How logistics industry experts plan to ‘move forward’ after COVID-19

June 16, 2020 - 10:49 PM

As the nation eases into a modified community quarantine status, the logistics industry—including transportation, storage, and packaging businesses— is taking several steps to cope with the “new normal.”

Working closely with the government and other business sectors, Autokid Truck Solutions together with Globe myBusiness initiated a webinar on May 14, 2020, titled “Moving Forward: Post-Covid Talks Toward a Stronger Logistics Industry,” to share with the public how industry stakeholders plan to move forward from this pandemic.

Standing by its mission to empower enterprises to achieve greater heights by discovering, developing and delivering effective, efficient and economic truck solutions, Autokid aims to assure the public that they are taking measures to help improve productivity while observing safety guidelines to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Ramping up on innovation and automation

Supply chain expert Lourdes Guzman described the current situation of the logistics industry as “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.”

As one of the few industries that continued to operate during the quarantine, Erin Masancay of Royal Cargo, Inc. shared her observations and insights: “The huge plunge in global trade has affected the logistics industry as a whole. We’ve seen a 25 percent decrease in volume this quarter alone and we believe this will continue even after the quarantine is lifted. We are already expecting a recession following the pandemic.”

Given the circumstance, Guzman finds hope in the ability of logistics service providers to adapt to the situation through flexibility, reliability, dependability, and transparency. “Greater transparency along the supply chain will allow for the optimization of goods during a volatile market, like during an outbreak, or as we move through different phases of the new normal,” she said.

In moving forward, Guzman suggests that companies should consider foregoing old practices, like relying on multiple suppliers for goods and resources instead of just a few, even favoring nationalization over globalization to help boost local economy. Guzman also highlighted the immediate need for automation, such as GPS tracking and tracing, paperless or online transactions, software systems for warehouse and transportation management, as well as robotics and drones for smoother operations.

Autokid Truck Solutions’ Eric Darryl Lim shared how their company is on track with these movements by enhancing customer experience through digital solutions. Aside from opening digital portals where clients can inquire about their products and services, they have also started offering digital payment solutions to ease processing and reduce risky face-to-face contact. “We have also focused on providing online content, such as videos on how to practice social distancing during logistics transactions. We have also started providing online tech support and training so we can still reach our customers during the pandemic,” he said.

Expect a modernized public transportation system

The same goes for public transportation, which is set to push forward with earlier plans to modernize the public transportation system in spite of the pandemic, according to DOTr Road Transport Consultant Alberto Suansing. He also revealed during the webinar that immediate changes to the transportation system will be made to align with safety protocols and help flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections.

Among these changes are reducing the capacity of public utility buses from the usual 56 plus passengers to only 25 for social distancing and rationalizing Metro Manila bus routes from the former 96 to just 30. “Buses traversing EDSA will also be transferred from the outermost lane into the inner lane to augment the MRT line, which will also be carrying passengers in a reduced capacity once it resumes operations,” said Suansing.

Support from government and other sectors

The government also plans to support the logistics industry by sourcing imported second-hand trucks that businesses can use to transport their goods. This program, which is currently being proposed to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for COVID-19 Response according to Suansing, will include the fast-tracking of paperwork for registration and certification of the vehicles.

As for helping businesses adapt to the new normal, financing companies have implemented flexible financing options and moratoriums on outstanding loan payments to clients. This is in accordance with the Bayanihan Act enacted by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 26, 2020, as part of the government’s COVID-19 response.

“During the quarantine, we refocused our financing services to clients involved in critical and essential services like food production, delivery of product services, and critical infrastructure projects. We are also currently finalizing our program of extending the moratorium beyond the two-month grace period for clients affected by the pandemic,” says Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corp. President Constancio Tan.

Meanwhile, Globe MyBusiness remains fully committed to helping businesses remain resilient with their wide range of digital solutions that will keep SMEs connected with their partners and customers while staying #SafeAtHome. Crucial at this time are relevant solutions to promote business continuity such as cashless payments to promote contactless transaction, web conferencing tools to stay connected, marketing tools to maintain online brand presence at all times, health apps like Konsulta MD to provide free medical assistance to employees, and vehicle tracker to ensure timely deliveries.

Globe myBusiness is the trusted partner of SMEs in every step of their digitalization journey. Through their digital solutions, it aims to help SMEs be future-ready, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moving forward

Following the key learnings from the webinar, which encourages businesses to seriously consider future-proofing their enterprise, put focus on connectivity, sustainability, and transforming the way business communicates and operates, Autokid Truck Solutions continues to empower its business partners through its services of offering brand new and surplus trucks, truck parts, and reliable repair and after-sales services. With the added value of innovative digital processes, Autokid’s goal of helping other enterprises get back on track has been made easier and more convenient for all.

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