Logistics Firms Face Covid-19 Challenges In Their Role As Front-line

Logistics Firms face Covid-19 Challenges in their role as front-line

by Alex Noah — 4 years ago in Supply Chain Management 5 min. read

Companies grapple with employee safety issues while trying to meet evolving customer dynamics during coronavirus-related shutdowns, quarantines.

Most of the US has been away from home and has become involved in the routine of social concern and occasional trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, warehousing and logistics are seen playing it all day in real time.

Supply center employees, truck drivers, supply workers and essential retail workers are among those most affected by social distinction and security protocols aimed at the proliferation of novel coronavirus that has spread across the country since March.

In this new environment, logistics workers have redesigned their workplaces, redesigned processes, and negotiated with supply chain partners, as companies delineate a delicate relationship between keeping people safe and keeping up with the business. She wants to make a balancing act.

“We have customers who depend on us, even now, to move their cargo around,” explains MaryClear Hammond, senior vice president of human resources for transportation and logistics provider XPO Logistics, an Emphasizing the importance of maintaining a productive supply chain workforce. And quarantine.

“We are working on this for 16 hours a day and are doing everything we can to keep our employees safe. We have to focus on safety, business continuity, and maintaining our business for the future. .. We’ve got to keep. ” The world goes on. ”

This means creating workplace guidelines to increase social distortion and deep cleanliness as well as sick leave policies and other benefits. Hammond explains that growing XPO’s customer base affects businesses, especially according to demand and is critical to keeping the business open.

Food and beverage customers are among those in greatest need; One of XPO’s large wholesale grocery customers predicted it would need 50% more capacity over the next few months, for example, and according to the company, has turned to XPO to fill that transportation void. XPO says it is handling 40% more shipments right now from its facilities to the hospital community.

As a result, Hammond said the company is on a communications campaign to educate employees, which they take necessary steps to stay safe, reminding them of the important service they were performing during the epidemic.

Says Hammond, “We have to communicate, we have to communicate, we can never communicate enough. Especially it happens many times.” “Our drivers, our warehouse people, fork truck operators, customer service [personnel] —all these are on the front lines and we’re reminding them of all the good that they’re doing.”

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Safety precautions and implemented additional cleaning

Like other essential workplaces, XPO has taken steps to implement social disturbances in its facilities, including a six-foot distance to work areas and marking floors to create entrances, creating barriers where people It is necessary to separate, stop the break time and remove the chairs. To be assembled from breakage rooms to recommended minimum locations.

Initially, says Hammond, XPO removed all biometric login devices from its facilities and implemented additional cleaning at the beginning and end of each shift. In addition, each shift begins with a meeting, reminding employees of the government-recommended safety measures and other precautions.

Employees are asked to take their temperature each day before being reported to work and stay home when they are ill; They should also confirm that they have not tested positive for Kovid-19, are not experiencing any symptoms, and have not been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for the virus.

The employee response is without fears

“People, overall, are reacting very well and we need to keep repeating, repeating,” says Hammond. “But people are scared. So we have to remind them why we are considered necessary? We have to remind them what we do here [every day].”

According to Art Eldred, the company’s customer executive for system handling, Material Handling System Integrator Vargo Solutions is requesting customers how to implement similar social distancing protocols.

He adds that Wargo’s customers, including firms that operate warehouses and supply centers across a range of industries, are exploring how to accommodate the need for more equipment cleaning workplaces. Re-maintain your layout to add space between. He says the biggest challenge for some is making employees feel comfortable enough to come to work.

“With the Kovid crisis, right now [some] people don’t show up to work”, he said, adding that companies are responding with incentives such as hourly bonuses and timely payments. “Everyone is getting creative so people can come in handy.”

Hammond says that XPO had its U.S. And has added pandemic sick leave to Canadian benefit packages, allowing additional sick employees up to 80 hours of full time to exceed the standard annual paid time.

The company is also giving up to three days of continuation of 100% pay if a facility is temporarily closed for cleaning or sanitation, and through its Employee Assistance Program, all U.S. employees and their dependents Is offering a free consultation session for

E-commerce backlog, increasing demand

As more people stay at home, demand for online orders and home delivery continues to grow, creating order backlogs and pressurizing delivery methods – matters among many companies that are currently expanding their e-commerce and omnichannel business.

The last few years were beginning to get a handle on strategies. Eldred says that many e-commerce customers are experiencing an order backlog, some important. It also recently comes with reports of delays in delivery services such as large online retailers such as Amazon.com and Delpod.

As a result, to accommodate the increased need for commercially last mile delivery — especially for small businesses, on a route basis, a New Jersey-based route optimization software provider operating for Route 4Me According to Vice President George Skanglev. Schegolev says the company has increased interest in its product – from small, independent grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants to helping firms plan last mile delivery routes that keep people up and running during the epidemic.

And want to keep. Schegolev says the global pandemic is creating behavioral changes that will only accelerate last-mile delivery demand, and note that Route 4Me is offering tutorials through video conferencing service Zoom to help companies gain momentum Help.

“Businesses need to adapt to more deliveries because behaviors are changing,” Skegowale says. “And many are saying they don’t know how to do it. Our tool is just a small piece of the puzzle … It’s a complicated journey and we just want to support communities and people in these difficult times.” ”

The additional tutorial is a cost for Root 4Me, but Schegolev says it is a way for the firm to help address a need during an epidemic. Route4Me has made its service available to federal, state and local government agencies as well as food banks.

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Hiring of workers under current conditions

Despite the difficulties, the logistics sector remains one of the healthiest sectors of the economy. Business activity increased in March as demand for warehousing and transportation increased.

According to the recently released Logistics Manager’s index report, on April 3, traders have been hired. American drugstore chain Right Aid said this week it will employ 5,000 full-time and part-time employees nationwide to designate stores and supply centers to meet the demand for the coronavirus epidemic.

In March, Amazon said it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers to accommodate the increase in online orders. And the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that although many retailers have had to cut their workforce, others are hiring thousands of workers under current conditions. The association is listing more than 900,000 jobs for workers displaced by the Kovid-19 epidemic through a dedicated page on its website.

Hammond of XPO pointed to a new motto that underscores the growing need for supply chain workers using transportation and logistics providers throughout the organization: “Together we can.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank [these workers]. At XPO we are calling them our everyday heroes,” he said, noting that XPO’s sentiments apply across the board, no matter your. Industry or your location. “We are together in all of this, and together we can. We will get through this.”

Alex Noah

Alex is senior editor of The Next Tech. He studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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