The supply chain network in the post-covid era; The new normal
Closed borders, staff limitations, stock-outs, lack of raw materials, unexpected peaks in demand and sudden mobility restrictions…
The transport and logistics industry has faced the challenge of accomplishing efficient supply during the pandemic.
As the outbreak led to disruptions in supply chain operations, the logistics industries were restrained in various manners across road, air, and sea freight.
The Covid-19 crisis has completely reshaped the supply chain network and brought new challenges.
A few major points are listed here below.
During the outbreak and the severe limitations, we witnessed worldwide a historic rise in e-commerce and that is no doubt the most distinctive and positive impact of the pandemic effect in logistics.
The rise of e-commerce is here to stay making a necessity the redesign of the supply chain network and the review of warehousing and transport processes.
Many logistics customers decided to relocate their inventory as closer to the demand as possible, while improving their reach. The outbreak made it clear that having no inventory is as bad as having an inventory in the wrong place.
The use of multiple warehouses at various locations with transportation to the customer from the closest warehouse is a faster solution and a cost effective too.
Traceability in the supply chain
Covid crisis assisted to acknowledge some of the deficiencies that exist in worldwide supply chains. The shortages and insufficiency of supplies point up the necessity to improve the traceability of products and stock levels of the suppliers in real time.
Reconstructing the transportation strategy in the post covid environment was crucial. With the pandemic leading to an excessive increase of air and ocean freight costs, multimodal transportation option was the answer for a cost-efficient outcome.
The movement of cargo via several modes of transport (air, sea, rail, or road), while providing end-to-end process visibility through sophisticated technology systems, was a challenge as the volume of this type of cargo tremendously increased.
Remote working and social distancing
Most of the supply chain operations are not the certain type to be performed remotely. The pandemic greatly expanded the need of working remotely, while maintain the same service quality level to logistics customers.
New infrastructures, business applications, wired and wireless networks, and further structural adjustments were made that will be critical for business success during the next years becoming part of “the new normal”.
It is still too early to draw any solid conclusions on the long-term implications of the coronavirus pandemic in the supply chain field. However, as business continuity has been the prime concern for most organizations, looking into the future and designing new strategies for the post-crisis period should be at the top priorities too.