It’s a new world in which we find ourselves midway through 2020. COVID-19 has really hit everyone around the globe hard, and it may be some time before we’re back to anything resembling the normal of memory. However, as we move forward, we at Cyclone Shipping are looking at how we—and the rest of the freight forwarding industry—will successfully redefine shipping in a post-COVID world. By all accounts, it’s looking pretty good. And there’s no doubt it will get better the closer we are to a cure.
Changes to Consumer Behavior in a Post-COVID World
One huge benefit to the timing of the pandemic is that it is occurring during the digital age. While people have been locked in their houses under stay-at-home orders, they’ve still been able to shop thanks to the internet. More people than ever are buying essentials, as well as extras, via online sites such as Amazon. Nearly every local and national store now offers delivery, which has only made buying from our living rooms that much easier. But that means that companies need to utilize that technology to keep up with demand.
Supply Chain & Automation
If technology is allowing consumers to purchase items for delivery without ever going to a store, that same technology should be able to help businesses deliver the items they are purchasing. Simply put: supply chains can be remodeled using technology. Whether that includes real-time digital order tracking, automatic alerts, route optimization, or enhanced navigation, technology is a real boost for today’s shipping needs.
But it goes beyond just helping the supply chain. Automation can help with employee and consumer support as we strive to minimize the number of people infected by COVID-19.
With the uptick in e-commerce, Amazon and Walmart recently added 500,000 new employees. Other companies are following suit. That’s wonderful, but what if those employees get sick? Or what if companies choose to stagger shifts to reduce the potential spread of the disease?
In a post-COVID world, automation and robotics can be employed to ensure the continuation of deliveries at all stages along the supply chain, regardless of employee health. From picking and packing to shipping and delivery, technology can be leveraged.
A Post-COVID World Requires Flexibility
While technology is certainly a positive in today’s economy, freight forwarders are bracing for a downfall in 2020. According to a Hellenic Shipping News article on recent research by Transport Intelligence (Ti), this year may be the worst to date, even outpacing the Great Recession of 2008. What will help, though, is the ability to adapt. By making the most of technology and adapting daily operations, freight forwarders will be able to stay ahead of challenges that may be upcoming.
In fact, that’s what many are seeing now: a turn toward the positive. While the overall market will likely show a downturn for the year, the future is looking up. The important thing is to stay flexible and be ready to pivot as needed.
That’s exactly how Cyclone Shipping, as a freight forwarder, operates. We forecasted shipping challenges due to the US-China trade war, and we are always reviewing options in today’s economy. As we look toward a post-COVID world, we continue to review numerous options to enable our customers to keep pace with the times.
If you have questions about how we can help, please contact us. We are here to advocate for you and ensure you meet your shipping deadlines.