The coronavirus pandemic has devastatingly impacted the entire world. With the announcement of indefinite lockdowns occurring in numerous countries, the global food supply chains have been greatly disrupted. As people started panic buying, most countries suffered due to a shortage of essential supplies, which raised food prices. Furthermore, the worldwide lockdown has affected manufacturing units, as many borders are undergoing serious export restrictions due to fear caused by the pandemic; it has now become difficult to meet the rising demands for food in many communities around the globe.
Recent reports reveal that China may be able to cope with the severe supply shortages because the country has its own source of wheat and rice, more than enough to feed the huge population of 1.4 billion people. However, the reliance on a few other crops such as soybeans may cause a hike in food prices as logistics are disrupted.
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Shortage of food supplies around the world:
Research from the UN, suggests that Food and Agricultural experts have already warned the government about rising pressure due to lockdowns beginning to negtively impact the supply chain and it’s operations. The disruptions caused by lack of essential supplies may cause shortages all over the planet.
The Guardian states, “Harvests have been good and the outlook for staple crops is promising, but a shortage of field workers brought on by the virus crisis and a move towards protectionism – tariffs and export bans – mean problems could quickly appear in the coming weeks, Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, told the Guardian.
“The worst that can happen is that governments restrict the flow of food,” he said. “All measures against free trade will be counterproductive. Now is not the time for restrictions or putting in place trade barriers. Now is the time to protect the flow of food around the world.”
With the pressure created by ongoing lockdowns combined with continued panic buying behaviour of shoppers, the situation is ripe for global food shortages. As people started preparing for the lockdown, they made extensive purchases of essential food items such as flour and pasta. At the same time, farmers are facing difficulties in sending their dairy, meat, vegetable and fruit produce to the grocery stores, which may be a leading cause behind upcoming supply shortages.
The authorities and retailers say that many products will be replenished soon as some businesses are increasing production to meet the rising demands. Also, as households are now adjusting to the extended lockdown routines, the scenario of panic buying may change with time. It’s clear however, that logistics companies and supply chain operators are going to experience long term problems, as the consequences of the virus in conjunction with the changing global climate has significantly affecting the supply chain and will continue to do so well into the future. It has become quite challenging for them to bring food from farmers to the plates. The lack of drivers, unavailability of meal facilities for truckers and the lack of air freight has made business extremely difficult for logistics companies who are doing their best to stay afloat during this time of crisis.
Harvesting and planting activities are also being affected due to the lack of labourers during lockdown, which may cause a further shortage of supplies. Vietnam, the world’s third-largest exporter of rice, has now decided to stock up on the grain, and have suspended all new export contracts up to the end of the month. Thailand has also banned the shipment of essential commodities, including eggs in order to meet its domestic supply shortage, pushing egg prices sky high in local markets.
Nation Thailand states, “The price of eggs has increased due to hoarding by people worried about the Covid-19 virus – and the rising summer temperature making hens less productive. The Commerce Ministry, aiming to resolve the price and supply issues, banned egg exports for seven days beginning on Thursday”
The supply disruption for essential services:
A few days ago, images of huge queues outsides stores and empty supermarket shelves were broadcasted all over the world. If the global supply chain doesn’t get back to normal soon, the shortage of supplies may sustain for years to come.
As coronavirus cases are rising around the world, the disruption of supplies may continue well beyond 2020. Right after the pandemic outbreak in China, many shipping containers and planes were grounded, and the shipment of vegetables, fruits, and other essentials has been halted, indefinitely.
With the beginning of spring in Europe, many farm owners were looking for workers to pick asparagus and strawberries from the fields. But border closure has now restricted the flow of foreign labourers. Recently, France called on its own citizens to meet the shortfall of almost 200,000 workers. Wide-scale crop losses are also looming in India as millions of workers were sent home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Software solutions for supply chain management:
Logistics companies these days are looking for advanced solutions to manage their supplies and their crucial movements during this unprecedented world crisis. Software developers have made the process easier for companies during this pandemic. CartonCloud has developed a software tool which provides amazing services to the supply chain industry. This logistics applications works perfectly with Android and iOS platform while offering easy tracking options for the wide range of data channels. It can ease the data entry process by integrating all FTP, email attachments, API and other systems. Supply chain professionals can make use of it’s mobile scan features for maintaining product records at warehouses. The CartonCloud app can ease the tracking of real-time progress while making it convenient to navigate destinations. The app can also provide quick updates about driver progress while handling multiple jobs for deliveries and supply management.
With CartonCloud software tool, it becomes easier to streamline the workflow at warehouses while maintaining full control over stock. The transport services can also be integrated into this mobile app so that orders, demands and inventory can be well aligned. Logistics companies may find it easier to deal with food shortages by implementing better technology to help them during this global crisis.
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