A recent survey that was answered by over 300 Shipping and Freight Professionals across the world, brought out some key indicators that will inform the future course of global supply chains. One of the most important trends unearthed was the readiness to change supply chain strategies (42.5%). Additionally, answers and a large number of comments on the survey questions point to the overall adaptability of the industry and that we can expect a renewed surge in the demand for technology solutions, with 67.6% of the survey takers indicating they will invest in technology.
Global supply chains and shipping as we know them will be different from how they worked for decades. Navigating around and through the COVID-19 situation has left us all in uncharted waters, with 59.2% of responders indicating their operations were significantly affected, rocking the foundation of even the most stable businesses. However, sharing information and understanding best practices will enable the industry to come together and combat this as a whole. If there was ever a time for collective efforts, it is now.
With this intent, the survey, conducted by Shipping and Freight Resource and sponsored by Ocean Insights, the Ocean Freight Tracking System provider, was designed to measure the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on global supply chains. It collected and analyzed data on three key aspects – Impact, Preparedness, and Recovery.
The survey was answered by Carriers, Logistics Providers, Freight Forwarders/NVOs, Consultants, Shippers/BCOs (95.7%) and other (4.3%) industry professionals across job levels – C-Level, Director/Top Management, Middle Management, and Operations.
This is what the industry said –
59% of survey takers said that their operations had been significantly affected. 25% were moderately affected while 14% were ‘somewhat affected’. Only 1% maintained they were not affected while a negligible number stated they were unsure.
Survey participants were asked to check multiple options with respect to affected operations. 70% experienced volume decline, 61% were hit with transit delays, 50% with delays from port to customers, and 40% with lack of capacity.
Furthermore, based on additional comments, operations suffered from other factors such as, “late or non-payment from clients, canceled credit lines from physical carriers”, “inconsistent volume demand” and “increased costs”.
With respect to communications with their shipping and supply chain partner, 35% experienced delayed communications while 10% stated they received scarce communications, while 4% were unsure. The majority (51%) were receiving real-time, ongoing communications.