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What can we do to improve the safety of supply chain in COVID-19 crisis?

SmartCargo · 26. March 2020 · 5 min read

Humanity is facing one of the greatest challenges in the last 100 years. Although many believe that the problem of the current situation is the virus, in our perspective the main issue is people’s behavior. How people behave, act and exercise their professional and personal relationships is the main factor of possible infection. Viruses are a part of our lives, but to become a problem to human health, many conditions have to be met. Therefore, to avoid infection, we need to change what we usually do.

The complexity of human society has brought us many solutions that simplified our lives and business processes. We have learned that every coin has two sides, and so do inventions of modern society. Globalization has shortened the time and the cost of product supply, but until an epidemic outbreak, the vulnerability and all the pitfalls and weaknesses of the supply chain were hidden in the process. The human factor is usually the center of the process.

At this moment, we cannot imagine the whole process automized and without human presence. The whole supply chain depends on people, truck drivers, customs officers, owners of goods and others which has by the law binding physical interaction. And this interaction is the potential danger of outspreading the virus around the globe. Legally.

Many industries are at this point under big pressure to keep things running and many sectors are currently depending on receiving goods on time to be operational. Delivery times are being prolonged as extra procedures in warehouses and at the borders have been enforced on one hand by each company and on the other hand by state policy, and such inputs were never aligned We have identified different problems and challenges in the supply chain.

Current acute problems:

  • Trucks are waiting at the border from a few hours to a couple of days.
  • Documents are checked manually and physically by authorities, which rise the possibility for virus transmission via paper documents.
  • Larger groups of people are in small areas for checking.
  • Pick-up and delivery are done with contact between warehouse workers and drivers (exchange of documents).

We believe cargo handling and border procedure for trucks should be easier and simplified without compromising safety, overview, and control, and this is why the procedure should be done:

  • Without contact and by paperless documents check at loading, intermediate checks and offloading,
  • By getting fast cargo info and recognition of each shipment by using standardized QR label, subsequently faster and more efficient sorting to corridors,
  • By all parties (customs, police, truckers) safely sharing information in one place (single window).

This would result in:

  • Easy remote creation of documents – a tool to work stress-free from home,
  • Less contact, subsequently meaning less virus transmission,
  • The faster procedure, easier truck control and sorting at the borders,
  • The accurate and real-time information of all participants in the supply chain,
  • Easier search and inquiry for reliable carriers,
  • Safer procedure at cargo loading and offloading,
  • Less exposure of all people involved in transport,
  • Less protection equipment needed,
  • Better vehicle control (for transit countries),
  • Faster cargo and supply chain movement, etc.

We understand that in the scenario where the exchange of goods is limited or stopped, the situation would be catastrophic for normal everyday life. The uninterrupted workflow of the transport industry is now more important than ever, that’s why we have prepared a specially designed module shaped for this current crisis.

Out of this reason, we have decided to make our contribution to preventing the spreading of the Coronavirusby offering our solution as a free version for the time of epidemy. With it, all the stakeholders in the supply chain will eliminate all physical contact when serving paper documents and generally all exchanging of goods.

The world is shifting towards paperless business and our solution Smart Cargo brings this shift faster, especially in logistics. What are we trying to achieve at this moment is the validation from authorities in Europe to adopt and formal recognition from officials to accept e-documents with the same legitimacy as physical documents, especially e-CMR documents, which should be used daily and majority of road transports.

SmartCargo is offering a tool to reduce the possibility of infection and to protect all the risk groups in the process of the document exchange. The SmartCargo team is familiar with all the benefits and dangers of the industry and understand the psychological pressure employees are experiencing in such circumstances, One of our company values is to help people improve their life experience, therefore we want to make their work environment virus and stress-free.

Everybody has to be part of the solution and has to raise their hand if they can help in any way. This is why we decided to raise our hand and offer our solution, free of charge to all participants for the time of COVID-19 epidemy.

It is a very small adjustment for a very large shift!

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