Logistics and empty shelves.
The strangest thing happened to me last weekend. We were all out of rubbing alcohol at home, so I ran to the drug store to grab some. But there was no rubbing alcohol to be found. I didn’t think much of it. Just went across town to another drug store where I found the same empty shelves and no rubbing alcohol. It kind of reminded me of those first two weeks of the COVID-19 shutdown when toilet paper was impossible to find. And yet, I made my way to the grocery store. I was certain I would find rubbing alcohol there, but I was wrong. There was not a drop of the stuff anywhere.
This story is an illustration of the continuing disruption set in motion by COVID-19 that continues to ripple throughout the supply chain. And while we in the logistics industry have had to navigate large-scale disruption due to extreme weather events like Hurricane Katrina or widespread wildfires, COVID’s impact on supply chains is far greater. According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, this is due to the geographic and industrial scope as well and the duration of the pandemic.
What does this disruption look like?
Distribution centers and warehouse facilities are impacted for a variety of reasons.
- Delay times at distribution centers are growing. Consumer demand for products and home delivery is, in some cases, overwhelming warehouse distribution centers unprepared for the massive volumes of freight on their floors.
- Furthermore, many of these distribution centers are running inefficiently due to staffing shortages because of the pandemic. Reasons for this include a heightened fear of catching the virus at work, a fear of returning to work, or breakouts in the workplace.
While many supply chain experts are touting the advent of a “new normal,” we all must question exactly what this “new normal” will look like in regards to supply and demand. According to the industry experts at Salesforce, the Christmas peak will be early this year due in part to a later Prime day which will kick off the buying season. While other forecasts point to the peak remaining high because of new buying patterns and the shift from brick and mortar to e-commerce by a wide swathe of consumers. We have yet to see whether the demand for home delivery of consumer goods will sustain itself as disposable income typically spent on travel and leisure is spent on home goods.
Blue Eagle Logistics Warehousing and Final Mile Solutions
Here at Blue Eagle Logistics we have been at the forefront of COVID-preparedness measures. The industry must continue to see its way through the disruptions to volumes, staffing, and customer requirements. And while seasonality will affect shipping patterns, rates, and ultimately customer satisfaction and confidence, we remain committed to the high levels of service our customers know and expect.
If you want to know more about Blue Eagle’s warehousing and last mile services, please give us a call today.