Global freight flows after COVID-19: What’s next?

COVID-19 will likely affect trade more profoundly than any other recent crisis. Leaders with a well-informed perspective on potential trade scenarios can begin their recovery from a position of strength.

As we witness the global health community’s remarkably determined response to COVID-19, we have also observed actors in every area of the economy react to the current challenges with innovation. Global logistics is no exception. The pandemic will very likely hit global trade deeper and for longer than we have seen in other crises of the recent past. The extent of the disruption will vary by commodity, trade lane, and mode of transport, and it will be steered by local differences in the crisis’s severity. The nuanced nature of the crisis yields opportunities for logistics and supply-chain companies: to enter new markets, innovate on new service offerings, and position themselves against competitors. A detailed understanding of the impact of the crisis is vital for companies as they shift from thinking about emergency resolve and resilience to planning for the return.

Using granular trade-flow modeling, companies can understand their market position and risk exposure in the context of how trade lanes and commodities develop in the crisis. This approach should be combined with macroeconomic scenarios to develop and test strategies for crisis response, as well as next steps after the crisis. Thinking through the most likely scenarios and deducing which shifts in operational and commercial strategy are therefore required will put companies ahead of the curve as we go into the “next normal.”

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Πηγή: mckinsey

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