covid 19

COVID-19 has brought the global economy to a standstill. Governments around the world are working hard to slow the rate of infection, but what does this mean for businesses? We asked our supply chain and freight forwarding experts to weigh in.

COVID-19 (a member of the Coronavirus family) is a newly discovered strain of virus which predominantly attacks the respiratory system. The World Health Organisation (WHO) writes, “Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”

As most of us are most likely aware, the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in China, but has since been declared a global pandemic, with Italy being the hardest hit region so far.

The biggest lesson from COVID-19 is that modern supply chains are vulnerable. With dwindling supplies and increased demand for goods, the economy will feel the effects of COVID-19 for months to come. Not only has the spread of infection slowed activities such as freight forwarding (which are now only operating at between 60-80% of their usual capacity due to travel lockdowns), it has brought production in China to a grinding halt. Deloitte writes, “A decades-long focus on supply chain optimization to minimize costs, reduce inventories, and drive up asset utilization has removed buffers and flexibility to absorb disruptions and COVID-19 illustrates that many companies are not fully aware of the vulnerability of their supply chain relationships to global shocks.”

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