Winter Planning: Freight Planning in the US vs Australia

There are significant differences in transport planning between the USA and Australia (no winter planning here).

Whilst the size of Australia looks relatively the same as the USA on any geographical map, it is actually 27% smaller, we are also out populated by 307.2 million people (wow). The extremes in weather for both countries are dramatically different making each country unique in the way they approach and plan for transport across the seasons.   

Australia will not often have to deal with seasonal weather variances, for the most part our winters are rather mild (compared with USA), it is more singular weather events, boredom and the outcomes of those that are more of an impact in Australia. 

For example, while we Aussies bake in extreme heat across most of our country with long, very hot summers, dodging killer snakes, feral camels and kangaroos travelling across deserts from Sydney to Perth (with not a lot in between), our brothers and sisters in the USA could be dealing with multiple snow and ice storms in their major cities and transport hubs.   Planning for the winter months is a big process in the USA whereas in Australia it is pretty much business as usual.

Australia does not have snow in any of our major cities or transport hubs, we see some sleet at lower levels, but the snow generally sticks to the Snowy Mountains which stretches from Victoria’s high country through to NSW (not anywhere near any major large cities).  Transport into these regions is planned singularly and around any major snow flurries and often to distribution warehouses at lower levels for easier access for larger trucks.   Smaller chained trucks take goods from there.

Our weather events and summer storms can impact driver planning, but these are always going to be unplanned and adaptability with routes is more of a concern than having to deal with major highways being stopped due to snow and ice.   We do occasionally get cut off from North to South on our major highways due to localised flooding and we experience seasonal wet seasons in our Tropical North where roads and barges are monitored for closures regularly, but aside from that there is not a great deal of disruption due to weather itself.

Two diverse countries with unique transport planning requirements, roughly similar in size but so very different in their landscapes and population density.  Australia being the driest continent in the world with only 8 major cities and 6 states compared with the USA’s over 300 major cities and 50 States, with snow possible across majority of them.

For more information, see the Rockfarm Supply Chain Solutions blog.

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