THE Australian Logistics Council says the announcement a network of 15 air freight service providers and freight forwarders has been established by the federal government will help to support jobs in Australia as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“The federal government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism is playing a critical role in supporting Australia’s export supply chains and ensuring Australians can access vital medical supplies and personal protective equipment,” ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said.

“ALC particularly welcomes the participation of our member companies in the network announced today, including Toll Group, Qantas and DHL.”

More than 80% of air freight is ordinarily carried in the cargo hold of passenger planes. With scheduled international flights to and from Australia severely curtailed, measures such as those announced by the government will “help to ensure the continued movement of premium agricultural freight to lucrative export markets”, according to Mr Coningham.

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“As demand for Australia’s high-quality agricultural produce starts to pick up in overseas markets, it is vital that we still have air freight capacity in place to service that demand, thereby supporting the jobs of those Australians involved in the production and export of these goods,” Mr Coningham said.

“Protecting Australia’s reputation as a source of reliable agricultural exports will be essential to securing our economic recovery,” he said.

“That means we must continue investing now to protect and enhance the resilience of our supply chains and support the jobs of those Australians who operate them day-to-day.”

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