Logisticscompaniesstruggletokeepcargoamidsteconomicshutdowns

Warehouse operators moving around the U.S. are disinfecting workplaces, providing workers with protective gear, and separating people while they try to keep the supply chain running while they try to shut down much of the country's economy during a corona virus pandemic while maintaining supply chain.

TJX Cos, the parent company of discount retailer TJ Maxx. Some companies have taken pre-emptive actions to curb the pandemic, suspending distribution and fulfillment operations. E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. temporarily closed two US sites because workers there tested positive for Covid-19. The company said that one has reopened and the other is scheduled to open on April 1.

These efforts are part of an increasingly proactive approach taken by logistics companies that are taking action to ensure that goods continue to flow through distribution networks, both to anxious consumers who already have food and household goods in stock, and more importantly Cases shipped to hospitals and health care providers suffering from coronavirus infections throughout the U.S.

"This is a terrible situation for all of us, but we know how important it is for truckers to be here and our warehouse staff here," said Richie Laecca, 60-year-old warehouse dock foreman at Imperial Dade. Food Service and Cleaning Products Distributor in Jersey, New Jersey

"The current focus is on hospitals, nursing homes, and all the supplies needed for all of these things," Laika said. "It's the load after the load."

Grocery chains are trying to assure consumers that the supply chain for key commodities is still functioning. But workers at warehouse and trucking companies are facing the same concerns as other Americans about spreading the coronavirus, and the company is trying to keep them working even as operating pressures increase.

Imperial President Jason Tillis said Imperial Dade has an on-site nurse to check the workers' temperature and is distributing protective gear such as gloves and spray bottles filled with disinfectant to delivery drivers.

Photo: LILIANA ENGELBRECHT / REUTERS

The company does not allow inbound truck drivers to be used in the store, and its own drivers have not helped customers unload cargo. The company distributes lunch shifts in its warehouse and limits the number of employees in the lounge at any time.

"There really isn't a script," Tilis said.

As many companies closed down or drastically reduced spending, the economy experienced historic unemployment this month, and some recruitment in the logistics industry has attracted attention.

Brian Devine, senior vice president of logistics personnel company ProLogistix, said that in the medical supplies, food and grocery industries, the demand for warehouse workers "exceeds expectations", and the company works with Wal-Mart and Tagee. Special companies and other companies.

Amazon and Walmart have said they are seeking to hire tens of thousands of workers in the distribution business. This means that when frontline employees balance economic and health issues, they need to take some measures to ensure the safety of delivery and delivery personnel, but at the same time bear additional risks.

Devine said that about 27% of workers who responded to the ProLogistix survey during the week of March 16 said that their workplaces did not take additional precautions to prevent the virus from spreading.

ShipBob, an e-commerce fulfillment provider, said it installed coronavirus security measures at its seven fulfillment centers in early March. This includes distributing masks and gloves to workers and requiring all visitors, including suppliers and drivers, to wear personal protective equipment to gain access to their facilities.

Faced with a large number of consumer goods orders, the company has also reconfigured its warehouse management system to enable products such as hand sanitizers to be shipped before items deemed less important. "In the holiday shopping boom between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, we had more transactions last week than any other transaction," said Chief Marketing Officer Casey Armstrong.

Armstrong said the company has also extended paid sick leave for employees and increased hourly pay by $ 2, a measure taken by Amazon and other companies.

The e-commerce logistics company Radial has adjusted the meeting and changed the break time of its fulfillment center. Chief Commercial Officer Tim Hinckley said the company had separated its packaging stations and changed the way it handles outbound orders to minimize the contact between pickers and packers.

XPO Logistics Inc. is one of the largest logistics providers in the United States. The company said it is implementing social evacuation in warehouses and has stepped up its cleaning program for locations across the United States. XPO also has paid pandemic leave and includes coverage. Covid-19 testing and treatment company based in Greenwich, Connecticut, said its employee assistance program.

Nevertheless, the high demand for protective equipment such as gloves and masks still complicates the company's efforts to ensure the supply of workers.

Chief Operating Officer David Caines said the Kenco Group, a third-party logistics company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is "actively working to get supply to all of our sites." About 100 of the company's facilities remain open , Although some of them have been briefly closed for deep cleaning. The equipment is wiped clean at the beginning and end of each shift.

Kenco has strengthened sick leave policy and relaxed attendance requirements. "But our people continue to show up and work hard," Mr. Keynes said. "Many of our employees are the only breadwinners left in their family department."

News Reference: https://www.wsj.com/articles/logistics-firms-endeavor-to-keep-goods-moving-as-much-of-economy-shuts-down-11585483203