Navigating Turbulence: COVID-19 Impact Analysis on the Logistic

  • It is not an exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. Almost all the industries have faced serious setbacks because of this situation and the global logistics industry is no different. The logistics industry had been witnessing considerable growth since the past few years, which can be primarily attributed to the swift rate of digital transformation all across the globe. The rapid urbanization, rising e-commerce activities, and increasing disposable income of people have created high demand for logistics services all across the globe.

    The growth trajectory of the industry has however been brought down by the rapidly spreading coronavirus, at least for the time being. As most countries across the globe have imposed lockdown for controlling the spread of the virus, operations have been hindered, which has led to a decline in demand for logistics services, thereby slowing down the growth of the industry. A major impact of the virus has been the disruption in the supply chain.

    A vast supply chain network has been developed by China across various countries, including Italy, Japan, India, the U.S., South Korea, the U.K., Germany, and Spain. In addition to this, all of these countries are also engaged in trading activities with each other, for the exchange of non-essential and essential goods, such as mobile phones, automobiles and their parts, pharmaceutical ingredients, and industrial equipment.

    The pandemic however, has forced these countries to temporarily discontinue all the trading activities amongst each other, thereby leading to a massive disruption in the supply chain. Various countries have restricted the number of water, air, and rail cargoes travelling to and from nations that have been severely affected by COVID-19. The cargoes have further been restricted to supply essential items during lockdown across all the modes of transport. Truckers have also been facing various obstacles because of several permission barriers in different locations.

    This restricted movement of goods, especially when it comes to non-essential items, has affected the overall freight utilization all over the globe. The offline mode of logistics services has been hit severely amidst this situation. Because of COVID-19, a drastic change has been registered in the consumer buying behavior, as most of them are opting for online shopping of essential goods, instead of going to physical stores. Moreover, the shutdown of retail outlets for non-essential items has eliminated the need for transportation of such products.

    In order to deal with this situation, logistics companies have been making various strategic changes and are focusing on formulating backups for recovery early. These measures are focusing upon decreasing the overall cost of services, since operational optimization will be the top priority for companies once the pandemic crisis is dealt with.