Through the processing of fresh produce: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and grains, the food system needs to be dispatched both nationally and internationally to ensure people have their needs met on a daily basis
However, during 2020 many lost their jobs and food prices went up, suddenly logistics systems felt the heat as did the food production supply chain. In previous times, natural disturbances such as water shortages have triggered ‘supply shocks,’ but COVID-19 created issues of another kind.
COVID-19 posed a significant logistics challenge for supply chain companies globally. One of the major problems during the pandemic was the rapid reaction of consumers over purchasing and panic buying specific products, causing food networks to be crippled and logistics companies having to hire new staff and work overtime to meet the higher demands.
COVID-19 Human Resource Shortages
Some agricultural sectors are more inclined to labor compared to others: fruits and vegetables tend to be more labor-intensive, while cereal grains and oilseeds usually need less manpower. Restrictions on people’s movement during the pandemic also limited the supply in many nations as temporary labor in fruit and vegetable plantations began to dwindle.
Due to the possibility of virus spread, labor shortages, and logistics disturbances, has severely impacted global food production.
Storage and Warehousing
Across the global food system, the stable and continuous transportation of fresh fruit, fish, and meat is important to businesses and consumers alike. However, the problem of perishability is a topic that should not be overlooked. A lack of truck drivers during the pandemic has made it harder for live-stock to depart from the farm for processing, causing meat-related deteriorative problems across nations.
Further aggravated by COVID-19, there has been a dramatic shift towards local food markets and away from larger chain supermarkets, where supplies have been low.
The COVID Food Divide
Western and more established nations seem to have larger more reliable sources of food that are secure. However, we still hear of rural communities that are less fortunate and have to depend on substandard meals.
If we continue to see trade restrictions and limitations to a larger degree due to the pandemic, communities of people will face food shortages and will need to start rationing or looking to governments and key organizations for support. When we are doing so, all we are going to do is build a food shortage whereas there is no reason to have a food shortage right now. So, we can only hope that the food keeps the flow like it was.
Software and refueling frameworks for logistics seek to adapt with customer behavior, which is necessary through unexpected incidents to prevent empty shelves during times of crises. Vendors can respond effectively to disturbances using sophisticated analytical technologies, such as enhanced data analysis for machine learning, warehouse management system’s, and artificial intelligence.
It is essential to make the food system more flexible, robust, and adaptable so that the world survives the pandemic healthily.
Interesting related article: “What is Logistics?“