The Virus And Businesses
The pandemic significantly altered the way we did business in the past. However, we had to develop innovative solutions to navigate the restrictions posed by the pandemic.
Covid-19 Protocols And Safety
To ensure the safety of ourselves and everyone we worked with, we had to significantly reduce capacity. The aim for this was to reduce human-to-human interactions which our business demanded as much as possible.
Beyond that, we ensured that we adhered to all the other safety protocols as recommended by health authorities. As much as possible, we used protective equipment and maintained human-to-human physical distancing as was practicable.
COVID-19, Business And Order Flow
However, the pandemic did significantly affect business and order flow, but the impact was not the same across business segments.
Lockdowns And Restrictions
The pandemic brought about an unprecedented slowdown in business.
Many governments imposed the closure of their borders, against most types of movements. There were also regulations emanating from international authorities, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as local and regional regulators.
These significantly affected cargo, as many containers spent long periods parked without moving. On our end, this meant that our container weighing business saw significant drops in the order flow.
The manufacturing, and waste, resources and mining segments especially were deeply affected. This was due to the fact that most of the cargo were deemed non-essential. Thus, they largely did not get regulatory approvals for shipping.
However, later on in the pandemic, most of the restrictions were gradually lifted. There were, however bright spots:
Medical, Health And Fitness
One of the brightest spots for business during the pandemic was the medical, health and fitness segment. The segment saw huge jumps in order flow compared to previous periods. The year-on-year increase in the volumes of materials and cargo weighed and dispatched can be described as unprecedented.
The reasons for this are not far-fetched. A lot of products in this category were deemed very essential, especially products directly related to the pandemic; that is, protective and treatment devices. Thus, they got speedy approvals for shipping all across board.
Specifically, we had significant order flow flow for personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as N9 face masks and sanitisers.
Agriculture Produce, Retail, Service, And Food Processing
Another segment that saw commendable order flow, at least comparatively, is the retail and food processing segment. The same was the case for the raw agriculture and produce business segments.
Notably, we experienced order flow for cargo in the packaged and processed food items space. This was quite understandable bearing the fact that a lot of people would be locked down at home, in need of food items.
Early on in the pandemic, the order flow reached unprecedented levels, but things started to moderate as the pandemic progressed. Seeing the boom in e-commerce, we were able to tap into our supply chain logistics framework, working with our partners to ensure seamless last-mile delivery. Regulatory approval for this was also speedy as well.
As life hopefully returns to normal, we hope to see better business flow across segments. We are more ready than ever before to be the excellent logistics services provider that we have always been.