The world is in an all-time economic low with diverse movement restrictions imposed in almost every country.
The pandemic has stretched for too long affecting various industries all around and the logistics industry is no different. The pandemic has quite clearly impacted the logistics industry quite hard, with the movement of only essential goods not restricted.
With restricted movement and ban on cross-border travels, the logistics industry is dealing with a lot of hardships. While the initial stage of the pandemic almost crashed the logistics industry in America, the market leaders developed strategies to overcome the limitations and have now made a comeback.
From goods transportation services (Check Here) to moving truck rental companies and even the passenger moving services sustained significant losses in the initial months of the lockdown.
While transportation is the backbone of the logistics industry, the industry itself is a key place holder in many other industries like inventory management, supply chain management, warehousing, packaging, etc.
However, as the restrictions were lifted or slightly changed, the companies have devised new strategies accordingly to combat the lethal effect of the pandemic, the logistics industry is recovering now.
How Is the Logistics Industry Dealing With the Crisis?
The logistics industry leaders worked hard on the supply chain and logistics industry crisis and concluded that fighting the tough times is only possible when logistics and information technology collaborate. Finding out ways to minimize the impacts of the crisis and ensuring great returns is the primary agenda.
From limited availability of drivers because of the fear of the virus to movement restrictions, unavailability of labor for loading and unloading the vehicles, and more, are some of the key problems that the industry faced in the last few months. Although the situation has improved to a great extent, a lot of the limitations mentioned above persist.
Core Factors That Affected the Logistics Market
Amid the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, many factors affected the logistics industry. Here are the few core factors that can be held responsible:
The Effects on the Supply Chain
For logistics to run smoothly the normalcy of the supply chain is imperative. However, while the demand for goods, specifically essential items has grown significantly in the past few months, a number of manufacturing facilities have dealt with a temporary or permanent shutdown. The disruption has affected the supply chain, stopping it with a jerk break. Besides, due to the complete restrictions on international movement, the import and export business of goods have also been affected.
Even for the companies and manufacturing units that are yet operational, procuring raw material has become the biggest challenge. Although the key influencer of a smooth supply chain is customer demand, the lack of resources and difficulty in processing makes it tougher for the supply chain to run flawlessly. Even when the pandemic is over and the world resumes to normalcy, this effect in the supply chain won’t fade away easily.
Empowering the Logistics With Access
One way the logistics industry can revive significantly is with the unlocking of the inventories. The warehouses have a significant stock of goods with them but due to the inability to access them, logistics companies are failing to empower the supply chain. The logistics companies should come up with ways to work with the government restrictions and ensure each reaches these goods.
Rebuilding the Transport Capacity
Trucks and vans are stranded on the routes which have affected the transportation capacity of the companies. The logistics companies will first have to work with rebuilding their capacities. Establishing connections with the drivers and helping them in bringing back the trucks would be great for a start.
The logistics and supply chain sector has greatly influenced the integration of technology. Remote working facilities have become imperative for the backend management employees of the industry. As remote working options allow the safety of the individual, it is not a fear generating aspect for employees working on the backend processes.
Artificial intelligence can also prove very helpful in ensuring the smooth functioning of the supply chain. For example, for the moving industry, an AI-based app can help manufacturing companies as well as consumers to locate high-risk areas, safety, and health status of the movers they are working with. When consumers will have enough information about the truck rental service provider they can proceed with the moving requirements with great confidence.
Developing Digital Supply Chains
From making digital platforms for conducting logistics operations to digitalizing the communication system, there are many reforms that the logistics industry can utilize. Although digital supply chains are still a great part of the industry, they can be empowered more and for better.
The Post COVID-19 Logistics Industry
To tackle the crisis in the logistics industry, the government across the world have responded to the crisis by exempting some of the transport modes during the lockdown as essentials. Shipping services, Designating ports, Trucking services and cargo flights are grouped under the same.
Some measures that the industry must take during and after this pandemic are:
- Implementing new safety protocols for the working staff – Working on social distancing mandatory policies, disinfecting work areas, protective gears, or maybe some unpaid time off.
- Looking for alternative modes of transport – Airlines are repurposing a lot of passenger flights for transporting cargo. DHL has onboarded on this & is using chartered flights to transport shipments to China.
- Adapting to offer services according to current demands in the market – Delivering medical supplies, masks, protective gears, etc. seems like a good alternative to start with.
Logistics is a powerful sector that almost runs every operation in the economy. Ensuring smooth functioning of it is very imperative to boost the entire economy during and post-pandemic. By ensuring that the logistics sector is offered access to the supplies of goods, digitally advanced platforms, and availability of labor. The pandemic will be over soon with great demand for supplies, the logistics industry has to buckle up for the challenge that it is going to face soon.