The Australian trucking industry is facing its own 'toilet paper moment' as people race out to buy supplies of AdBlue.
Earlier this month the warning bell was sounded that without intervention, the nation could run out of AdBlue supplies by mid-February.
The federal government established a taskforce last week to explore options as a result.
Australian Trucking Association chairman David Smith has received reports of a man in Western Australia being caught on CCTV filling up 15 IBC shuttles.
He said the AdBlue had been taken from a bulk supplier, who now turns his pumps off at night as a result.
"It's no different from people stockpiling toilet paper, it's just insane," he said.
"It's pretty sad really because if everyone only consumed what they needed, there's enough to last until early February.
"But, of course, not everyone is doing the right thing."
Livestock and Rural Transport Association of Western Australia president David Fyfe said the man's actions were selfish.
"The person caught filling those shuttles wouldn't be able to use that amount in his fleet in a year and, of course, there's a certain shelf to AdBlue," he said.
Mr Fyfe is the managing director of Fyfe Transport, based at Lake Grace, and his fleet of 10 trucks cart livestock, grain, fertiliser and liquids.
He said over the past week AdBlue prices have gone up three-fold. While he has been quoted prices, he has been unable to source any product at present.
At Tumby Bay in South Australia, Mr Smith said prices at the bowser were anywhere up to $2.20 per litre.
Mr Smith is the managing director of Smith Haulage and usually buys AdBlue in bulk for the 22 trucks in his fleet.
"I was paying 45c/L a month ago and a letter came this week from my same supplier that as of December 20 there will be a 54c/L surcharge," he said.
Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria acting president Russell Borchard said the rising cost of urea and people panic buying supplies had led to AdBlue prices increasing.
Mr Borchard is also the owner and managing director of livestock carrier Borchtrans, based in Mildura.
He is part of the growing chorus urging people to stop panic buying the diesel exhaust fluid.
Mr Smith said the price of urea, which is used to produce AdBlue, had gone up 400 per cent since January.
He expects pricing will remain an issue as the AdBlue price would be dictated by the international price for urea.
Mr Smith said the situation with China, coupled with the fact no national record was kept for AdBlue levels like there was for diesel, had led to Australia quickly hitting the wall.
He hopes a lesson has been learnt from this situation and in future he would like to see national AdBlue stocks recorded.
Mr Borchard said the government had been 'asleep at the wheel' with regards to the impending AdBlue shortage but seemed to be on track and aware of the issue now.
"I think the best case scenario moving forward is the government has got to get manufacturing back on the table in Australia and get Australia manufacturing its own products again," he said.
Mr Fyfe supported calls for AdBlue and other products to be manufactured onshore.
He would also like to see the government guarantee better supplies of diesel and AdBlue and was concerned only 20 days supply of diesel is being kept in Australia.
"The emergency supplies are being held offshore and it is getting close to time that they realised they need to hold more fuel and more AdBlue in Australia to keep industry going," Mr Fyfe said.
"We as an industry are forced to use AdBlue, and anything to lower emissions is a great idea, but why should the industry have to be the one to alert the government we're running low."
Queensland Senator and special envoy for northern Australia Susan McDonald said she would support any investigation into the possibility of building a urea factory in the north to service the rapidly developing region.
Senator McDonald said domestic supplies of AdBlue were within the normal range and urged consumers not to 'rush to the toilet paper aisle' like they had during COVID-19 lockdowns.
She said Australia, like many other countries around the world, has been aware of supply chain issues for a range of products and the government had been consulting with affected industries to work on solutions.
Senator McDonald said calls for the federal government to allow trucks and machinery to operate without AdBlue did not take into account the practicalities, costs or impact on entire transport fleets.
"I am disappointed to hear that some AdBlue outlets have dramatically raised their prices and it is very frustrating to see Coles and Woolworths using supply chain risks to once again put up the price of milk without passing one cent on to dairy farmers," she said.
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