Thursday, March 26, 2020

Forwarding Agents Prepare for Changing Storage Patterns as Supply Chains Evolve

Virus May Close Fulfilment Houses and Have Importers Seeking Alternatives
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the global pandemic now starting to hit Europe particularly hard many companies are seeking ways to protect their supply chains from the effects thrown out by the Covid-19 virus. Certainly the reduction in volumes of imported goods for the European market will be starting to bite for many wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers, as stock and parts are sold or used up and shipping service volumes are drastically cut.

Also more logistics companies are liable to fall foul of the disease resulting in slow downs and/or closures, another factor that their clients may well need to take protective action against. This is likely to be both in the form of seeking alternative sources of goods, and also finding a wider variety of warehouses and fulfilment houses to hold stock, thus avoiding the risk of a complete supply chain breakdown.

The severity of the current situation has been highlighted by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) which has suggested that over the coming weeks the increased demand for additional warehousing services will be vital to mitigating the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on supply chains and to keep goods moving.

As labour shortages blight the nation due to workers becoming ill, are self-isolating or having to care for children at home, the UKWA predicts that warehousing and distribution services could be crippled under the pressure without a viable solution moving forward.

Reacting to this unprecedented situation companies such as established freight forwarding agency W E Deane, based in East London are freeing up space wherever possible to assist companies struggling to fulfil orders at this challenging time. Deane’s has freed up 5000 pallet spaces at its head office/Barking depot in order to further accommodate the incoming surplus that is expected to arrive as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Robert Falconer, Managing Director commented:

“In light of recent events, we have taken the decision to release 5000 pallet spaces at our Essex/ London-based site to relieve the pressure on businesses struggling to source warehouse capacity and store their stock. The coronavirus outbreak has had an adverse impact on every single stage of the supply chain so far, with warehouse capacity becoming yet another casualty of the pandemic, during a time where warehouse space was already in short supply, largely due to Brexit.

“The situation has however become increasingly more problematic in recent months as the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bring businesses to a grinding halt, especially those that have fallen foul of the current capacity crunch.

“We are seeing a sharp increase in businesses finding difficulty in maintaining a consistent stream of supplies to their customers and predict that this will become a mainstay for the next few months as the squeeze of capacity shortages becomes tighter.”