The impact of lockdown on the supply chain

With the global population in partial or total lockdown and border restrictions in place, negative long-term impacts on global supply chain remain uncertain. The truth is that Covid-19 has irrevocably changed the global economic landscape and the cold chain industry is suffering.

With the industry facing several challenges, including changes in customer demand, restrictions and potential material shortages, the pandemic has forced many to rapidly adapt their cold chain supply.

Companies are monitoring short-term and long-term demand and inventory to plan production loss in the event of economic slowdown. Retailers are also faced with the challenge of inventory reductions as consumers stock up for quarantine. Home delivery services have also become a more appealing alternative for consumers who want to avoid the queues and exposure at the stores.

Although it is difficult to plan and mitigate the effects of an unprecedented crisis like this one, there are some things to consider when planning the strategy for the next weeks or months.

How to prepare for the unexpected

Many businesses are undertaking extraordinary measures to ensure that essential goods are still being delivered regularly to shops and end-consumer doorsteps.

Events that have a very high impact but a very low probability of staying (black swan events) create short-term and long-term consequences. Although these situations are very hard to control and predict, there are some measures that should be considered to plan and mitigate the effects of a crisis like this.

-Contingency plans

While each company may face unique risks and challenges, businesses could develop plans for both optimistic and more conservative situations. These scenario-planning strategies will help come up with actions to take based on when normalcy to global operation happens.

-Managing demand

While customer preferences and demand may have changed, some businesses are playing the responsible part and informing their clients about their limitations. This is an option for many small businesses than can’t cope with demand. Farmers have seen an increased demand of eggs, flour and other essentials in the last weeks. A contingency plan to control demand while creating a positive reputation in the minds of the consumers seems to be the preferred strategy for many businesses within the food industry (big and small).

-Keeping employees safe

Equipping employees who handle perishable goods like meat, seafood and fish or other temperature sensitive produce, with protective equipment can help workers and consumers improve their confidence and safety.

Food business operators should follow the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) guidance to ensure good hygiene practices in food preparation and handling of goods are up to the standards.

How technology can help

Technology issues may also be worsening the current conditions for some businesses. It is also important to consider that these are unprecedented times and workforces are not prepared for a disruption of this magnitude. If companies have not invested in the right technology, employees may not be equipped to change direction and make the right decisions.

This should not be a negative but an encouragement for everyone to review the internal tools and embrace new solutions that may be more efficient, adaptable and reliable for the future challenges to come within the cold chain industry.

Delays in transportation can cause temperature changes that lead to a huge cost in wastage if these are not controlled effectively. Reliable mobile freezers for safe transportation are a key element for the correct functionality of the supply chain.


At CRS, we understand the challenges that food businesses face under these new circumstances. The situation may be new to us as well, but our 30 years of experience helping businesses within the temperature sensitive industry gives us the upper hand. We have been providing companies cold storage solutions that are efficient, reliable and cost-effective. If you would like to get some advice on how your cold chain supply could benefit from a high standard mobile freezer from CRS, fill out the form and one of our experts will be in touch soon. Alternatively, give us a call and we’ll be there to help.

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Published by: CRS Cold Storage

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