The features we run in FTD are usually planned a year in advance, and when we sat down this time last year and scheduled a ‘disaster management’ feature for this December issue, little did we think then that we would be receiving content from an all-too-real perspective. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch and surrounding areas in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 4 September left the region’s infrastructure and supply chain practitioners reeling.
Following a disaster, media coverage is usually extensive, with an almost blow-by-blow account of what’s happening. Although we could have included articles in the Oct/Nov edition, we chose not to, preferring instead to let Cantabrians get on with the task of rebuilding their lives and businesses. Allowing the dust to settle, quite literally, allows people time to gather their thoughts, establish a sense of realism about what’s happened, and to recount their experiences knowing that the worst is over (hopefully).
We approached a number of businesses to tell us about their particular experiences in the aftermath of the quake – from the transport operators to those involved with warehousing and distribution. Several are still very much in clean-up mode and were in no position – understandably – to take time out to write of their experiences. Several are facing the daunting task of replacing infrastructure that was supposedly earthquake proof, but has cataclysmically failed. I spoke to one fellow who’d lost his office in the CBD – he was one of the unfortunate ones to have a tenancy in a building that’s since been demolished. “We were given half an hour to collect whatever we could carry,” he told me. “We picked up our laptops and left. I’m now working from home, as is the rest of our team. I don’t know when we’ll have a proper office again.”
The material we received makes for interesting reading, especially that from Christchurch International Airport, one of the few organisations that had people working at the time when the quake struck. The fact that most people were not in work and were tucked up in bed is one of the reasons why there were no fatalities. Another reason is our stringent building standards. Modern commercial buildings built to the current NZ Building Code must adhere to strict seismic regulations and are capable of withstanding an earthquake of greater intensity than the Canterbury quake with only limited structural damage.
All that remains is for me, on behalf of all of us here at FTD, to wish you the very best for Christmas and the New Year – make sure you enjoy some of the sunshine they’re promising us.
See you in 2011.
Until next time …
Lynne Richardson, editor
In the December 2010 January 2011 Hard Copy Issue
Trans-Tasman ties in logistics and supply chain studies 10
High-rolling record breaker on the high seas 11
Freight & distribution
Truck driver training made safer 12
Major extension for Cook Strait ferry 14
New ship joins Strait Shipping fleet 14
The FTD Interview
Pat Byrne – improving New Zealand’s supply chain capability 16
Logistics & technology
KiwiRail keeps goods moving into Christchurch 18
Port ensures vital goods reach Canterbury following once-in-a-lifetime event 19
Christchurch bridges in the spotlight after earthquake 20
Responding to the Christchurch quake – the human dimension 23
Aero mechanical conveyoring with the Floveyor 24
Wire cages – changing the way we move freight 24
Dematic’s logistics upgrade a prescription for success at Sigma Pharmaceuticals 26
Common ground for forklifts and lawnmowers 28
Hydraulic dock levellers for full-speed container loading 29
Hard lessons drive quest for improvement 30