Supply Chain challenges after Covid19

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The maritime industry usually works 24/7 365 days a year; Covid 19 exposed the maritime industry supply chain. Due to the virus situation many shipments and cargo had to stop because of many reasons such as country restrictions and fear over the virus in general. The supply chain industry suffered a huge impact resulting in over prices for fleets due to the lack of operating vessels.  After countless efforts made by governments with the mass-vaccination and isolation policies; the world’s situation began to return to normality little by little.   Therefore; the maritime supply chain industry started to improve their situation from past months.

We are December 2021 and the situation has seemed to raise awareness once again due to the Omicron variant. Some events this month have managed to complicate the supply chain due to other factors. For example: According to Fleetmon on December 21, 2021 a Product tanker Usichem encounters mechanical problems in the Bosphurous route. The Bosphorous is a river located in Turkey, it divides both Asian and Europe therefore being a very trafficked route for commercial vessels and tankers. The Ship was going to Seville, Spain and it has already safely completed transit.

Nevertheless, the tanker, containing Sunflower oil, had to anchor in an emergency. It took approximately one hour and a half for the vessel to continue its journey. This blockage caused a delay for many vessels using that route. These types of situations affect most of the supply chain because some fruits or vegetables are perishable, meaning that a 2-hour delay can cause some quality damages to the product. It can later become to a problem for the whole supply chain starting from the producer to the supermarket selling it to the public.

Covid 19 repercussion to the Supply Chain

The Corona virus situation repercussions keep popping around in the maritime supply chain industry. According to the International Labor Organization; the database shows 66 ships that have been abandoned this year. It is very worrisome mainly because those abandoned ships’ owners often stop paying salaries and crews are the suffering the consequences.

Take a look at this particular case of a fishing vessel that has been left abandoned for over 9 months in the Mombasa Port. The vessel is Kenyan flagged and the owners have cut of off payments while there are crew members still on board.

Some sailor where rescued due to their countries authorities and others have been paid. However, there are still at least 8 crew members remaining on the ship. This is a very difficult situation, especially for the sailors left behind and the families that must be worried for their relatives.

The court hearing appears to keep being postponed; the original hearing was supposed to happen around October 2021 but has been pushed at least 2 times. Cases like this shows us another side of the supply chain maritime industry.

Not all news has been bad of course there are countless agencies and enterprises working to find better solutions and more efficient ways to manage and operate how we trade. For instance, Smart ports are a new proposition to include technological components that will add to the effectiveness and efficiency on different areas of the supply chain maritime industry.

Some genuine situations where this Smart Ports idea is now executed in Spain is at Seville port, which intends to improve transport traffic and port tasks with the Tecnoport project, just as in Vigo, associated with energy proficiency and observing of compartments with the Smart Viport System, or at Barcelona port, zeroing in on the development of coordination with the Port Challenge program.

They are a long way from being separated from everyone else. Other smart ports (currently created or in progress) are situated in Rotterdam (the Netherlands and the biggest in Europe), Hamburg (Germany), Singapore (which has acquired the nickname” connected port”), Shenzhen and Shanghai ports in China, and those situated in Los Angeles and San Diego (the USA), to give some examples.

As it was already mentioned, the Corona Virus crisis has unfolded some events that has jeopardized the entire world’s trade.  In Probucam we hope this situation can be handles as soon as posible. We are positive that all the efforts been made on a daily basis will eventually have its reward. We are always eager to work and to improve every day so we can stay in the business. Adapting and implementing new ways of working that are more efficient and environmental and socially responsible is the key for our planet to cope with the adversity and move forward.

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