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There is no doubt that the coronavirus has wrecked havoc and the way we live and do business will never be the same again. Consider the impact – millions of infections and death worldwide. It’s been a pandemic not seen on the face of the earth since the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.
As is the case for any trade, the warehouse business has already gone through an upheaval. There has been an extreme amount of stress on the supply chains and transportation industries. Warehousing and logistics hasn’t dodged the bullet either.
Already the Coronavirus Pandemic has caused delays and changes in order-trends, a boom in short term rentals due to extreme demand on certain industries and automation has made a profound impact on the trade in just a short period of time.
Order picking tasks that were done by two laborers is being performed by one with assistance from automation. That’s because of social distancing. Ecommerce has been particularly affected, as more consumers turn to online shopping rather than risking a personal trip to the store. And, as a result, ecommerce has been laden with a greater amount of returns.
Warehouses Have Become More Flexible To Demand Changes
Prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, it was not uncommon for warehouses having to cope with changes in seasonal demands. However, with Covid-19, warehouses have had to deal with huge swings in demand because of more of a reliance on ecommerce. Truth is most warehouses weren’t really able to deal with it initially. Warehouses have had to adapt quickly.
The idea of warehouse customers closing due to government policy was a phenomenon never seen before. As a result, warehouses found themselves with stock pile ups and employees having to be laid-off.
We’re now in the middle of the first quarter of 2021 and warehouses will continue to experience changes in demand. Therefore, warehouses will have to continue to be flexible.
Continued Investments In Logistics
Innovation has become the word of the day as warehouse logistics have used such new technology methods as drop shipping (direct-to-consumer sales, expansion of online ecommerce that has allowed manufacturers to have better control of the supply chain and increase profit margins. Then there’s been the phenomenon of reverse logistics to cope with the increased volume of returns.
Even when Covid is under control, these trends will continue. Warehouses will need to adapt to consumers demanding their goods faster and with greater choice than ever before.
Moreover, warehouses have had to deal with rapid personnel adjustments due to sick time. And when temporary employees replaced sick ones, there employees have had to be trained quickly so that they could join the work stream without losing a beat.
Sooner or later, Covid-19 will no longer be the problem it now is. Still, the changes that have occurred as a result of its darkest days make it possible that some characteristics of logistics and warehousing will never be the same again.