APEC disruptions cause headaches for channel

APEC disruptions cause headaches for channel

Sydney-based distributors have warned of disruptions to order processing and deliveries as a result of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) event this week.

According to the APEC website, road closures, clearways and detours will be in force throughout the Sydney CBD, and roads will be affected around the airport for the week of the conference (Sept 2-9). There's also a public holiday for Sydneysiders on Friday, September 7.

While deliveries can be made in the CBD, APEC organizers advise NSW Police will be conducting security searches and warn there could be delays.

Most distributors contacted by ARN said they would shut down Sydney operations or run on skeleton staff on the APEC public holiday.

"It will be a nightmare to get product around the place for the week," Ingram Micro managing director, Guy Freeland, said. "We're all in the same boat - we'll do the best we can to get stock where it needs to be. On the transport side, we will have to work out what can be delivered and what can't.

"Our warehouse will be running full steam, with the exception of Friday."

Ingram's supply chain manager, Steven Thacker, said it would be communicating directly with customers what changes were expected on a day-to-day basis.

"It will be a moving feast for the whole week," he said. "The CBD will be problematic. We're working with couriers to make sure we have delivery options we can work around." LAN Systems general manager, Wendy O'Keeffe, said staff would work from home where possible.

The distributor will be closed on September 7.

"We think there will be disruptions from a customer perspective - deliveries will be inconsistent getting into those [CBD] areas. I don't know what issues we will having getting product to the airport to be shipped interstate either. So it's also going to affect our freight out and in," she said. "We're advising customers that there will be delays.

"It's going to affect our national and New Zealand businesses too because we ship a lot out of Sydney. I don't think people outside of Sydney realise what affect APEC will have."

But Avnet marketing director, Michael Costigan, wasn't expecting too many issues and said business would remain as close to schedule as possible. The distributor does about half of its national business out of Sydney and ships product from NSW to its branches in Queensland, WA and Victoria.

Express Data managing director, Ross Cochrane, said it would have staff on-hand to take orders for regional NSW customers on the public holiday but would close its warehouse on Friday.

"The challenge is not about us operating - it's more around getting the couriers to collect the physical goods and make deliveries," he said. "We're asking people to get in orders as early as possible so we can get deliveries to them before Thursday. Everything else will ship the following Monday."

Cochrane said most of its resellers were not located in the APEC security zone and didn't expect too many logistical issues.

"I think it's going to be more of a challenge for resellers who have customers in those zones," he said.

Astron sales and marketing director, John Deacon, said it would relocate its North Sydney team and work remotely for the week. About 80 per cent of the integrator's enterprise customers are shutting down.

"We're likening it to the three-day gap between Christmas and new year," he said.

Despite the drop in business, Deacon was unconcerned by the lull, saying orders would simply be placed a week later.

City Software managing director, Lorenzo Coppa, was also confident any lost sales would be recovered in the weeks after APEC and said he didn't expect APEC would have any significant impact on trading.

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