Since the outbreak of the coronavirus and the resulting idling of Chinese export shipments, shippers the world over have been speculating as to when global trade would resume. While economists have been relying on lagging indicators, such as air pollution data, to signal a resumption in manufacturing, FreightWaves contributing writer Lori Ann LaRocco argues that observers would be better served by focusing on specific data points within the supply chain, notably, drayage activity, the location of blank vessels, port operations, and more.
Ross Spanier, Senior Vice President of Sales & Solutions at GlobalTranz, offered this perspective on the impact of the coronavirus in terms of domestic U.S. shipping: “With the continued spread of coronavirus across new regions and a burgeoning fear factor coming into play, U.S. consumers are beginning to stockpile various supplies in anticipation of the disruption the virus may cause. For businesses, the challenge is to effectively meet that demand spike, not only from a sourcing and inventory management standpoint but also from a logistics and transportation standpoint. One international retailer has expressed that we should plan for a 35% increase in the retailer’s need for trucking capacity in late March. Suppliers are also turning to their logistics partners to meet the demand surge and keep the goods moving.”
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