AN EASING of COVID-19-related restrictions on the operations of warehouses in Melbourne have been welcomed by the transport sector.

As of Sunday night, businesses can revert to normal staffing levels in warehousing operations from with a COVIDsafe Plan in place.

Of course, the “Ports & Freight” Sector continues to be “Open, with a COVIDsafe Plan”. 

Such a plan includes physical distancing measures, proper wearing of face masks, good hygiene, having a COVID marshal, keeping of detailed records, avoiding interactions in enclosed spaces and the creation of “work bubbles”.

“The lifting of the workforce restrictions on warehousing is very welcome news,” said Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers.

“It aligns with the efforts made by CTAA and other organisations to advocate for this outcome given that employers and their workforces have demonstrated the ability to implement COVID-safe measures”

Mr Chambers said the news occurred as the container logistics sector was experiencing higher demand in the lead-up to Christmas, as well as the effects of waterfront industrial actions.

He said it also “puts to bed” confusion about what really constituted a “warehouse” in the container logistics sector.

VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said while the freight industry had faced fewer disruptions than other sectors during the pandemic, it is welcome news that some normalcy was returning.

“This will enable supply chains to gear up for the forthcoming Christmas trading period by ensuring warehouses and distribution centres are fully stocked to meet retail and consumer demand, ultimately creating more work for transport operators,” Mr Anderson said.

“We acknowledge and congratulate the Victorian government for listening in our consultations,” he said.

“The VTA will continue to advocate for policy settings that support the transport industry, which continues to operate safely, productively and efficiently for the benefit of communities and our broader economy.”