Cargo during Corona
Sun Feb 28 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
The COVID - 19 pandemic has left the world in a flood of disarray with economic prospects looking more worrying than ever. The logistics management sector has not been spared either and the fallout from the pandemic continues to loom threateningly over supply chains across the world.
The logistical nightmare haunts every aspect of life from transportation of essential supplies like food to medical products like the much-coveted Covid Vaccine. This has forced the system to adapt to the new challenges and come up with solutions to tackle them. Let us take a look at how cargo handling has evolved during the time of Corona.
The Arduous Path
Before we begin, let us identify the many hurdles that popped up on the voyage. To begin with, countries closing borders and ports of entry without prior notice was the most notable challenge. All non-essential movement via air or sea came to a standstill with regulations changing almost daily. Private players had no option but to comply until the situation improved. The most affected were those trading in perishable goods as time to market is a key parameter for them.
The next logistical challenge was ensuring that the goods did not contain the virus or traces of it. This involves mass sterilization protocols and more instances of regulatory checks. More often than naught, the cost of sterilization had to be borne by the parties involved and not the local port authorities. The novel protocols were time consuming and expensive in addition to being labor intensive. Moreover, complying with such protocols for non-packaged goods like grains and fruits were close to impossible.
Another dominant challenge was ensuring the safety of the crew and supporting personnel as the nature of the operation involved spending long hours in constricted spaces. Thus, it would be difficult to contain an outbreak if it were to occur.
Following numerous complaints and public outcry, international bodies convened to assess the situation and come up with possible ways to circumvent the situation while ensuring the safety of those involved. Organisations like International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have charted standard operating procedures that cargo handling services need to follow guided by instructions from local authorities. Their efforts are supplemented by bi-lateral agreements made by the concerned governments. Entry applications are being vetted on a case by case basis with specialized units designated to handle such issues. The screening and testing infrastructure at the ports of entry have also been enhanced to ensure the smooth passage of goods. Priority parameters are also put in place to make room for faster processing of perishable and medical goods.
In terms of the aircrafts and vessels, shipping capacity has been reduced by as much as 35%. Moreover, there is a shift to chartered vessels and planes with suppliers and buyers pooling resources to reduce long-term liability. Existing passenger aircrafts and ships are also being converted to exclusively handle cargo.
Supply chains are indispensable in the contemporary age and the decision-making bodies are aware of this fact. With vaccine distribution being the foremost concern worldwide, global efforts for transporting vaccines are underway and cargo handling entities will be focusing their energies on this endeavor in the coming few months. Until normalization of trade routes for both sea and air are achieved, chartered freights and bi-lateral routes are set to continue well into the year.
Anchor Link Shipping has been constantly updating our services to accommodate the capricious nature of the current logistics network. We are committed to timely delivery of shipments to our clients and are continuously exploring the means by which to achieve this. We have secured permissions from all major ports in asia to operate our vessels and ensure smooth flow of cargo across destinations. Get in touch with our executives for solutions to your cargo transportation woes during this trying time.
Our shipping and coordination services include:
● NVOCC Operations
● Ocean Freight
● Air Freight
● Cross Stuffing
● Custom Clearance
● Project Cargo Handling
Check out our website to know more.