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Australian supermarkets form ‘task force’ to tackle pallet shortage By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A girl walks within the fruit and greens part at a Coles grocery store in Sydney, Australia, February 20, 2018. Picture taken February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s two largest grocery store operators have fashioned a “activity power” to remedy a shortage of supply pallets, the No. 2 grocery chain mentioned on Thursday, the strongest signal of the sector’s publicity to provide chain issues gripping the world.

Coles Group (OTC:) Ltd CEO Steven Cain mentioned the corporate and bigger rival Woolworths Group Ltd had joined trade physique the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) to handle a shortage of the picket crates, linked to a scarcity of uncooked materials and prolonged lockdowns.

“Across the nation there’s a little bit of a pallet-gate happening,” Cain mentioned on an earnings name.

“The lack of wooden means not many new ones are being produced.”

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Amid restrictions on motion to cease the unfold of COVID-19, individuals around the globe are searching for greater properties or embarking on renovation initiatives, sapping timber provides and driving up costs.

Meanwhile, the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, dwelling to 40% of Australia’s 25 million individuals, have been in months-long lockdowns, inflicting freight stoppages.

An AFGC spokesperson had no further remark. A Woolworths spokesperson was not instantly accessible for remark.

At an earnings name on Wednesday, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci mentioned the corporate anticipated its pallet shares to final till the tip of the 12 months as “what we require for Christmas has been shipped”.

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The provide points add to headwinds for Australian grocers, among the many fundamental beneficiaries of the pandemic-led shift to working and entertaining at dwelling, because the easing of motion restrictions undercuts almost two years of heightened demand.

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