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COVID-19, Cold chain management
COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented level of disruption to supply chains around the globe. From food and beverage products to drugs and vaccines, businesses and their customers have experienced delays of six weeks or more in some areas of the world. While bottlenecks are lifting, many uncertainties remain.
In the pharmaceutical supply chain, manufacturers and logistics providers have witnessed limited and canceled flights, disruptions with sea freight shipments, and delays of products moving into and out of certain areas, including Asia and Brazil. Products often needed to be brought back for re-icing or re-packaging at additional time and costs, and major surcharges have applied to airfreight—as much as 300 percent.
Similarly, within the food and beverage supply chain, parties are experiencing delays with inbound shipments of raw materials, as well as challenges with hard-hit segments, including raw pork, beef, and poultry.
What is worse, supply chain stakeholders are often in the dark as information flow is reduced and frequently changing.
To respond to these delays and disruptions while maintaining both business continuity and the exceptional level of service expected from customers, businesses need to gain full visibility over their shipments and their supply chain. Only then can they avoid delays and disruptions and communicate any foreseeable downstream effects to their customers.
Businesses using a real-time supply chain visibility solution gain the ability to know their quality conditions and location at any given time. The information is helping them move products, act when needed to mitigate risk, ensure their quality and safety, and secure a steady delivery to their customers and within key markets.
Identify regions and shipments that are most likely to experience delays and quantify the delay impact so customers will have an idea of when they will receive their products. Maximizing transparency and communication are critical. As estimated times of arrival and availability change over the coming weeks and months ahead, and the likelihood of products being separated remains high, develop a communication plan to reach out to customers early and often with updated information.