The corona crisis is currently facing our economy with numerous logistics challenges. Some sectors are facing increased demand while others are looking at catastrophic drops in demand. Many logistics processes have to be re-evaluated.
The flow of goods is currently changing rapidly. The enormous increase volume in the food and drinks sector has been matched by an equally dramatic fall in demand within sectors such as Events & Hospitality. For logistics companies and hauliers, this means that they have to change their entire planning and react almost daily.
The impact on haulage and distribution companies is mixed
In the UK with around half of the food being imported, keeping supermarket stores stocked with goods is proving challenging for both food suppliers and retailers. Panic buying has meant stock turnround in stores doubling or even trebling. Demand from food producers and suppliers for transport is exceptionally higher than normal.
The shortage of vehicles is being offset as some vehicles can be repurposed to other sectors and drivers are allowed an additional two hours a day on their permitted driving hours.
On the other hand, most European countries have introduced controls at their borders to slow the spread of the virus, which means very long waiting hours.
Diesel prices have dropped dramatically which will benefit costs, but there will also be increased competition for work from hauliers whose work in other sectors has dropped significantly.
Added to this is the uncertainty of how transport managers would cope should any member fall victim to the virus? Would the current route-planning system be able to cope?
In the current situation, software solutions for transport and route planning are important tools to ensure smooth processes and to be able to adapt optimally to constantly changing conditions.
Retail and restaurant delivering their costumers
Retail stores, small owner-operated shops and restaurants, which are forced to close down during the COVID-19 crisis, are facing totally different logistics challenges. In order keep their business running, many are switching to e-commerce concepts or their own delivery services for their customers. Associations such as the Red Cross, are offering shopping and delivery services for people who cannot leave their house.
But how can an e-commerce or delivery system be set up without prior experience? How can an efficient and preferably also sustainable process be implemented?
As in other areas, such as mobile working or online schooling, the right technology plays an important role. Transport Planning Software can help to compile orders into optimal routes in order to reduce mileage and optimise vehicle use.