Supply Chain Challenges During Covid-19: How We Are Supporting Our Customers
Patrick Oestreich, Senior Vice President, Strategic Sales & Account Management Europe | April 8, 2020
What are the greatest challenges facing customers right now?
No industry has been left unscathed by COVID-19. All our customers are facing supply chain challenges. It’s our job to help them keep things moving. Whether it’s transporting critical medical products or ensuring food supplies are restocked as quickly as they are sold, our customers are supplying essential items that consumers need.
What is XPO doing to help customers navigate the current crisis?
We’re responding to a greater demand for short-term emergency transport and storage, so we are working around the clock to devise smart solutions. For example, we are shifting truck capacity to where it’s urgently needed. In the UK, one of our major customers who is a leading tissue manufacturer needed more truck capacity to meet a large increase in production volumes. We connected them with one of our customers from a different industry who had truck capacity sitting idle because of their reduced production volumes.
We are also responding to customer questions about the impact of the crisis on their supply chains. That way, they can make informed decisions about the movement of their goods. For instance, with most European countries now under government-imposed lockdowns, customers want to know whether their goods can cross borders or whether they need to find short-term storage solutions. We’re constantly updating this business-critical information and data on where we have empty sites or available truck capacity, so that we can tackle challenges as they arise.
How do you see the future of our industry as we come out of this crisis?
Once the economy bounces back, we will need to act quickly and respond to market demands. I believe we will see an enormous demand for short-term capacity to deal with a backlog of issues. For example, moving goods that have been stuck in ports or out of storage. As an industry, we will need to have robust discussions about the resiliency of future supply chains. How can we make supply chains more ‘bullet-proof’ in case we are faced with a similar situation again in the future?
Read more about the steps we are taking to support our employees, customers and communities in our Newsletter dedicated to COVID-19.