The affect of the global pandemic on freight movement

The rapid and global spread of the novel coronavirus has had impacted the majority of industries across the world. Read more: The affect of the global pandemic on freight movement

The affect of the global pandemic on freight movement

The rapid and global spread of the novel coronavirus has had impacted the majority of industries across the world.

While the most reported pressures have naturally been on health care, and the race for a vaccine, significant questions have been raised on how this virus has impacted freight and passenger travel.

The spread of the coronavirus throughout the world and the different public health measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus has had a unique impact on the global freight industry. This article looks to explore some of the most important impacts which can or have affected businesses across the globe.

Squeeze on Global Trade

Freight forwarders, shipping companies and ports have all witnessed a decrease in demand as the virus caused a global squeeze in trade. Although many countries are slowly moving away from the peak of the virus, the public health measures that were put in place to quash the spread of the virus has had a significant impact in the trading of goods. Although the pressures on health care and the availability of personal protective equipment have dominated the news, the drop in output of manufacturing across the globe has slipped under the radar. This squeeze on trade has had a significant impact on the demand and supply for freight operators.

The squeeze on manufacturing, especially in China throughout January and February caused a significant drop in demand and supply across the freight forwarding sector. As the Chinese manufacturing market is responsible for a significant amount of global production, the halt in production had significant ramifications as expected.

Cargo Backlogs

The stringent measures put in place in certain ports had caused a significant backlog in freight sitting in docks and warehouses. The public health measures that were adopted in major ports such as Shanghai, Long Beach and Rotterdam, required ships to adhere to a certain period of quarantine before they unloaded their cargo or received new containers. This attached significant delays to cargo waiting to be moved, in some cases the delays attached caused freight to be sent back to the sender.

Air Freight

The movement of air cargo has seen similar limitations. The drop in passenger traffic and the full closures of airports in some circumstances has impacted global air cargo capacity, with some estimates recording a 35% drop. One of the major factors behind the drop in capacity is the distinct decrease in passenger traffic. A large proportion of global air cargo is carried in the belly of passenger jets and the decrease in passenger flights has disrupted vital cargo flows.

While passenger flights have naturally decreased, the global air freight services have adapted and larger freight carriers have picked up some of the demand. As restrictions across the globe lift and further manageable guidelines are put in place, the sector may be able to return to pre-COVID levels as demand for products increases.

What does the future hold?

There are arguments circulating how freight forwarders can help overcome the distinct need for shipping certain goods across the globe. As manufacturing starts increasing again in certain countries, companies will require quick and efficient transportation of goods. This is where effective freight forwarders can revolutionise their business, but also increase their favourability in the public eye.

In short, we don’t know how the next coming months are going to pan out. While the peak in many countries has seemed to have passed, how freight forwarders move forward depends on the updating of relevant guidelines and public health measures. It is expected that both air and sea freight will capacity rise to some form of pre-existing levels.

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The affect of the global pandemic on freight movement

Source : Business Matters More   

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Coming out the other side

There is a lot of talk about Exit Strategies in relation to COVID19 right now.  Read more: Coming out the other side

Coming out the other side

There is a lot of talk about Exit Strategies in relation to COVID19 right now.

Whilst the UK Government hasn’t communicated their plan yet, they will have been working on it for a long time in parallel with their initial response strategy for controlling the pandemic.

In crisis management theory, response is one of four key areas of focus; the other three being preparation, (response) recovery and mitigation.

For many businesses the response phase will have included the rapid deployment of workers to home, stabilising operations and financial positions whilst quickly establishing new ways of working.

With this initial response now complete, leaders can begin shifting some of their focus to what comes next and the recovery phase; otherwise known as an exit strategy.

From a human performance and cultural perspective, there are three ‘recovery areas’ which I encourage you to start thinking about.

#1 Knowledge Capture

Lockdown and home-working has forced us all to work in drastically different ways. It has disproved many myths about home-working, productivity and communication. And at the very same time it has opened our minds to different ways of working that we’d never considered.

Whilst many of us may have thought ‘things will never be the same again’, that’s probably not going to be entirely true. Unless we make a conscious effort to identify, capture and reflect on all the lessons we’re learning, we’ll simply slip back into our old ways of working.

In some instances that will be fine. In others it would be akin to trying to put the genie back in the lamp.

#2 Embed

Once we’ve captured the lessons, we must think about how to embed them into our culture. How do we ensure they become a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the future that improves the performance and wellbeing of those we lead?

One thing is for sure, this won’t happen all by itself, as if by magic. It will take smart, forward-thinking leaders to make this happen. And if we don’t make this happen, we gradually slip back to how things were before.

#3 Reintegration

This embedding process will be easier for those who continued working within our organisations throughout the lockdown period than for those who were furloughed (stopped working).

Research conducted at UCL tells us that it takes around 66 days for a new habit to form (for most people). The upside is that if we’re forced into working from home for anything near this timeframe, that will be a huge help in terms of establishing those new SOPs. The downside is we may also have started to embed some new unhealthy habits too.

But what about our furloughed colleagues? They will be returning to a business, department or team that may bear little resemblance to the one they left. Processes, customers, suppliers, ways of working, products and services could all have changed.

This being the case, we must start thinking about how we quickly reintegrate them back into the business. We would be negligent in our duty as leaders if we simply allowed them to come back in at 9am on Monday morning and crack on.

We need to be working on the reintegration plan for our colleagues now. And in doing so we should consider their wellbeing as well as their performance and productivity.

Stay safe, stay well and #LeadOn.

Read more:
Coming out the other side

Source : Business Matters More   

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