05 June 2003 | David Arminas
A move by Toyota to 24-hour production has highlighted the problems faced by suppliers based in areas where round-the-clock access is banned.
The car maker says it will work with suppliers to try to overcome any restrictions on late-night deliveries.
But the road freight industry is campaigning for a more flexible approach by councils to help meet the demands of "just-in-time" production systems.
Mark Adams, assistant general manager at Toyota's purchasing division, told SM: "The impact of us moving to a third shift and working 24 hours a day will be positive for our suppliers.
"But there are some issues such as 24-hour access that we will be working out with them."
He said one supplier had opened a new access road to its plant allowing 24-hour access.
Mick Jackson, head of logistics at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the umbrella body for logistics providers, said 24-hour access was an "emotive issue" for businesses, local authorities and residents.
Many authorities have banned late-night deliveries and the FTA was campaigning for a more flexible approach by all parties.
"Just-in-time requires more frequent, and often small, deliveries," Jackson said.