Dealers hose down Qantas COVID move

Dealers hose down Qantas COVID move

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Ag Implements Northam administration officer Sue Chester said it was "business as usual at the moment" at the branch this week. Branch manager Luke Siddons said the company had a "healthy" supply of spare parts to respond to customers' needs.

Ag Implements Northam administration officer Sue Chester said it was "business as usual at the moment" at the branch this week. Branch manager Luke Siddons said the company had a "healthy" supply of spare parts to respond to customers' needs.

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WA dealers rely on Qantas Freight for overnight deliveries for parts.

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A SNAP decision this week by Qantas Freight to "pause" operations at its Melbourne freight terminal in Victoria has triggered speculation about spare parts shortages in Western Australia for John Deere dealers.

Melbourne is the parts hub for John Deere dealers throughout Australia and WA dealers rely on Qantas Freight for overnight deliveries.

But suggestions the Qantas decision would immediately effect WA's major John Deere dealers AFGRI Equipment and Ag Implements, drew a swift response from the dealerships.

AFGRI Equipment marketing manager Jacques Coetzee said his company had pre-ordered a "substantial" parts supply for the 2020 season, including harvest components.

"It will not affect us in the short-term and in the event of a specific part being needed, we can still have it roaded to us, which may take three to four days," Mr Coetzee said.

Ag Implements Merredin parts manager Craig Roissetter said Qantas had only paused its air freight service.

"The road freight component is still operating as normal and we do not have any pressing needs at the moment because we keep our parts inventories up to date.

"We ensure good customer service with parts trucks operating every day between branches so if one branch is short of a particularly part we can get it to them the same day."

Qantas Freight said its decision was in response to advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

The Qantas move, in the face of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, does raise speculation about the global machinery parts supply for 2021.

Currently overseas manufacturers are not reporting any issues dealing with spare parts supply other than freight delays.

If the COVID-19 pandemic persists to the extent of factories closing down, it will be considered inevitable that spare parts shortages will be an issue next year.

At the moment, like any other global issue, it remains a subject of speculation.

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