Shaping the new normal - trade must adapt to ensure the safe flow of goods

Shaping the new normal - trade must adapt to ensure the safe flow of goods

During my 38 years in the global logistics industry I have never witnessed a challenge of such scale as COVID-19, with the potential to fundamentally reshape the world. No sectors are immune.

In just a few weeks our planet has seemed to become a lot more disconnected as countries take essential measures to protect their people. Many of us now work remotely; borders are closing; travel bans extend worldwide and fears about access to critical provisions have soared.

Trade keeps the world connected at a time when we cannot be together. COVID-19 has shown that we need to adapt and evolve to build more resilient supply chains. We all depend on them for food security, medical provisions and stability.

Health & Safety is our top priority in managing an efficient supply chain

At DP World our top priority is the safety and health of our workforce. Without them trade cannot flow. Governments and port authorities around the world have implemented stringent guidelines. And we are going even further to protect our employees.

Globally, in partnership with health authorities, we are implementing measures such as shift segregation, increased disinfection and deep-cleans at all our sites and providing dedicated transportation and accommodation to those who need it to get to work safely.

We must be smart about how we adapt to the challenges posed by the coronavirus

I am proud of the dedication and collaboration of our employees across the group in what is a truly global effort to keep trade moving through the COVID-19 crisis.

Many of our terminals are inherently resilient through their use of automated technology, and where possible we are segregating vital supplies of medicines and foods to accelerate their processing. In partnership with the World Health Organisation, we are committed to supporting the transport of critical medical supplies, and in Europe for example, we have teamed up with the World Food Programme to maintain the flow of fresh produce.

Beyond the immediate challenge we are accelerating initiatives to make trade flows more robust, both for today’s crisis and the long term. We are building digital platforms which are so crucial to the future survival and success of global supply chains. The digitised supply chain, on top of our worldwide network of ports, terminals and economic zones, will ensure our customers can move cargo from anywhere to anywhere at the click of a mouse. New technology is moving logistics online and enabling smarter trade, with more efficiency across the entire supply chain, with increased visibility and transparency; allowing the movement of goods to be optimised and redirected part way through their journey to where they are needed most.

Staying connected for the journey ahead

As the world isolates itself, it is our job to maintain the flow of goods around the world that keep people safe and businesses operational, while helping our customers adapt to complex new challenges.

The difficulty of the journey ahead cannot be overestimated, and we will be there every step of the way. I want to thank every employee at DP World for their creativity, innovation and dedication to keeping the supply chain operational, agile and robust in this time of crisis.

Because of them, the world can stay connected at a time when we can’t be together.