As the world continues to mobilize to contain the spread of COVID-19, the logistics industry maintains its unique position on the frontline. Reacting to the biggest shock to the global supply chain since World War II, manufacturers, shippers, and retailers face the challenge of balancing extreme safety concerns with a steady support of a robust economy.
Severe disruptions caused by social distance orders are causing dramatic supply and demand imbalances. We are seeing sustained spikes in some sectors (disinfectants, bottled water, and toilet paper, for instance) and continued slowing in others (restaurant supplies, garments, and travel). The rise in people working, schooling, eating, and socializing at home is creating new and accelerated changes in buying behavior, causing an increase in last-minute-mile delivery and shifting demands for warehousing.
Through it all, our partners everywhere are rising to meet new challenges every single day. Even though no one asked to be involved in a global pandemic, there will undoubtedly be lessons learned that will benefit all of us when we finally pull through this.
Strengthening Partnerships. Through it all, there remains a strong we’re-all-in-this-together vibe. Companies who can manage it are finding ways to help those hit the hardest, shifting production lines to support aid, waiving fees, allowing free use of tools, or otherwise lending a hand. This requires people to find ways to look beyond their differences and competitive tendencies. There is strength for all by standing in support of one another.
Heightening Worker Appreciation. While one segment of the population is ordered to stay home, another is pressed into service. This reality has intensified our dependence on our essential workforce and reinforced how they are worthy of gratitude and recognition. The companies that will survive will be the ones who listen and communicate with their people. Those on the front lines of the Coronavirus crisis are those who have always been the lifeblood of our communities and will remain so long after we move into recovery.
Amplifying Voices to Affect Change. How employees perform is greatly influenced by the support they receive from management. Workers from essential businesses across the country have spoken up. In response, corporations are taking active measures to protect the well-being of both their workers and customers. This includes adopting daily operation practices (like working from home) to minimize job loss, providing paid sick leave for employees who may not have been eligible before, and establishing hazard pay for those at risk. These measures will go a long way to deepen our commitments to one another as we rebuild with new strategies.
Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to lead us to collective action. The lessons learned from our frontline heroes today will hopefully lead to effective, lasting change that will continue beyond recovery.
On behalf of everyone at EASE, we are so thankful and express our gratitude to all those on the frontlines who are working tirelessly to keep our country and communities safe, protected and moving forward.