The pandemic has changed the world overnight. As countries take drastic measures to contain the disease, industries are feeling the wrath economically. The foundation of the world's economy- the global supply chain- is taking the biggest hit along with every industry that relies on trade. The domino effect can be seen in grocery stores, electronics, and practically any non-agricultural based market. Many economic experts have noted that the slow-down of trade will make it nearly impossible to return to the normalcy it once had.
The Impact of the Pandemic on Global Supply Chains
One of the largest macro-effects will be seen in shipping-companies themselves. Companies like Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL, and Amazon stocks have dropped significantly since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S.A. Industry experts state that these companies could drop another 15-20% in the upcoming months depending on the duration of the epidemic. Pandemic halt on trade could be felt months after the pandemic as cargo ships dock miles away from their destination that could lead to the spoiling and deterioration of the goods they have. Experts state that nearly $200 billion of goods have spoiled/deteriorated on cargo ships and that number could double depending on the duration of the current pandemic. Some state this could be the beginning of another domino effect that could make people more reluctant to rely on cargo-ships for a means of shipping.
Speculation on increased demand for standard air-cargo, months following the pandemic due to hysteria, is almost certain and more inspections following the pandemic could slow down trade more for freight ships.
Potential Shifts in Shipping Preferences Post-Pandemic
However, there are a plethora of trading and sale opportunities for shipping companies to stay afloat. One, of course, is the recent demand for medical supplies and, the need to print shipping labels on demand. Since most Post-Offices are closed, make-shift shipping centers have spurred up throughout the country as selling medical equipment- and toilet paper- has become an unexpectedly lucrative business. Label printers could see a sharp increase in demand in the next few weeks as online shipping businesses take off. Thermal label printers like the Munbyn USB Thermal Label Printer ITPP941 and others are being used to print shipping labels in the make-shift shipping centers occurring in people's houses. Along with a larger market of make-shift shipping, bigger changes could come soon.
Economists from the Harvard Business Review see a much more revolutionary change occurring post-pandemic that will affect the global supply chain forever. Companies implementing less human-based supply chain metrics in favor of disruption-based metrics could change the fundamentals of global trade indefinitely. These new disruption-measuring techniques could simmer down the anxiety people have about cargo-freight, but scientists are unsure by how much. Many speculate a drop in global trading that can't be fully recovered to its past glory. However, most of this is speculation but it's reasonable to say that pandemic will affect our global trade in the not-so-distance future.