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The Impact of COVID-19 on Transportation Logistics

March 10, 2020
5 min read
Transportation Logistics
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While the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on transportation logistics remains to be seen, our global supply chain–with its intricate and overlapping networks–is shifting and adapting to keep goods moving in the face of new demands. There are mounting uncertainties regarding supply and demand, with seemingly endless variables. Overseas shipments of necessary manufacturing products could stop arriving. More people could do more online shopping and trigger both increased deliveries and increased hiring by the Amazons of the world. The waters are somewhat muddy at this point in time.

What IS clear is that the shift is also being seen in locations facing greater exposure and employing millions of logistics and trade workers. These include truck drivers, movers of materials, agents, and support staff – anyone involved in the work of moving goods through warehouses, ports, and other facilities.

The country’s most populated (and mid-sized) metro areas employ 78% of the total 9.2 million logistics and trade workers. And it’s the mid-sized category, which includes shipping hubs both inland and coastal, that is feeling the harsher effects of COVID-19. The trade and logistics industry employs a much higher percentage of workers in smaller cities like Memphis, Tenn. and Allentown, Pa., entry ports such as Savannah, Ga. and places that are retail- and manufacturing-heavy like Fayetteville, Ark.

Those working in the areas of transportation, facilities for storage and warehousing, and beyond are vital to a healthy supply chain. All income levels benefit from their work, and the impact of COVID-19 on trade will have a direct effect on their livelihood. Trade and logistics could experience everything from layoffs to increased hiring and likely a mix of the two, and a combination of information regarding patterns in factors like mileage for trucks, fuel sales, and unemployment data will be necessary for industry leaders and policymakers needing to gain a better sense of the big picture.

The good news in the face of all the uncertainty is that those working in trade and logistics will still need to get food, as well as many other goods to market. Also, as people continue to adjust their lives around COVID-19 (working from home, digital shopping, etc.) and create new habits, these temporary factors could very well become the status quo. These new habits would reduce demand for office and retail, creating a potential long-term increase in warehousing for logistics real estate inventories.

As your business shifts during these challenging times, Amware is still operating at full-speed. One of the major benefits to Amware customers shipping LTL or FTL is Amrate – Amware’s cloud-based transportation management system software. Because Amrate lives in the cloud, it offers remote workers and transportation managers the flexibility to manage LTL shipments from their home office, living room, or anywhere with internet access. Amrate can also be integrated into most ERP systems, so remote workers connecting via VPN can access everything in one place.

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