COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
Except for the transport and delivery of much-needed medicines, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves, logistics and cargo transportation industry is bearing the brunt of the pandemic's wrath. Trade bans, import/export restrictions, travel restrictions, supply chain disruptions, and sealing up of regional as well as international borders have severely restricted movement of people and all non-essential goods and services. Global trade in the month of April 2020 declined by -2.9% as compared to the -2.2% in March and -0.5% in February of the same year. The closure of manufacturing plants as part of the lockdown restrictions imposed worldwide has interrupted inland logistics. With first and last-mile connectivity impacted, the industry stands significantly crippled. Although the pandemic has brought online e-commerce platforms into the spotlight, movement restrictions have impacted urban logistics especially in countries like India which has imposed the world's biggest and strictest lockdown impacting 1. 3 billion people in the country. The hardest hit are developing countries with the largest export exposure to the EU and the United States.
The magnitude of the crisis can be put into perspective by the fact that global capacity in the logistics sector has declined by 65% to 75%. The massive drop in capacity is pushing up freight rates by over 6% to 9%. Manpower shortages at airports, seaports, warehousing and trucking sites are additionally aggravating the already existing pain points. The economic recession which is expected to be more devastating than the great recession of 2009willwieldan additional blow to the industry which is already reeling under the aftermath of the lockdowns. Transportation and logistics will bleed the highest Gross Value Added (GVA), dealing the biggest blow to overall GDP. With logistics companies grappling with falling earnings and reducing CAPEX spends, Freight Management Systems market is expected to witness a temporary hiatus in growth opportunities. As fleets idle and cash reserves dry up, investments in fleet management systems will be cut as companies struggle to survive the crisis. Against this backdrop, the global market is projected to reach a revised size of US$15. 4billion by 2027 after posting a decline for the year 2020.
Like all other markets and industries there will be a before and after corona virus scenario and in the post COVID-19 era, the need to improve competiveness by optimizing freight movement across a network will kick back in as a top priority. Freight management system refers to SaaS platform that enables the user to access important tasks with reference to procurement and management of shipping services. The system can be employed to full truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL),multimodal, intermodal, and parcel services. Freight management system aids in automation and monitoring of incoming and outgoing freight shipments through various modes including air, rail, road, and sea. The solution allows the user to compare various shipping carrier rates, select the ideal shipping carrier meeting requirements, and manage the entire freight process starting from documentation, to tracking shipments on a real-time basis.
A key trend in the post COVID-19 period will be the move towards heavier, non-conventional online purchases. With more people avoiding public places, the need for e-commerce freight shipping is expected to increase further beyond 2020 amid the growing uncertainty surrounding corona virus. Another noteworthy factor is the likely revision of sourcing and logistics networks, as global supply chains realign to reduce future risks by decoupling from China.