversized bag so he can stuff it between the seats and stretch out if he needs to sleep. And he has no hesitation in running the truck aircon.
Asleep at the wheel
So what do all the government agencies, peak trucking and customer bodies, and university experts have to say about sleeping conditions for truckies in the Australian summer?
From what we’ve been able to see and hear, nothing. As far as we can tell, amongst what seems like millions of words on fatigue, there are no standards whatsoever for bunkrooms, sleeper air cooling or the use of day cabs.
The Australian Design Rules for new trucks have all sorts of rules for sleeper cabs, but don’t say anything about cooling.
There are dozens of pages of guidelines for operators accredited under the Basic and Advanced Fatigue Management schemes – and reams of paperwork they have to fill out - but the term "air conditioning" doesn’t rate a mention.
Neither do the ATA’s Trucksafe nor the Australian Logistics Council’s Retail Logistics Safety Code specify anything about a cool sleeping environment.
Meanwhile day cabs seem to enjoy just as good a rego deal as sleeper cabs under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS).
And there’s nothing specific about bunkrooms or sleeper berths under the Chain of Responsibility legislation on fatigue, although we reckon poor sleeping conditions could make for a very interesting test case one day.
In fact the only specific rule or official piece of advice we can find anywhere is that according to reports on the internet, in Western Australia trucks have to have air conditioning if operating north of the 26th Parallel between October 1 and March 31. We don’t know if that includes sleeper aircon or not.
The WA Department of Transport didn’t know anything about it when we emailed them, and suggested we contact WorkSafe. We couldn’t find anything on the WorkSafe website.
Semi-autonomous trials to begin in Melbourne
The Victorian State Government has committed to an 18-month trial of semi-autonomous vehicles on the EastLink Freeway in Melbourne.
The trial, carried out in conjunction with the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), La Trobe University and ConnectEast, will focus on passenger cars with driver-assistance technology such as lane keep assist, auto braking and adaptive cruise control.
“This first of its kind research project … will be conducted in traffic on EastLink to assess whether the latest technology is compatible with current infrastructure such as road signs and line markings,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan.
“We’re working with Australia’s top road researchers and road operators to ensure we’re at the forefront of this technology to reduce congestion and increase road safety.”
According to ARRB, stage one of the project will see the development of a classification system for assessing Australian roads based on the level of automated vehicle features they support – essentially a grading system so car manufacturers can enable hands-free driving, on roads that meet the criteria.
In the second half of 2017, stage two will test a range of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technologies that allow communication between vehicles and road infrastructure.
Finally, stage three will see a small number of semi-automated vehicles tested on EastLink with hands-off-the-wheel technology in 2018.
Following the research, ConnectEast will work with car manufacturers and VicRoads to ensure that vehicle technology and road infrastructure allow for the safe introduction of hands free driving in everyday applications – an option that is currency also widely debated in the heavy vehicle field.
In October, US start-up Otto ran a real-life trial in Colorado that cumulated in the world’s first shipment using a self-driving truck.
The ConnectEast trial has received $578,000 funding from the VicRoads Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Grants Program.
Car driver suffers just minor injuries after colliding with a truck on the Augusta Highway, near Port Pirie
A CAR driver has reason to be filled with the Christmas spirit after escaping with only minor injuries after a collision with a truck on the Augusta Highway, near Port Pirie, on Thursday.
The vehicles collided at the intersection of the Augusta and Wilkins highways, near Warnertown, about 15km south of Pt Pirie, about 8am.
“The male driver of the car, who was the only occupant, sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Pt Pirie Hospital by ambulance,’’ a police spokesman said.
The truck driver was not injured.
Rescue services at the scene of the crash.
Traffic was restricted on both highways for more than an hour while emergency services cleared wreckage.
Police are investigating the crash and warned road users to take extra care on the roads during the festive period.
“There is more traffic on the roads as people take advantage of the long weekend and holiday period,’’ the spokesman said. “Drive safe, arrive safe.’’
Truckies call on Ikea to stop exploitation
Aussie truck drivers have called on Ikea to stop ripping off and exploiting their working conditions.
Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) gathered outside the store in Tempe in Sydney's south on Wednesday morning to protest against low wages following alarming reports of the working conditions of truck drivers transporting Ikea's goods in Europe.
A 12-month investigation by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) found the company's low wages of around $300 a month was forcing truckies in Europe to live, eat and sleep in their trucks.
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon delivered a letter to Ikea on Wednesday, following two years of meetings with the company, which he says has repeatedly refused the unions' offer to work together on a solution.
"I have not seen the degree of exploitation that occurs in supply chains to the degree that it occurs in Ikea supply chains," he told AAP on Wednesday.
"In Australia we are finding more and more drivers coming forward and our investigations are demonstrating there are similar patterns starting to develop in the Ikea supply chain within Australia."
He said the "horrible conditions" are contributing to truck fatalities on NSW roads which as of 2015, reached 2500 over the past decade.
"Ikea needs to sit down with unions around the world, sit down with unions here and actually work out a solution to their supply train havoc because they are turning around an exploiting many many truck drivers."
Mr Sheldon, who has been in the trucking industry for almost three decades, also called on the federal government to bring back laws that protect owner drivers.
"Otherwise you are just playing at the hands of Ikea and allowing them to run roughshod over Australians," he said.
Mr Sheldon said the Sydney protest was held with eight other similar protests around the world, saying the issue was only going to escalate.
"These drivers are in a desperate situation, they have been treated like slaves to their trucks and slaves to Ikea supply chain," he said.
"Ikea needs to be held to account and needs to turn around and start fixing and co-operating with its work force in its supply chains."
Ikea says it was aware of the transport unions' action and would endeavour to understand the complaints and concerns.
"Even though the drivers who transport our products are not employed by Ikea Transport it is very important for us that they have good and fair working conditions," Ikea said in a statement to AAP on Wednesday.
"Ikea transport follow up and make regular audits to ensure compliance."
Police step up speed blitz with new camera trailers
The five new speed camera trailers will be managed remotely and used in high-risk areas where it is not currently safe or practical to deploy a police officer.
SPEED camera trailers will be rolled out on Queensland roads from tomorrow as police ramp up their traffic blitz as part of this year's Christmas Road Safety Campaign.
The five new speed camera trailers will be managed remotely and used in high-risk areas where it is not currently safe or practical to deploy a police officer.
Commissioner Ian Stewart said the cameras will begin enforcement from tomorrow as the Christmas Road Safety Campaign moves into the Festive Break phase.
"Queensland has had a devastating start to the Christmas holidays on our roads, recording 15 fatalities since our road safety campaign commenced on December 9," he said. "Excessive speed continues to be a significant issue in Queensland with about one in four road fatalities involving a speeding motorist.
He said the speed camera trailers were designed to assist in areas where it is unsafe to use traditional speed camera devices.
"The new trailers will enable police to target high-end speeding motorists in high-risk zones which are unsafe for officer deployment such as specific areas on motorways, at roadwork sites or in school zones," he said. "As this is a new type of technology, tolerance levels will be phased in, starting with considerable speed margins which will allow the public to become familiar with the new equipment.
"The trailers will not replace our current speed detection methods of high visibility patrols, mobile speed camera deployments or fixed camera systems."
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating said police would undertake a state-wide speed enforcement operation tomorrow on day 1 of the Festive Break.
"Traditionally, many people set-off on their Christmas break on December 23, leading to a high volume of traffic on our road networks and an increased risk of traffic collisions," Assistant Commissioner Keating said.
"Motorists can expect a saturation of speed enforcement activity right across the state with police targeting drivers putting themselves and all other road users at risk just before Christmas."
Phase 2 (Festive Break) of the Christmas Road Safety Campaign commences at midnight tonight and involves twelve days of high policing presence on Queensland roads over the Christmas and New Year period.