BUSINESSESS should explore new solutions to ensure their supply chains remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, third party logistics provider C.H. Robinson says.

C.H. Robinson Oceania vice president Andrew Coldrey believes forward planning has become imperative to ensure business continuity plans are effective and also talks about the need for a recommencement plan for businesses who have temporarily closed.

He noted the situation in New Zealand has highlighted challenges, should Australia follow with a level-4 lockdown, with the Port of Tauranga announcing a prioritising of the unpacking of essential goods, resulting in a delay of packing and processing goods considered non-essential.

C.H. Robinson advises businesses immediately consider if their goods would be considered essential in the event of a complete lockdown.

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“With the continued uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brings to businesses, it is more important than ever to explore a variety of transport methods to keep supply chains moving,” Andrew Coldrey said.

“The air freight market is fluid and changing daily, therefore it may be beneficial for international goods to be transported using both air freight and shipping rather than purely using air freight. 

“Due to the pressures on the rail and road market, we have seen more than a 20% increase for the quarter year-on-year of businesses, especially food and beverage suppliers, using C.H. Robinson’s domestic coastal shipping service.”

Alternatively, businesses might consider using less than container loads if they required certain goods for essential service production, as it was “more cost effective than their standard full product shipment in a full container load”.

“Our role at C.H. Robinson is to help businesses navigate these uncertain times and find the most suitable solution,” Mr Coldrey said.

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