How the Logistic Business Tackles the Coronavirus Pandemic
As COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to spread, all businesses are impacted daily. However, logistics is a particularly sensitive indicator of the healthcare crisis. Despite challenges, the EU is working hard to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and maintain its supply chains. Here are the factors that are impacting logistic businesses in the EU and how they’re working to address them.
Closed borders between EU countries
On March 17, 2020, the EU decided to close all of the borders to countries operating under the Schengen agreement. This temporary reintroduction of border control for 30 days cast doubt on how the logistics business could continue to operate. However, the European Commission quickly jumped into action.
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, released a statement in regard to the border closures of EU countries and the movement of goods and services. It stated:
To keep freight moving freely and efficiently across the EU, the European Commission, on 23 March, issued practical advice on the implementation of ‘green lanes’ – border crossings open to all freight vehicles carrying goods where any checks or health screenings should not take more than 15 minutes.
This helps alleviate the concern that freight may not be moved quickly or efficiently during a pandemic. President von der Leyen has specifically set out four specific objectives to guarantee the functionality of freight transport on Europe’s roads.
International supply chain dilemmas
Supply chains are one of the biggest disruptions that COVID-19 has caused. In business, the product ultimately goes from your suppliers to your company to your customers. When this chain is disrupted, it requires an immediate shift in product volume or procedures. Hence, logistics management software becomes a must-have business tool.
This issue, just like the virus, originated in China because it serves as a hub for manufacturing. Even as China begins to recover in terms of health, the economic issues caused by the coronavirus are far from over. As Europe became the COVID-19 epicenter in mid-March (which has now shifted to the United States), it seemed uncertain at how drastically the region would be impacted economically.
Around this same time, Amazon announced that it would shutter its European supply chain network for inbound shipments for its Fulfillment by Amazon service in Europe. While the eCommerce giant stated that they wanted to prioritize groceries, medical supplies, and other essentials, this is just one example of how a single supply chain delay from one company can cause long-term impacts. When you multiple this impact across thousands of companies, it can have significant economic effects.
Right now, it’s a waiting game to see how logistics not only continues to impact Europe but also how the logistics businesses continue to tackle the difficult hand they’ve been dealt. It’s unclear when borders will reopen or when supply chains may right themselves once again. If that’s not soon, it could have an enormous impact on the upcoming back-to-school and holiday seasons, which are a significant source of income for the retail industry.