Here are some FAQ coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Logistics Plus team:
Are customers worried more now with the possibility of goods from Europe being banned? What would the scenario look like?
Yes, Logistics Plus customers are definitely very worried, and some companies are affected more than others. Here is what we have been sharing with customers that are worried about the EU ban specifically: “The restriction stops people not goods,” as President Trump later noted on Twitter.
We are working with most of our customers on different contingency plans. This includes setting up emergency warehouses and helping our customers set up infrastructure for their employees to work from home. We are also reserving capacity for their shipments, working with carriers, consolidations, exploring full charter options and providing the visibility to affected areas and shipments.
What industries would be impacted the most?
All industries seem to be affected in one manner or another. We have an open poll to our customers right now and almost all respondents are indicating their supply chains are moderately affected so far, while 20% indicate they are severely impacted.
To assist some of our strategic customers, our Business Intelligence team is rapidly developing specific reports and dashboards to help them assess which of their shipments have been impacted so that we can help them develop contingency plans (see example below).
For the benefit of all our customers, we have also released a live, real-time dashboard (piggy-backed off data from John Hopkins Center) providing all of our eShipPlus domestic TMS users and our global MyLogisticsPlus portal users with a live view of the areas most affected by the pandemic (see example below).
Are there any examples of what Logistics Plus is doing to help its customers through this pandemic?
Yes, one example is the help we are providing a global financial client (a Fortune 50 company and one of the top hedge funds in the world) that is suffering from an immediate backlog of orders for equipment so that its employees can work remotely. To assist, Logistics Plus dispatched a half dozen cross-functional employees to the client’s warehouses in Chicago and New Jersey to work over the weekend helping them pick, pack and ship the critical equipment needed for the financial company’s employees to effectively work from home.
Other things that Logistics Plus is doing in support of our customers’ contingency plans:
- Setting up emergency warehouses- if LA shuts down then we have New Jersey, if not New Jersey then Chicago, if not Chicago then Erie (you get the idea; we have the ability to adapt at a moment’s notice).
- Working on setting up infrastructure that allows our customers’ workforce to effectively work from home for an extended period of time.
- Logistics Plus is not just helping companies move their freight; we are helping them stay OPERATIONAL. Many of the equipment and shipments we are coordinating are very critical to their operations.
- Logistics Plus is a SOLUTIONS company. Rather than telling people what ports or airports are closed (this is what other logistics companies are doing), we focus on telling our customers what is open. Example: if a customer’s freight can’t fly out of Italy, let’s move it on a truck to France, Switzerland, etc. and ship it from there.
- We are actively engaging our customers to provide supply chain analysis, reporting, and business intelligence features such as interactive dashboards that allow our customers to view visual representations of their global supply chain (as noted above).
Any predictions on the economy? How should companies prepare for this ongoing supply chain disruption?
We are not in position to make any predictions yet. This is a very fluid environment right now, and at the moment, we are squarely focused on solving many of the big, more immediate supply chain problems our customers our currently facing. Here is our advice to shippers:
- Monitor the news closely. If coronavirus has not impacted your supply chain dramatically, assume that it could and begin preparing contingency plans for employees, suppliers and customers.
- Set priorities. If capacity is limited, there will need to be rules for which products should be manufactured and which customers should be supplied first.
- Review suppliers. What does current inventory look like? Who makes critical parts and components? Are there alternative sources or suppliers in other countries?
- Maximize cash flow. In the event coronavirus has an extended impact on the economy, tighten cash flows and account receivables process; and focus sales to start identifying new opportunities for the pipeline.
- Maintain communications. If you have foreign offices, maintain dialog with federal and local authorities, as well as other employees and partners on the ground in impacted countries.
- Get creative. With many international trade lanes facing shutdowns and delays, look for alternative shipping modes and trade routes to get needed product from impacted countries to production facilities.
- Position yourself for the recovery. Work with air and ocean freight companies to secure first-available capacity once things recover and trade lanes return to normal operations.
- Seek third-party assistance. Find a knowledgeable and capable third-party logistics partner that has global operations and connections, like Logistics Plus, who can help support all of the items above.
Need some additional help? Contact us.