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Asia Minute: Australia’s shortage of truck drivers hits grocery store shelves

igorovsyannykov from Pixabay

Restrictions related to the pandemic are having economic impacts around the world. In Australia, one issue is showing up on the roads.

The Premier of Victoria says one of his state’s major economic problems is a continuing disruption in the supply chain of goods — leading to empty shelves in grocery stores.

And he says the single biggest issue in the supply chain is a shortage of truck drivers.

Meanwhile, union leaders say that up to half of truck drivers in some parts of Australia are off the job.

That’s either because they have COVID themselves, or they’ve been exposed to others who have tested positive for the virus.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation says more supermarkets are seeing empty shelves — not because of panic buying, but mostly because of delays and disruptions in deliveries.

The national supermarket chain Coles is limiting purchases of meat and some other products in all states except Western Australia.

The grocery chain Woolworths says it’s facing shortages of chicken and other meat products in some of its stories around the country — and more extensive supply issues in Queensland and New South Wales — the state experiencing the highest number of active cases in Australia.

Leaders of the country’s fuel industry say their business is currently stable, but they want to work with government regulators to avoid any shortfall of gasoline and diesel because of staff shortages throughout the national fuel distribution system.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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