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Warehousing: Maintaining operational efficiency in the time of a pandemic

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has created a unique situation where nobody is aware of what is coming next or how long it will take to be resolved.In such a harrowing time, where the vaccine is undiscovered and containing is the only way to fight the virus, social distancing has become the new normal.

While many businesses are non-operational and shuttered amid the nationwide lockdown, the logistics sector is the only one operating in overdrive to keep the supplies of essentials and important items moving. Hence, maintaining efficiency in warehouses have become extremely crucial.

With the spread of the pandemic, a drastic shift has been observed in the consumer behaviour leading to increased ecommerce demand and rapid adoption of omni-channel distribution models by companies.

As per a report from Savills, “The demand from e-commerce, FMCG and pharma industry will help push demand for warehousing in the nation and help it recover faster amid the pandemic.”

However, despite the exemption from lockdown and the surge in demand of warehousing, companies are struggling to maintain efficiency in operations at the ground level.

Hurdles faced in maintaining efficiency in warehouses

While the disruption in the global supply chain is arguably not as severe as the impact of COVID-19, amid the spread of the virus, many shippers have found it difficult to operate.

Many state governments in order to contain the virus, restricted operations of warehouses despite it being exempted by the centre, causing severe disruptions in the operations and movement of essentials. 

According to reports,companies amid the lockdown are operating at a 40-60%capacity only, as only essential goods and services are operational.

The lockdown and shutting of borders have turned out to be a speed bump in the way of the logistics warriors. Not only has it resulted in reduced manpower but also caused difficulties for logistics professionals to get necessary permissions.

Speaking on the same, KD Logistics informed, “We had to run back and forth to get the necessary approvals from the Local administration / Government bodies for operating the warehouses during this time. Also, amidst Covid-19 lockdown we are struggling with reduced manpower, however our robust IT systems have enabled us to get the maximum throughput during this time.”

They also informed the company was struggling with drivers in order to transport essentials across, which was solved by providing them with safety and precautionary measures.

“Initially we struggled with the driver’s absenteeism in the Transportation area, however after providing them with necessary permissions, sanitizers, masks, safety and precautionary training we are no more facing any challenges.” KD Logistics

Prioritizing Health Safety in the time of COVID-19

The safety of the Logistics Warriors is as important as it is to keep the essentials moving.

Companies are changing their operations on the fly to ensure their warehouses keep up with demand for groceries and other essential supplies while prioritizing health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While commenting on the steps taken at the premises to ensure health and safety during the pandemic KD Logistics Said, “We have done Sanitisation (cold fogging) at our KDL Park premises it includes Main Entrance, vehicle parking area, drainage chambers, drivers’ room, outside sanitary facilities of all warehouses inside premises.”

Adding further, “It has also carried at KDL warehouses in Sonadevi (SPYKER, Mondelez, Asian paint) and KDL PARK 2 – Colpal warehouse.”

Apart from sanitizing the premises, companies are also training their employees to ensure social distancing and are providing them with essentials such as mask, sanitizers gloves etc to ensure hygienic and safe operations.

KD Logistics said, “We are ensuring that we adhere to the social distancing norm. We have distributed sanitizers, masks and have imparted safety and precautionary trainings to all the employees and to our vehicle drivers.”

At the time of such a pandemic, companies are also initiating CSR activities and helping the ones in need, KDL informed that the company have distributed Groceries, Sanitizers and the user manuals to some of the villages in Bhiwandi area.


May 1, 2020

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