SupplyChainBrain recently published an interesting article on the state of the supply chain for getting PPE efficiently distributed. In a conversation with Chris Garcia, CEO of Health Supply US, Robert Bowman of SupplyChainBrain uncovers what shippers are doing to ensure a national supply of PPE. As we enter the third wave of COVID-19 infections, it is more important than ever to get #criticalsupplies to front line workers quickly and efficiently, in a collaborative effort between shippers and truckers.
In the peak months of March, April and May, the over-reliance on imports impaired the supply of PPE and had caused us to focus on being more self-sufficient. It cannot be driven by party line politics because everyone is affected. We have had to find a better way to ensure availability of PPE when international pandemics hit.
Chris Garcia points out that things have improved since the onset of the pandemic because of several key steps. Having an outside perspective has allowed Health Supply US to work not only with the commercial sector but also with government contractors, using innovative ways to lower costs and build a more resilient supply chain. They have diversified their manufacturing base for products that were not readily available domestically and they have made it a policy not to source anything from China or other non-market economies. They have also built robust industry partners, diversified geographically, which has helped them to better source their raw materials. And they have been more strategic about which products they are manufacturing here in the US.
Commercial #truckdrivers play a critical role in the COVID-19 response by delivering essential supplies including medicine, food, fuel, and PPE as a part of the supply chain. Since the onset of COVID-19, truck drivers have struggled to access meals, showers, and rest with many restaurants and gas stations closing or limiting hours. To keep truckers moving, FEMA has published best practices from lessons learned and keep truck drivers informed. They suggest that consolidating and sharing information on the operational status of truck stops between truckers is important. Trucking Associations have also been working to ensure adequate provisions of services for drivers. Truck stop employees have remained part of an essential workforce. Local communities and businesses are providing free services directly to drivers and informing the trucker community of their availability. For example, Iowa Motor Truck Association has provided complimentary boxed lunches for truck drivers along with a website with useful information on available services.
#Digitaltechnologies are helping to facilitate the collaboration between shippers and truckers. Opus9 has a platform that enables shippers to manage their shipments providing instant freight quotes, booking and tracking information from pick-up to delivery. In addition, the team at #Opus9 helps to facilitate the pick-up and delivery with timely follow up. Learn more and get a quote at www.opus9.com