The COVID-19 epidemic has hampered global supply systems. Multiple nationwide lockdowns have continued to impede or even temporarily halt the flow of raw materials and finished goods, causing industry disruption. However, the pandemic hasn’t created any new supply chain issues. COVID-19 has caused personnel shortages and job losses in some industries while exposing previously unknown weaknesses in others. As a result, existing supply chain issues have been exacerbated. Supply chain impacts include automation, blockade, and goods theft.
Infrastructure is the foundation of supply chain capitalism and its tyranny. Automation, including robots, AI, and software, will further politicize this infrastructure in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Automation is the implementation of self-organization in equipment and services. Before the outbreak began, China was testing technology to alleviate the effects of mass community lockdowns, with robots and drones distributing meals, groceries, and medical supplies. By February 2020, China, the outbreak’s epicenter, would be using robots and drones to deliver meals, groceries, and medical supplies. The US outbreak was still in its infancy. Seaports from China to Russia use blockchain technology and the Internet of Things to manage supply chains and maintain commodity integrity during the epidemic. Increasingly, bulk stay-at-home orders necessitate ‘contactless’ transport technologies such as shuttles, robots, self-driving vehicles, and drones to replace human couriers. Hundreds of Chinese tech companies driverless cars were free to roam public highways for the first time, providing housework and home delivery services to restrained residents, among other things (Lin, 2021).
Through this unprecedented global health crisis, we are all seeking ways to contribute to the solution. Many thieves may regard this as a chance to take advantage of the fact that safeguarding goods may not be the most important concern at the time of the incident. The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted many firms to contact CargoNet to learn more about what it may imply for cargo theft and supply chain security in the wake of the epidemic. There were 266 theft incidents in the United States and Canada during this period, representing a 44.57 percent increase over the previous year. The most notable increases occurred in weeks 12 and 13, which occurred between March 16 and March 22, and included a 150 percent rise in week 12 and a 140 percent increase in week 16, which occurred between April 13 and April 19, respectively. According to the firm, thieves made off with truckloads of copper scrap in Riverton, Illinois, on March 23rd and 24th, who also reported further heists. Additional evidence of greater targeting of commodities that are currently in high demand has been uncovered by CargoNet. Here are a few examples: a truckload of nitrile gloves taken in Charleston, SC; a truckload of whiskey stolen in Atlanta, GA; and a truckload of supermarket items stolen in Perris, CA, to name a few (“COVID-19’s Impact on Supply Chain Theft Activity”, 2020). All of these commodities were on their way to a certain location. When these anxieties arise, the supply chain will be disrupted as no items will be delivered to avoid losses.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, four major food industry and supply chain concerns surfaced. A healthy diet is the first line of defense against disease. This trend has increased the demand for functional meals with bioactive substances. Second, food safety has been prioritized to prevent the spread of coronavirus among food producers, retailers, and consumers. Third, the lockdown limits have made food security concern. Finally, the pandemic has raised issues of food sustainability. In Brazil, 2,400 slaughterhouse workers were infected with COVID-19 in 24 slaughterhouses in 18 municipalities. 246 E. coli O157:H7 infections forced a halt to meat production in England and Wales. Five hundred thirty-four workers at a fish processing plant in Gana had the virus. COVID-19 has been found in slaughterhouses in Germany and France, with 1,553 and over 100, respectively. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 19 countries have imposed export restrictions on 27 foods. Eight countries now have restrictions on 11 foods, some of which have been lifted. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 19 countries have imposed export restrictions on 27 foods. Despite some inactive bans, eight countries continue to impose restrictions on 11 items (Aday & Aday, 2021). COVID-19 directly affected the meat supply chain, which affected the entire supply chain due to increased demand for meat products. Quality issues in meat reduce need, which impacts the whole supply chain.
Aday, S., & Aday, M. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 on the food supply chain. Retrieved 20 November 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1093/fqsafe/fyaa024.
COVID-19’s Impact on Supply Chain Theft Activity. CargoNet. (2020). Retrieved 20 November 2021, from https://www.cargonet.com/covid19/covid19-lpm/.
Lin, W. (2021). Automated infrastructure: COVID-19 and the shifting geographies of supply chain capitalism – Weiqiang Lin, 2021. SAGE Journals. Retrieved 20 November 2021, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/03091325211038718